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2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed
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A vintage year
This weekend, Lord March hosted the 25th annual Goodwood Festival of Speed. From humble beginnings back in 1993, it has quickly grown out to become one of the largest automotive events in the world. Each year the dedicated team behind the Festival of Speed looks for anniversaries or special themes to celebrate. As it turned out, 2017 is a vintage year for celebrations and, among others, Ferrari's 70th anniversary, Williams Grand Prix Engineering's 40th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the first of Tom Kristensen's nine Le Mans win were celebrated. Taking centre stage, however, was Bernie Ecclestone whose five decades of F1 involvement in many different roles was marked by another fantastic sculpture created by Gerry Judah. It featured an important car from each of the decades, including the Lotus 72 his protege Jochen Rindt posthumously drove to the 1970 World Championship and one of Bernie's own Brabham BT49s used by Nelson Piquet to win the world title just over a decade later. Among the many other 'off-track' activities was the annual Bonhams auction, which grossed GBP 10 million.
As always, we were at Goodwood throughout the event and have returned with an action packed 360-shot gallery, complemented by a 40-shot gallery from the auction.

Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d'Elegance
Our favourite 'off-track' activity during the Festival of Speed is the annual Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d'Elegance staged in front of the stable-yard of the Goodwood House. Ferrari's 70th anniversary was celebrated in style with a class dedicated to the legendary 250 range. All the famous versions were included like the fabled 250 GTO and the 250 GT California Spider but also lesser known models like the unique 'shark-nose' Bertone bodied 250 GT SWB. The 110th anniversary of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was also not forgotten and the fine line-up of 40/50hp models included a wide variety of styles including the original Silver Ghost, which was brought for the occasion by current owner Bentley Motors. Another great class of the Concours d'Elegance was one for special coachwork Aston Martins from the David Brown era and naturally included a DB4 GT Zagato, which duly won its class. The Cartier Style et Luxe also catered for the fans of modern machinery with a class dedicated to the dawn of the 'hypercar'. Among the 'hypercars' on display was a lovely McLaren F1 but also more recent machinery from the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg. At the end of the weekend, the very diverse panel of judges picked a Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet as the 'best of show'.

Grand Prix Anniversaries
Some 90 years ago, Louis Delage, literally, bet his entire fortune on winning the equivalent of the Formula 1 World Championship. He had the achingly beautiful and equally complex 15 S8 built. Powered by a 1.5-litre, supercharged, straight-eight engine, the cars struggled in 1926 but the following year they were hugely successful. This was celebrated with a special class for the Delage 15 S8, which included four of the six examples built of which two are currently in running order. A decade later, Grand Prix racing was run under regulations that were built around a 750 kg maximum weight. The final year of this formula, 1937, saw Mercedes-Benz run the W125, which produced well over 500 bhp; a figure that was not matched until the turbo era of the 1980s. Two of these Silver Arrows were in action, including the only one currently in private hands. By the 1980s, Williams had emerged as a leading team. The successes had really started when Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head teamed up 40 years ago. This occasion was celebrated with another special class and Williams Heritage rolled out the never raced FW08B six-wheeler and the hugely complicated FW14B. On Sunday, there was a special moment in the assembly area with Sir Patrick Head, members of the Williams family and former drivers including Mark Webber and current World Champion Nico Rosberg. Also celebrated was the 50th anniversary of the Cosworth DFV engine that made its successful debut in the back of the 1967 Lotus 49. Most of the surviving examples were on hand, including the car driven to a debut victory by Jim Clark at Zandvoort in June of 1967.

Ferrari at 70
The biggest celebration this year was Ferrari's 70th anniversary. This is a common theme at events throughout the year but the Festival of Speed would not be the Festival of Speed if it turned the celebration up to 11. Ferraris were represented in two classes; one for single seaters and one for sports cars. Both on Friday and Saturday the Ferraris were gathered in front of Goodwood House for a special celebration. Each of the runs up the hill was headed by the very first Ferrari, which was resurrected back in the 1980s for the 40th anniversary celebrations. Among the cars that followed was the achingly beautiful 330 P4, which was raced in 1967 by Sir Jackie Stewart and he was back behind the wheel this weekend. A particular poignant entry was that of Derek Hill in a faithful reconstruction of the Ferrari 156 Dino F1 Sharknose driven to the World Championship by his father Phil back in 1961. Some of the other Ferraris entered were certainly familiar to Goodwood regulars like Nick Mason's 250 GTO and Sally Mason-Styrron's 166 MM Barchetta. Others, like an early and very yellow 512 BB Le Mans racer and a similarly liveried 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione made their very first appearance. Certainly not missed by anyone of the thousands of spectators were the glorious howls produced by the diminutive 1512 F1 and the Sebring and Daytona winning 333 SP. According to one of the latter's drivers, SP was short for Super Pirro but we are not quite sure.

Modern supercars
One of the reasons the Goodwood Festival of Speed is so successful is that the event not only looks back but also has it sights firmly on the future. On Thursday visitors get the chance to sample new production cars in the 'Moving Motor Show', while during the other three days the latest supercars and brand new machines, some of which made their world debut, are out on the hill. This year, these included the mighty 700hp Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Jaguar's XE SV Project 8 and the AMR Pro modified Aston Martin Vulcan. Among the other exotic machinery that took part in the Michelin Supercar Run were the new Bugatti Chiron, Ford GT and Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta but also rarer cars like the Zenvo TSR, Koenigsegg Agera RS and Pagani Huayra BC. In addition to getting a first glimpse of the sight and sound of the supercars, visitors also got a chance to see just how these machines stacked up in the special Shootout on Saturday afternoon. Fastest of all was the latest Audi R8 V10 Plus, closely followed by the 2017 model year Nissan GT-R and the limited edition Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive.
In the live televised shootout for the classic cars on Sunday, it was Goodwood regular Justin Law, who pipped the field in the Jaguar XJR-12D Group C racer.

Further highlights
Not all occasions marked during the Goodwood Festival of Speed were happy ones as there also was a special class to remember John Surtees, who passed away in March of this year. The only man to win world championships on both two and four wheels, 'Il Grande' John was bid farewell in great style with a fine line-up of motorcycles and cars, he raced and/or built during his successful career. These included his 1964 F1 World Championship winning Ferrari 158 F1 and one of the Team Surtees Lola T70s, similar to the car he clinched the inaugural Can-Am championship with. An altogether happier affair was the class dedicated to Tom Kristensen, who scored the first of his nine Le Mans wins in 1997. Many of his winning cars were on hand, and the Dane was out all weekend in the R8, he helped score Audi's first Le Mans win with back in 2000. Another interesting Audi wheeled out was the unique Group S prototype, which made only its second dynamic appearance ever, driven by former World Rally Champion Hannu Mikkola. Throughout the spectacular field there were many more highlights, like the Alfa Romeo-engined Brabham 'fan car' from Bernie's own collection, the beautifully preserved Ballot that won the first ever Italian Grand Prix or the unique 1972 Connew PC1 brought out for the first time in 45 years by Peter Connew himself. Among the many notable drivers on hand was current World Champion Nico Rosberg, who was out in a Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car on Sunday and helped honour Bernie Ecclestone.

Final thoughts
Every edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed seems impossible to top but this year the organisers have really outdone themselves. From the Cartier Style et Luxe through to the hill-climb participants, and not to mention the rally-stage entries, we don't remember ever seeing a stronger field. The sell-out crowd certainly were treated to a formidable show. Many of the numerous highlights can be found in our 360-shot gallery. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and if this year's edition can be topped, it will be an edition that no one can afford to miss.

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Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com