In just one week the 2010 Festival of Speed (2-4 July) gets underway, with the inaugural Goodwood Moving Motor Show taking place the day before on Thursday 1 July. In all, around 175,000 visitors are expected to attend this, the World’s largest celebration of motoring culture, with something on offer for every taste, including the finest competition cars and bikes, driven and ridden by top names, plus the very latest road-going machines on display.
The theme of this year’s Festival is ‘Viva Veloce! – The Passion for Speed’ celebrating theall-consuming fascination with motor racing, and Italy’s global influence on the sport. From Alfa Romeo to MV Agusta,Ascari to Agostini, and Monza to the Mille Miglia, Italians have raced with breathtaking fervour, inspiring desire and devotion that transcends national identity.
There are thousands of reasons to visit the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed – below are just ten highlights:
1. Contemporary Formula One: No less than six of today’s F1 teams will be at the Festival of Speed, with acclaimed current F1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli and reigning F1 World Champion Jenson Button in attendance. A number of previous F1 heroes, including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Damon Hill will also be tackling the challenging 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb course.
2. Forest Rally Stage: Current WRC and IRC teams will more than 50 historic rally cars on the challenging Goodwood Forest Rally Stage. Expect to see plenty of gravel-spitting sideways action from current rally heroes with Ken Block making his Goodwood debut along side rallying past masters, including Miki Biasion (also a Goodwood first-timer), Bjorn Waldegard, Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and Rauno Aaltonen showing how it used to be done.
3. Motorcycles: A who’s who of riders and bikes will be in attendance at Goodwood, with huge names including Giacomo Agostini, Kevin Schwantz, Aaron Slight, Leon Haslam, Neil Hodgson and Trevor Nation set to entertain the Festival crowds. A record number of motorcycles at the Festival will include the spectacular Red Bull X-Fightersfreestyle motorcross in action on Saturday and Sunday, plus twelve-time World Trials Champion Dougie Lampkin making a much anticipated return to Goodwood, and top BMW stunt rider Mattie Griffin performing jaw-dropping tricks on the hillclimb. The world’s most expensive and powerful road-going motorcycle will make its world public debut at Goodwood too; the amazing Icon Sheene superbike due to be ridden by Barry Sheene’s son Freddie.
4. New Cars: There will be new cars galore at Goodwood, with over 20 manufacturers exhibiting in the Moving Motor Show, which include test drives up the Goodwood Hill on Thursday 1 July, and then a static motor show for the remainder of the Festival of Speed weekend. Exciting UK debuts include the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Alfa Romeo Giulietta and MG Cars MG6. The Moving Motor Show is supplemented by the Supercar Run, a multi-million pound collection of the world’s most desirable contemporary exotica, demonstrated on the Hill. Watch out for public world debut of the stunning McLaren MP4-12C, plus official UK launches of the Ferrari 458 Italia, Spyker C-8 Aileron, Lexus LFA, and many others. In addition, the FoS-TECH technology pavilion showcases a variety of exciting future-focused concepts, including the Audi e-tron, Citroen ReVolte, Rinspeed UC? and Vauxhall Ampera.
5. Anniversaries and Key Displays: This year’s extravaganza of automotive art directly outside Goodwood House will celebrate the centenary of Alfa Romeo with a suitably striking and stylish ‘monument’ and more than 50 significant Alfa Romeos present at the Festival.
Sixty years of the Formula One World Championship will be marked with momentous gathering of cars and drivers illustrating many of the key moments in the formula’s rich and varied history. The Festival will also acknowledge the 60th anniversary of the epic Carrera Panamericana road race with a number of cars in action, many of them still bearing their original liveries. This Carrera Panamericana class is sure to be one of the most evocative ever to grace the Festival.
This year marks 50 years since rally cars took to the forests of Britain for the first time on the RAC Rally. This event, the forerunner of today’s Rally GB, quickly became an all-time classic, ranking alongside the Monte Carlo, Safari and 1000 Lakes as the most prestigious on the calendar. Part of this year’s dedicated Rally Stage paddock will celebrate the rich history of the RAC, with a sensational gathering of cars and drivers. The famed Bathurst 1000 ‘Great race’ is also 50 this year and Goodwood will honour this with a selection of the thundering saloons that have defined this unique Australian event.
6. Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’: This prestigious annual homage to the finest in automotive design will this year include many of the most beautiful and extraordinary cars, all with a very strong Italian flavour. Two classes will be devoted to Alfa Romeo as homage to the marque’s centenary, with pre-War coach-built 8Cs to set hearts fluttering, as well as the post-War Tipo 33s. Other notable classes include bespoke beach cars, sophisticated soft-tops and stylish GTs of the 1950s. Expect to see some ultra-rare exotica too, including the one-off Ferrari F.Z.93 and Italdesign’s BMW Nazca C2.
7. Timed Run Shoot Out: A hugely popular Goodwood attraction is the dedicated timed run shoot out on the Sunday afternoon. Throughout the three days of the Festival, a number of cars will climb the complex 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb, competing against the clock. On Sunday the fastest of these cars will re-run against the clock in a thrilling timed shoot-out to establish the fastest overall time of the Festival weekend.
8. Cars, Stars and Guitars: The Festival of Speed will have a distinct musical air this year with a special display on the Goodwood Cricket Pitch of 20 cars immortalised in song titles or lyrics, with a troupe of dancers performing around each appropriate car as the corresponding song is played on a special radio show compiled and presented by legendary disc jockey Johnnie Walker. This display will support some exceptional ‘Cars, Stars and Guitars’ musical ‘moments’ with top car-loving guitarists performing live, including Jeff Beck, ZZ Top founder Billy Gibbons and leading American blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughn. Each of these musicians will play live at the event, appearing with their famous custom cars and signature guitars, including Billy Gibbons amazing CadZZilla, and Jimmie Vaughn’s pistachio green 1961 Cadillac. The live music alone is worth the ticket price!
9. Aviation: New for 2010 is a dedicated Aviation Show, to be held in conjunction with the Festival of Speed at the Goodwood Aerodrome – less than half a mile from the main Festival site – to accommodate larger aircraft and more exhibitors. All Festival of Speed ticket buyers will be given free access into the Goodwood Aviation Show, and a free shuttle service will transfer Festival and Aviation Show visitors the short distance to and from the Aerodrome and Goodwood Park. This Show will enable manufacturers of fixed wing and rotary aircraft – plus important aviation service suppliers – to showcase their latest products. In the air, the Vulcan, Hunter and Red Arrows will display over Goodwood.
10. A Great Spectator Occasion: What Wimbledon is to tennis, and Henley is to rowing, so Goodwood is to motor sport, having quickly established itself as the place to be every summer to see the very best that motor racing has to offer. No other motoring event can match the unique combination of more than 350 vehicles, and around 100 motor racing heroes, blasting up the drive of one of England’s most revered stately homes. Enthusiasts can enjoy watching great machines and drivers at very close quarters, and can actually stop and chat to some of their motor racing idols. No wonder the Festival of Speed has often been described as ‘the Garden Party of the Gods’.
Festival entry is by advance ticket only, with a limited number of tickets still being available.