Have you heard the one about the guy who went to the Goodwood Revival and spent the whole day in the pre-66 car park and never made it into the circuit to see any racing because he thought he was already at the event? It’s a true story, apparently.
It’s easy to laugh, but as you rush towards the main attractions at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s always impossible not to be delayed for a few minutes to peruse the supercar metal on display in the GRRC (Goodwood Road Racing Club) Members’ car park. This year’s ensemble included a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, a pretty rare sight on UK roads.
For a while, after the government pushed back the lifting of restrictions until 19th July, it didn’t look good for the Festival of Speed. With the event scheduled to open on Thursday 8th July, things seemed to be sliding straight for the Armco. But the Duke of Richmond and his team kept their collective foot in, applied just the right amount of opposite lock and got the Festival back on track and across the finishing line as a pilot event for the UK Government’s Event Research Programme.
Sweetie Shop Syndrome
As usual at Goodwood, the senses were overloaded by a riot of motoring and motorsport sights, sounds and smells the instant we arrived. Unless you are there for all four days, you cannot possibly see everything. All you can do is relax and enjoy what you can take in.
This year, one of the most stunning displays was a collection of Martini-liveried Lancia competition cars, including LC1 and LC2 sports cars and Delta S4, 037 and Integrale rally machines and a gorgeous Alitalia Stratos. They all took to the Hill, too, in tribute to the late Gino Macaluso, a former rally navigator who built a career in watchmaking and used it to fund a life-long passion for motorsport.
Lotus was the featured marque, and the central space-frame chassis-like structure in the front of Goodwood House paid tribute to Colin Chapman’s ‘add lightness’ philosophy. “Lotus cars raced with great success at Goodwood throughout the fifties and sixties, including setting the ultimate lap record in 1965, and this year’s Central Feature served as a fitting landmark to its past, present and future achievements,” commented the Duke of Richmond.
Fans queued to get up and close and personal with what will be the last ever internal combustion-powered Lotus. The stunningly handsome Emira made its global debut at Goodwood and has its sights firmly set on the Porsche Cayman S. The Emira’s big brother Evija was also in action on the Hill. And the Evija wasn’t short of electric hypercar rivals either, as Rimac had brought the Nevera and Pininfarina the Battista to the party.
Rock down to Electric Avenue
Further proof of where the automotive industry is heading was provided by ‘Electric Avenue – The Road To 2030.’ Presented by Sky Zero, the EV-only display area was busy all weekend long, with visitors not just ogling and dreaming about the Battista hypercar but checking out the extensive range of more affordable electric cars on display such as the Peugeot 208, Vauxhall Mocha, Fiat 500, Tesla Model 3, DS 3 Crossback and many more.
If that sort of thing is a bit too much for you and you aren’t ready to face the future just yet, glorious respite was to be found with Cartier Style et Luxe Concours de Elegance on the lawn in front of Goodwood House. There wasn’t quite the normal range of jaw-dropping exotica and never-seen-before one-offs in evidence this year. Still, in some ways, that was for the better, as it gave a chance for an eclectic mix of 1970s supercars to shine and for visitors to appreciate them afresh.
“At the end of the weekend, though, the decision went the right way with a to-die-for 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale owned by famed designer Marc Newson deservedly taking the silverware.”
One certainly did not envy the judges, who had to select from gems such as a 1971 De Tomaso Pantera, a 1973 Maserati Bora, a 1974 Ferrari 365 GT/4 Berlinetta Boxer, a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopo’ and a 1976 Lotus Esprit S1. At the end of the weekend, though, the decision went the right way with a to-die-for 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale owned by famed designer Marc Newson deservedly taking the silverware.
Ah, but what fickle hearts we have, for parked nearby was the Kimera Automobili EVO 37, a reimagined Lancia 037. Decisions, decisions, decisions…
A cup of tea, a slice of cake and a bit of sit down were required before entering the Supercar Paddock. And this year, because of the reduced capacity crowd, finding a table to sit at was actually possible. Refuelled and rested, we left the dawn of the supercar era behind, with our heartbeat returned to normal. It didn’t stay that way for long, though, as we were fast-forwarded to 2021 with sights and ear-splitting sounds like the 11,000rpm-revving, 1,160 bhp-plus V12 Aston Martin Valkyrie.
“It really is another level of performance. The ages of the automotive world, you have the Ferrari 250 GTO in the ‘60s, the McLaren F1 in the 1990s. This feels like another entirely. It’s extreme and completely bespoke,” explained Aston Martin triple-Le Man’s class winner and development driver Darren Turner in an interview with Goodwood.
“We’re so close to the end now, customers will have them by the end of the year. They understand the wait and know we needed to get it right. There’s been a bunch of us, development drivers, that have had the pleasure of driving this car. I’m now looking forward to the people who’ve bought them being able to drive them.”
If you didn’t get your order in for a Valkyrie in quite in time, there was plenty of other new machinery to console you. This included the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, Lamborghini SCV12, McLaren Artura, McLaren Elva, Maserati MC20, Porsche 911 GT3 Touring and many more.
As always, the day flew by far too fast – almost as quickly as Rob Bell stormed up the Hill in the factory-backed McLaren 720S GT3X to win the shootout challenge with a time of 46.20. But it was very good to have the Festival of Speed back. And it’s equally good to have the Revival and the Members’ Meeting to look forward to later this year.
All the cars that took part in the hill climb:
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin V12S
Aston Martin Vanquish S
BMW M2 Competition
ferrari 456 diablo sv lotus carlton
Ferrari 488 GTB
Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
Huracan Evo RWD
Jaguar F-Type SVR
LAMBORGHINI HURACAN EVO
Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD
Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Lotus Evora 400
Lotus Exige S 350
Lotus Exige S2
Porsche 911 GTS
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 964 rs
Porsche 991.2 GT3
Porsche 993 2S
Porsche 993 2S
Porsche 997 Turbo
Porsche 997 Turbo
Porsche Turbo S
R8 V10 Plus Spyder
Toyota GR Yaris
Toyota Yaris GR