By: Sam Bisby
We can’t quite believe it, but it’s already time for the rather brilliant Goodwood Festival of Speed with the weekend-long spectacle kicking off on June 25 with the Moving Motor Show and concluding on June 28.
It’s the 22nd time the Festival of Speed has placed itself on the motoring calendar and will once again be hosted at Lord March’s wonderful Goodwood estate in West Sussex. The event will predominately stick to tradition and have a delightful section of the latest sports and race cars blasting up the infamous Goodwood hillclimb, as well attendees having the Rally Stage and awesome stunt shows to enjoy; however, expect a couple of new additions to be found across the four days, also.
Following on from Mercedes’ display of two of its most famous creations - its then current F1 car and the original Silver Arrow - outside Goodwood House, Mazda will now get the privilege of being honoured with its own sculpture.
The centric feature will become the flagship of the Festival of Speed’s 2015 theme ‘Flatout and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’, with Mazda’s MX-5 being celebrated in its 25th year and the Japanese manufacturer will also have its Le Mans 1991 winner the 787B on show, both statically and on the hillclimb.
To further enhance the Flatout and Fearless theme, hypercars of the past and present that have been able to break the 200mph barrier will also make the run up the Goodwood hill.
Over the Festival of Speed weekend, there will be numerous models making not only their UK debuts but also getting their first action in the public domain, ranging from extreme hot hatches to track-only hypercars.
Of particular interest to us are the new Ford Focus RS and Mazda MX-5, both of which will make their inaugural runs up the hill. However, there’s no doubt that most will be much more fascinated to see the likes of the McLaren P1 GTR and Ferrari LaFerrari FKK K blast their way past the spectators, while the new turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTB will also be making its first appearance on UK soil.
Aston Martin will also be giving us a show from its ultra-exclusive GT12 track-focused car, with its 592bhp V12 engine ready to get a very good workout on that famous hillclimb. Meanwhile, Peugeot will debut its brand new 308 GTi that has been recently revealed and Vauxhall will be bringing its all-new 201bhp Corsa VXR.
Like in previous years beforehand, the 2015 Festival of Speed will host a plethora of motorsport superstars, ranging from F1 teams and drivers to MotoGP heroes.
The likes of Mercedes-AMG, Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari will all be in attendance with F1 cars of old and new, while Williams in particular will be bringing both their Martini-liveried FW37 and the Canon-sponsored FW13B, a version of which will be going under the hammer at the Bonham’s auction. Current driver Felipe Massa and reserve driver Alex Lynn will both take to the wheel of the latter.
Jenson Button, who is a regular patron at the Festival of Speed, will once again grace us with his presence, as will the lendary Sir Stirling Moss who will be piloting his 1955 Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes 300SLR.
Meanwhile, MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi will make his debut at the Festival of Speed alongside another biker favourite, Casey Stoner.
The recent spectacle at Le Mans will also be well represented at Goodwood, with LMP1 teams such as Audi, winners Porsche and reigning World Champions Toyota all in attendance, as will a large NASCAR contingent.
Not only will the Mazda MX-5 be enjoying its 25th anniversary, but Citroen will also be celebrating 60 years since the birth of the DS.
The world welcomed the immensely stylish and iconic DS back in 1965, but the name now resonates as Citroen’s luxury sub-brand that has spawned its own range of vehicles, and one that just keeps on growing. On show will be a trip through time and the history of the DS name, as well as a peak at the future of the brand with the DS Divine concept car and the present with the new DS5 flagship model.
New to Goodwood will be a batch of cars tackling the hillclimb as part of the ‘Catch my Drift?’ section, featuring spectacular motoring examples being drifted around the circuit as the drivers look to put on a show rather than go for a fast lap time.
Drivers tasked with this challenge include the one-and-only Ken Block in his 850bhp Ford Mustang, aptly named the ‘Hoonicorn’, while ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett will drift up the hill in his ferocious Mazda RX-7. Joining them will be the Extreme Drift Allstars who specialise in such performances and will appear in vicious motors such the Nissan Skyline, Toyota GT86 and BMW M4.
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