Goodwood Festival of Speed: Preview

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

It’s the end of June and that can mean only one thing: the Goodwood Festival of Speed is here.

Starting with Thursday’s Moving Motor Show, the Festival of Speed accelerates through the weekend until Sunday evening with a plethora of motoring goodness and wonder.

A versatile mixture of road cars, racing machines, motorcycles and a dose of aviation all grace the four-day event at Lord March’s country estate. Here’s the best of what to expect.

2014’s FOS theme

Sauber-Mercedes C9

Each year, the Festival of Speed pays homage to a manufacturer milestone, and this year’s nominated landmark is the celebration of 120 years of Mercedes in motorsport.

As usual, the tribute will be honoured with a magnificent sculpture at the front of Lord March’s house and many of the Stuttgart-based company’s most iconic cars will be on show. Such models will include the pre-war Grand Prix-winning Silver Arrows and the Le Mans legend Sauber-Mercedes C9, as well as the monstrous CLK GTR and its current Formula 1 racer.

Supercars of Goodwood

Ferrari LaFerrari - Goodwood

Those attending the Festival of Speed can expect to see up to 40 of the world’s most exotic machines that will include UK debuts from Ferrari in the shapes of the 458 Speciale and California T. Lamborghini will also show off its new Huracan in the UK for the first time publically

However, most people will likely flock to see the latest triplet of what is possible in car production and witness the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 in the flesh; the new Koenigsegg One:1 will also be a star attraction.

Superstars of Goodwood

Jenson Button & Mark Webber - Goodwood

While the cars themselves will be spectacle enough for some, the drivers at the helm will also be worth your attention, with some of the planet’s fastest making appearances to drive up the fabled Goodwood Hillclimb course.

Names include Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastien Loeb, Damon Hill, Mark Webber and even Sir Chris Hoy.

Men in their flying machines

Red Arrows - Goodwood

Photo Credit

There are many anniversaries being recognised at Goodwood this year, not least 50 seasons of aerial displays from the iconic Red Arrows. They will be leaving smoke in their wake during their spectacular fly-bys; meanwhile, a Typhoon and the last remaining Vulcan will also be making appearances in the sky above the Goodwood grounds.

Going off-road

Ford Escort RS1600 - Goodwood

Fans of rally racers will be well catered for with the Goodwood Forest Rally Stage. Making the short walk from the top of the Hillclimb will be worthwhile for anyone in seeing cars skimming over the mud track, with such rally stars as the original Mini Cooper S, Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600, Fiat 124 Abarth and Opel Cadet GT/E all tackling the stage.

A strong French contingent

Peugeot 205 GTi - Goodwood

Both Citroen and Peugeot will have a large presence over the four days, especially the latter with it celebrating 30 years of the GTi. Peugeot’s landmark hot hatch, the 205 GTi, will be honoured along with a 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Limited Edition being revealed for the first time globally.

Meanwhile, Peugeot’s compatriot will be bringing both the new C1 and C4 Cactus for their UK debuts. Citroen will also be showcasing the Traction Avant, the vehicle that brought about the mainstream use of front-wheel-drive in 1934.

Muscle from America

Ford Mustang Convertible

Anyone quite smitten with the new Ford Mustang will be glad to know it will be making its first appearance on our shores at Goodwood ahead of going on sale in right-hand-drive next year. Both the coupe and convertible will be on show alongside its predecessors. Ford’s new Focus ST will also be revealed and is rumoured to be a diesel version of the hot hatch; the Fiesta Zetec S 1.0 EcoBoost will also be part of the manufacturer’s plans at Goodwood.

With two members of the Stoneacre team attending the event over the weekend, we’ll be putting together a Goodwood Festival of Speed review for Monday in case you miss anything.