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2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed
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A year of anniversaries
It was a year of anniversaries at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Not only did the event itself celebrate the 30th anniversary, the spectators were also treated to the Le Mans centenary, 75 years of Goodwood, NASCAR and Lotus, 50 years of the World Rally Championship and the 60 years of McLaren Racing. Another theme highlighted at this year's edition of the Festival of Speed was MotoGP with numerous World Champions reunited with their bikes going up the hill. The annual Cartier Style & Luxe Concours d'Elegance was as diverse as ever with GT1 homologation specials and early cycle cars for example sharing a spot on the field in front of the stables. Taking centre stage, however, was the 75th anniversary of Porsche with the German marque starring on the Gerry Juddah structure in front of Goodwood House for a record fourth time.
As always, we were on hand throughout the event to capture all the highlights. Our photographers braved changeable weather conditions with this class-by-class 260-shot gallery as the very tangible result.

Cartier Style & Luxe Concours d'Elegance
A set fixture at Goodwood is the Cartier Style & Luxe Concours d'Elegance. Not necessarily beholden to the stringent rules and regulations of conventional concours events, the Cartier Style & Luxe always boasts a colourful mix of cars. As mentioned before there were early cycle cars but also road-going GT1 racers. A star among the latter was the sole Nissan R390 in private hands. A veteran of the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is today owned by former driver Erik Comas, who had it restored and registered for the road. Particularly proud of his car, Comas was on hand all weekend to show R390 to the many interested enthusiasts. Beating the likes of a McLaren F1 once owned by Elon Musk and a striking blue Porsche 911 GT1, the rare Nissan was awarded best in class. Typical of the Cartier Style et Luxe approach was a Porsche class for anything but a 911. This included very rare iterations of the Porsche brand like the Schuppan 962CR road car and the Zagato-enhanced Carrera GTZ but also a beautifully preserved 906 Carrera 6 racer. Shown in a class for Derby Bentleys, Best-of-Show went to a Bentley 4½-Litre Gurney Nutting Sedanca Coupe.

Le Mans Centenary
Perhaps the biggest of all anniversaries in 2023 is the Le Mans Centenary. It was celebrated in grand style during the months of June and July with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Le Mans Classic. The diligent team of the Duke of Richmond managed to bring quite a few of the winning cars that starred at Le Mans over to Goodwood. Among them were all five machines that scored not one but two wins. Among the many actual winning cars taking to the track were the Lagonda M45R of 1935, the Rondeau M379B that won in 1980, the glorious Mazda 787B and the Audi R8 used by the likes of Tom Kristensen in 2000. A particularly poignant moment came on Thursday morning when the Duke of Richmond opened the 2023 Festival of Speed in the same 1957 Le Mans winning Jaguar D-Type that he used for the very first run during the inaugural event back in 1993. He was followed up the hill by Dudley Mason-Styron in the Ferrari 166 MM that had been entered at every previous edition of the Festival of Speed by his late wife Sally. In addition to winning cars there were also several very interesting cars from Le Mans' rich history on hand like the first Bentley ever entered and the ex-Briggs Cunningham Cadillac Series 61 'Le Monstre'.

Porsche 75th Anniversary
During the company's 75-year history, Le Mans has become the home away from home for Porsche. Accordingly the 75th anniversary celebration of the German manufacturer included a special class for Le Mans winners. This included the 917K that scored the first outright victory and also the Joest Racing fielded 956B and WSC 95 that scored four wins between them. Also on hand was the early 356 Gmünd SL that was driven to the first class win at Le Mans, back in 1951. Needless to say, there was also a special class for 911-based competition cars, which included Carrera RSRs right up to the latest RSRs and GT3 Cup racers. A particularly interesting entry was a 935/77A that was raced both by Kremer and Joest. It scored a Le Mans class win early in its career and was subsequently upgraded to the distinct Joest specifications and driven to an outright win at Sebring in 1984 by owner Mauricio de Nervaez along with Hans Heyer and Stefan Johansson. Further impressive sights included two of the three 936s built, the freshly restored 917/30 prototype and a fleet of ex-works 962s.

What started out as a celebration of historic competition cars is now also the de facto British Motor Show, headlined by spectacular supercars that form part of the regular program. This gives he spectators a rare opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of these highly expensive machinery, usually purchased by reclusive buyers. Supercars that debuted at Goodwood were the one-off Ferrari KC23, which is based on a 488 GT3 Evo competition cars and also two distinct, enhanced Porsche; the TAG-engined 911 Turbo produced by Lanzante and Singer's 934-inspired turbocharged Dynamics and Lightweight study. Among the other cars brought to the event by Lanzante were the bespoke McLaren P1 Spider and road-legal Pagani Zonda Revolucion. Lamborghini was on hand to showcase the all-new Revuelto and also took the wraps off the SC63, which will race at Le Mans and IMSA from 2024 onwards. Some of the supercars also took part in the timed shout-out. This included the V10-engined McLaren Solus GT, which set the fastest time of all on Sunday afternoon with 45.34 seconds.

Further Highlights
Marvin Kirchhöfer's winning run in the Solus GT was the icing on the cake for McLaren Racing, which celebrated the squad's 60th anniversary throughout the weekend. A truly remarkable array of McLaren sports cars and single seaters were on hand. We were particularly taken by the sole surviving M8B Can-Am racer and a privately owned MP4/4. It was also great to see the two Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s that were prepared specifically for the experimental class at Le Mans this year. The car that raced twice around the clock so valiantly was given its well deserved rest but Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button were on hand to demonstrate the beast of a machine as part of the 75th anniversary of NASCAR. A very rare sight was that of the Ford small-block engined Pronello Huayra, which had been brought over specifically from Argentina for the Festival of Speed. Shipped over from the other side of the world was the actual TWR Jaguar XJ-S that won the 1985 Bathurst 24 Hours. Part of an Australian collection now, it was reunited with original drivers Armin Hahne and John Goss. Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel was on hand to demonstrate a McLaren and a Williams Grand Prix car from his own collection, running on carbon neutral fuel.

Final thoughts
It was Goodwood Festival of Speed to remember. The line-up was truly spectacular providing a great show on three of the four scheduled days; the Saturday activities had to be cancelled due to gale force winds. Action resumed on Sunday under beautiful conditions and more than made up for the missed day. The dates for the 2024 edition have already been announced and we can not wait what the Duke of Richmond and his team will prepare for us next. In the mean time, we invite to enjoy our exclusive 260-shot gallery.

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