Goodwood Festival of Speed - Day One
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By Colin Smith
Finding your attention torn between the sight and sound of a Porsche 917 ``Short Tail’’ Le Mans racer in Gulf livery and the sudden arrival in the sky of a RAF Red Arrows formation pretty much sums up the biggest problem with the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Much of the time you just don’t know where to look.
From the legendary to the mildly famous and from the massively valuable to the simply bizarre, the Goodwood Festival of Speed nails just about every category of motor sport on two wheels and four.
Smoke and flame announces the arrival of 1911 28.5-litre Fiat S76 which is known as the "Beast of Turin.'' Photo/Colin Smith
It’s like someone took the scissors to the Encyclopaedia of Racing Cars and Racing Drivers, put all in the clippings back into random order and still not quite content with their work did the same with motorcycling as well. And then by some magic made it all come alive.
I thought I had a good idea what I might see and enjoy on Friday as a Goodwood virgin.
But at no time did what I had imagined stretch as far as chatting with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits about long haul air travel and Kiwi nostalgia drag racing - while ``big daddy’’ awaited course clearance before firing up his 1956 vintage Swamp Rat I fuel dragster.
Williams F1 development driver Susie Wolf driving the Juan-Manuel Fangio Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR from the 1955 Mille Miglia in which the Argentine driver finished second to Stirling Moss. Picture/ Colin Smith.
Or watching Sir Stirling Moss from close quarters as he tightened the straps on a period style helmet before a run up the 1.86km hillclimb in the ``number 722’ Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR he drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia – the 1000-mile race on Italian roads.
And sometimes the history arrives in a mixed context and blended with the contemporary. A few seconds behind Sir Stirling was his 1955 Mille Miglia team-mate Hans Herrman driving the ``number 704’’ SLR while Williams F1 development driver Susie Wolf was at the wheel of the ``number 658’’ SLR – the car driven to second place behind Moss by Juan-Manuel Fangio in the same Mille Miglia.
Sir Stirling Moss readies for a run in his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Photo? Colin Smith.
The spectacle at Goodwood is as vast in scope and is it random in choice.
Kiwi drifting ace ``Mad Mike’’ Whiddett is thrilling the 50,000 per day crowd in his Mazda RX7, American Off Road Stadium Racing Trucks are using much more than just the width of the road and there are flame-spitting century-old leviathans like the Fiat S76 – a 28.5-litre four-cylinder hell machine that seems impossibly tall and narrow to have been created with 200km/h-plus land speed record intentions back in 1911.
Drag racing pioneer ``Big Daddy'' Don Garlits is making his first Goodwood appearance. Picture/ Colin Smith.
Day one of three has been completed at the 2015 Festival of Speed and I’m just beginning to have some idea of where to look and where to point my camera.
I haven’t seen NASCAR ``King’’ Richard Petty, motorcycle world champions Freddie Spencer and Kenny Roberts or rally champ Hannu Mikkola in action as yet.
Here is a first gallery of photographs from the day one action at the Goodwood hill. The 2015 Festival of Speed continues Saturday.
Six-wheel March-Cosworth 2-4-0 from 1976 never started a F1 Grand Prix but did find some success in British hillclimbing. Photo/Colin Smith.
The four-rotor Mazda 787B won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991 and remains the only Japanese car to have won the French endurance classic. Picture/Colin Smith.
The Porsche 935 drivne by Rolf Stommelen, Dick Barbour and late actor/racer Paul Newman finished second at the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours. Picture/ Colin Smith.
John Surtees driving his Surtees TS7 Formula 1 car. Picture/ Colin Smith.
Audi showed one of its R18 TDI quattro for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours driven by Benoit Treluyer. Picture/Colin Smith.
The Amon-Cosworth F101 built in 1974 by Kiwi Chris Amon which started just one Grand Prix was driven by Brazilian racer Roberto Moreno. Picture/ Colin Smith.
Former Isle of Man TT winner Stuart Graham was the driver of the 1965 1.5-litre V12 Honda RA272 that gave Honda's its Grand Prix victory. Picture/ Colin Smith.
Stadium Super Trucks provided modern spectacle at the Festival of Speed. Photo/ Colin Smith.
Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel of the 1955 Mille Miglia winning Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Photo/ Colin Smith.