The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed once again played host to many of the biggest names in motorsport. An extraordinary display of automotive design and excellence, dating from the early 1900s to the present day, sped up the now famous Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb.
Last weekend I joined Shipley Arts Festival Director, Andrew Bernardi, at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. As many of you will know Andrew is as passionate about cars and motorsport as he is about music. A longstanding member of the GRRC, Goodwood Road Racing Club, there was much to delight his senses in this annual spectacle.
This year the 100th anniversary of BMW was celebrated. German rivals and Le Mans winners, Porsche, were also much in evidence, as were Mercedes, with Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg attending this exceptional Sussex celebration of motorsport.
Rolls Royce, McLaren, Jaguar and Bentley were amongst the stars of the British contingent moving at pace up this celebrated climb.
One of the highlights for me was Nick Mason’s spirited drive in the revolutionary 1936, 6.0 litre supercharged V16 Auto Union Type C. He is highly regarded not only as Pink Floyd’s drummer but also as a true connoisseur of racing and sports cars. Based here in Sussex, Nick is no stranger to the race track having competed at Le Mans on numerous occasions. The car’s extraordinary torque and 500bhp can spin the wheels at 100mph and presented him with a wonderful driving opportunity. The Auto Union’s outing at Goodwood marked 80 years since this car first appeared at Shelsey Walsh and Donnington.
Another anniversary was being celebrated by Ford. No one could have dared to dream that Ford would return to Le Mans in 2016, 50 years after the incredible GT40 Le Mans win in 1966, and take a class win. Marino Franchitti drove for Ford at Le Mans this year and took the wheel at Goodwood of a Ford GTE LM on the Goodwood hill climb. Although the new car bears some family resemblance to the GT40 its revolutionary aerodynamics, carbon-fibre monocoque design and twin turbo engine defines it very much as a car of the 21st century.
The weekend had the atmosphere of a huge motoring party.
As the reverberation and exuberant sound of racing cars and bikes at Goodwood Festival of Speed ended the cacophony of sound, the smell of racing oil and tyres and the spectacle of speed and colour fades to memory and thoughts turn to the evocative 2016 Goodwood Revival. This year’s three-day event will be held on the 9th -11th September. The Goodwood Revival celebrates the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. For more information or to buy tickets visit www.goodwood.com.
By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.