FAMOUS FESTIVAL OF SPEED HAS A PROGRAMME GUARANTEED TO SUIT ALL TASTES , WRITES COLIN SMITH
It’s a moving motor show, mid-summer garden party and smorgasbord of current and historic motorsport.
No other celebration of cars, bikes and racing stars has the same bandwidth as the spectacular Goodwood Festival of Speed, the annual hillclimb — and much more — at the Earl of March’s stately home in West Sussex, England.
The three-day festival begins on Friday with online live stream for Kiwi enthusiasts.
Goodwood is where recent F1 and Le Mans prototypes cars rocket up a bumpy and narrow 1.9km hillclimb, skimming through a tunnel of straw bales and centimetres from flint walls.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will take turns this year with demo runs in a 2014 Mercedes W05. Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Toro Rosso are also in attendance and Martin Brundle will drive the 2009 title winning Brawn BGP001.
Formula 1 World Championship leader Nico Rosberg in action at Goodwood last year. Photo / Colin Smith
Variety is always part of the Goodwood menu and this year F1 driver and 2015 Le Mans winner Nico Hulkenberg is set to drive a 1920s land speed record Sunbeam, Emerson Fittipaldi is reunited with a 1993 Penske PC22 Indycar and Jean-Pierre Jabouille appears with the 1977 Renault RS01 began the first Formula 1 Turbo era.
Festival regulars Sir Stirling Moss, Giacomo Agostini and Sir Jackie Stewart will be in action again this year along with Ken Block in his Gymkhana 8 Ford Fiesta.
Special events will see Freddie and Tom Hunt on hand to celebrate father James’ 1976 Formula 1 world title, a 30-year celebration of the Group B rally car era and a 50th milestone celebration of the Can-Am sports car series — which will include John Surtees driving a Lola T70 Spyder. Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show, Supercar Run and First Glance categories put all-new road cars in the spotlight. The 2016 headliners include the first dynamic viewing of the new Aston Martin DB11, the new Bugatti Chiron and appearances by the new Maserati Levante, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Honda NSX and Lexus LC Coupe.
BMW is the feature marque in its centennial year.
Motorsport highlights include Riccardo Patrese driving the Brabham-BMW BT52, Yannick Dalmas driving the 1999 Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR prototype, Johnny Cecotto in an M3 DTM racer and double Indycar champion and Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi in a Z4 GT3 racer.
The 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours winning BMW V12 LMR.
BMWs recent 2002 Hommage show car will also be on the hill.
There are two competitive events on the hill this year. In the timed hillclimb run-off Olly Clark will defend his 2015 success driving his big-winged Subaru Impreza Time Attack car and there is also a timed shoot-out between leading British Touring Car Championship teams.
Motorcycling always plays a headline FOS role and Superbike world champions Tom Sykes, Colin Edwards, Carl Fogarty, Sylvain Guintoli and Troy Corser will be joined by supercross and motocross legend Ricky Carmichael and Isle of Man TT ace John McGuinness — making an appearance on the Shinden Mugen TT-Zero electric bike.
Continuing a TT theme is the 600-horsepower Prodrive-developed Subaru WRX STI in which Mark Higgins recently smashed the four-wheel lap record for the TT Mountain Course.
Only three Kiwis appear on the most recent Festival of Speed drivers and riders list.
Eleven-time Isle of Man TT winner Bruce Anstey is expected to appear on the Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda RCV213-S he debuted at the recent TT while drifting ace “Mad” Mike Whiddett will drift the hill for the third consecutive year in his Red Bull Mazda RX7.
Kiwi 1970s Formula 1 racer Howden Ganley is also on the Goodwood roster but isn’t listed with a specific vehicle while a clash with this weekend’s centennial celebrations for the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado means Rod Millen isn’t making his usual trip to Goodwood.