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Старый 21.07.2013   #1
Kosov
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По умолчанию The 2013 Goodwood Festival Of Speed


A visit to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed means you’ll be awash with memories: it’s like stuffing everything that’s great about a century of the automobile into four days, giving you first-hand flashback memories of series that had their glory periods when you weren’t even born and taking you all around the world to every great track, road and rally stage a car has ever been driven on. Goodwood doesn’t just provide displays of moving metal: it provides context – and something it’s perfected that idea with is rallying.

In the Festival’s sprawling manufacturer compounds and main paddocks were plenty of mini temples to the art of the gravel destroyer, the mud thumper and the tree skimmer – and often in unexpected places, like the short wheelbase quattro that rested on the Michelin stand.

Rally cars get to ascend the Goodwood hill in their own class of course. The Ultimate Rally Cars batch included some of the most famous machinery imaginable: more fearsome Group B cars, the cream of the modern era WRC and several Pikes Peak cloud busters besides.

But much as this collection was exciting to see, whether powering up the hill or sheltering under the paddock awnings, there was something not quite right. There was something about it all. Something missing.

Oh yes. You need to take the same model and apply it to a real rally stage. You need bent panels. Scuffed edges. Dirt.

What we needed was attitude at altitude. I needed to go up the hill. And then I needed to see cars going up fast, and coming down hard.

Where we were going, we wouldn’t need roads.

Planet dust awaited. Goodwood’s Forest Rally Stage, tucked up in the woods at the top of the hillclimb. Home to rally car heaven, where the wild side could be properly unleashed by the drivers and therefore properly appreciated by the fans.

The long trek up to the Forest Rally Stage meant entering a different world from the hustle and bustle of the main Festival Of Speed area, exiting the crowded green grass banks and entering the claustrophobic forest.

There’s always a hush that descends as people make the transition from open sky to the shelter of the forest canopy (though maybe that’s also because it’s so far to walk and everyone’s tired!). The only sound you could hear was the unnatural pop and bang of an epic rally machine hammering by just feet away, wheels barely in contact with the ground, the car dancing along the loose surface.

The creation of the stage, christened in 2005, was a true stroke of genius. The original layout was designed by WRC legend Hannu Mikkola, and has been subtly refined over the years.

Dug out of the forest, the chalky surface is easily rutted as the stage goes live, and most of the course involves threading a high powered needle through a combination of earth banks and less than forgiving trees.

One exception is the wide open jump near the end of the stage… I could stand there all day as car after car got air.

Short it may be, but the Forest Rally Stage is no stroll in the park. It’s a gravel and dirt-filled car destroyer, a potential car-compacter.

Like seeing priceless sports cars being raced in anger, there’s just something unreal about seeing proper rally cars out on a stage. Going rallying means your car will be damaged in some way every time it goes out.

Even completing a run successfully (ie, not hitting a bank or, god forbid, something more solid) will still mean that the car will be peppered with gravel hits.

It’s not a place for people who like pristine cars. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

This might not be a 30km special stage taking 15 minutes through a Finnish forest, but it’s not a bad approximation. The Forest Rally Stage still provides two and half minutes of constant action. Straights? Not really. And rally cars don’t really go straight anyway!

This year the stage has been further modified and lengthened by a quarter mile, with the biggest alteration at the start and finish.

Previously the cars would take off on gravel, around the left-hander at the end of the new launch straight, but now a lovely line of tarmac has been laid at the beginning and end of the course.

Much as the sight of a four-wheel drive maelstrom of dust was impressive, it did hinder any chance of actually seeing the cars take off, so this small section of tarmac provides a more tractable surface to start on, and the chance for some glorious rubber burning before the tyre shredding begins.

The rally boys and girls have their own dedicated paddock set up on the crest of the hill above the startline, a much more airy and less crowded affair than the lower paddocks for the hillclimbers.

But the ethos was the same: the cars sit under their awnings, with maybe a toolkit and a spare wheel or two to hand (although a couple of teams did have support trucks nearby), and you can take all the time you want to examine the cars and talk to the drivers.

When their slot came up, the driver would nose their way through the crowd to line up. Five classes ran in 2013, with examples of cars from all 11 manufacturers that have won titles over the last four decades – the WRC was yet another thing to be celebrating a major anniversary this year – and countless other models as well.

Several of the WRC cars and drivers based at the bottom of the hill and taking part in more sedate ascents of the hillclimb would also send their cars up to the Forest Rally Stage. The great news for us was that the list included Citroën World Rally Team star Mikko Hirvonen. Seeing a driver with his level of commitment, displaying balls-out aggression from the moment the timer went green, was like experiencing the stage on a completely different level.

You would hear the DS3 coming: the exhaust popping, the turbo whining and gravel shotgunning the trees in its wake. You’d prepare… and then suddenly the car would leap into sight, jinking about as Hirvonen approached right on the limit.

Miles before the corner he’d already be sideways; Hirvonen was thinking in a different time zone, corners ahead of what the onlookers could keep up with.

Then in the blink of an eye he’d be gone, disappearing in a cloud of dust as we were showered in his ejected gravel. The Citroën would once again be the distant sound of fury moving on to shatter another piece of the forest. This is what the WRC is about. This is what they should be selling us.

I feel terribly guilty that after every Festival Of Speed I come home revelling in dust-fuelled memories of rally nirvana that are never followed up on. I do so hope that the WRC can pull itself together and find a way of promoting the series to the level it deserves. We all need more rallying in our lives.

Being covered in dust from the Goodwood stage feels almost like a badge of honour; nuclear fallout from the power of the cars that pass by that coats every surface…

… and turns nature’s green to grey. And all my equipment too – which needs a damn good clean before the Spa 24 Hours. Though the almost guaranteed rain will maybe do that job for me…

Anyway. Watching from the side of the stage is all very well (though when Hirvonen was involved, also a gravel-strewn experience)…

… but it doesn’t get much better than seeing things through the windscreen. I was privileged to be offered a passenger ride in the Skoda Fabia S2000 with rising star Robert Barrable at the wheel. I was in for an unforgettable experience.

From the moment I was suited up, helmet on and strapped in, I felt a second or two behind everything that was happening – even before the timer ticked down to our start.

Plugged into the intercom, the majority of engine noise came through my earphones, which made for an almost out-of-body feeling to it all. As ever with a proper racing car driven by a professional, my reaction as the Skoda ate up the hundred metres to the initial left-hander was a repeated prayer that he would at some stage brake, to abate the enormous speed we were building up.

My prayers were unanswered until what seemed far too late; with a clip of e-brake, Robert threw the car in sideways and it miraculously glided over the deep ruts like they weren’t there. I had no chance of keeping up with this.

Sliding through the loose, long right that followed, we breached the forest shadow and disappeared under the trees.

As my eyes adjusted, my nerves refused to. The Skoda was travelling along the gently curving opening section at a speed I just couldn’t process; the small banks at either side now seemed like cliffs just inches away from the side of the car.

It felt like there was just constant acceleration. Most corners didn’t seem to exist, or happened so quickly that they had been and gone before I’d bought a ticket for the entry.

Robert phased the Fabia through each curve with no respite. When I’ve had passenger rides in sports cars, I typically spend as much time watching the driver’s hands and feet as I do the track, but there was no chance here. Nothing happened at a slow enough speed to come to terms with; gear changes were seamless, the e-brake seemed to be pulled miles before a corner, the Skoda magically rotating before each apex and already prepped for the corner to come.

Trees flashed by at a frightening rate. Only one corner had given me a chance to just about get back in step with Robert’s driving – the long left-hander hairpin about a third of the way in, which had seemed slow-motion in comparison to the previous 45 seconds – but then we were back to light speed and I had no chance.

The previous day I’d enjoyed a 10 minute break at the bottom end of the stage, where the course broke out into the daylight for its only other piece of asphalt at the hairpin. Cars arrived cloaked in dust from the stage, so I knew the solid surface didn’t necessarily mean grip.

And that’s exactly what everyone wanted: especially the marshal’s post, who kept a running tally of drift scores through the weekend. The winner? Hirvonen was scoring top points every time he came through, though Robert was right up there. I wondered if the guys had spotted my disbelieving face as Robert slow-motioned the Fabia round the halfway point.

Then we were straight back up to fast-forward, with just a chance for another ‘please, please brake’ moment as the sharp right-left chicane approached. By this point I knew what was coming up in a couple of corners.

The knowledge of the jump filled me with a combination of joy and nervousness. As with the hairpins, a kind of movie bullet-time kicked in as I felt us hit the crest…

There was a momentary feeling of weightlessness as the Fabia hung in the air…

As we came back down to earth, I had the sensation of one of those multi-angle camera rotations around me…

… taking in every angle…

… before I felt the front wheels touch down.

Time accelerated back to a blur, as did Robert. I don’t think I’d actually taken a breath in two minutes; I had to remind myself to take in air. We snapped out of the forest and back into the sunlight for a flat-out left-right kink, throttle still to the floor even as we passed the line, before Robert stood on the brake and the normal passage of time returned. I was alive. And I wanted to go again…
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Старый 21.07.2013   #2
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1963 was a pretty good year for cars. A small-time German manufacturer released a new lightweight 2+2 sportscar at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and a New Zealander racing driver decided the time was right to start his own team. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow: Porsche and McLaren are now both part of the lexicon of the automobile, and both were celebrated in style at this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed.

Each year the lawn in front of Goodwood House, home to Festival organiser and passionate car fan Lord March, is adorned with a magnificent sculpture dedicated to a particular marque, and this year the 911 took centre stage.

Like Porsche, McLaren’s activities have touched on most aspects of racing over the last 50 years, from sportscars to single seaters in racing, and of course more recently their foray into road cars. The logo may have changed but the dedication hasn’t.

The anniversary might be an important milestone, but this quote from team founder Bruce McLaren still sums up the company’s ethos.

Following that theme, I’ll be finishing off this story with a trip down to the land of Speed Record holders, Daytona Beach, whose sand was recreated down by Goodwood’s cricket pitch.

But first the sky. Everyone’s eyes were drawn upwards by the 22 tonnes of metal soaring a gravity-defying 35 metres into the air, courtesy once again of the creative genius of resident Festival artist Gerry Judah. These pieces are always stunning; I always wonder what happens to them afterwards!

As if the sculpture wasn’t enough to make people watch the skies, the arrival of 40 tonnes of Vulcan bomber pulverising the air certainly was. The majestic V-bomber is the last one in operation, and 2013 is likely to be its final operational year before airframe life dictates permanent retirement.

The Vulcan was seconded by regular displays by the ever-popular Red Arrows display team, whose Hawks buzzed through the sky trailing smoke. The team performed outrageous manoeuvres with their usual unbelievable precision, before diving so low that it seemed they were flying into the paddocks below.

Coming back down to earth, let’s get back to the 911. Porsches were everywhere, which is not a surprise for the Festival Of Speed – or any event that involves racing of course. But it was the variety of models on show which stunned and amazed everyone in attendance.

A long line of 911 of every vintage were assigned their own dedicated area, from which they set out twice a day to join a massed rank of Porsches ascending the hill.

This wasn’t just about the road-car output – and not even limited to road and racing. Two classic examples of Porsche’s rally weapons from the ’70s and ’80s also drew plenty of deserved admiration.

Out on the hill, the 1978 911SC ran in Safari spec…

… whilst the jacked-up machine that won the Paris-Dakar in 1984 tottered up the hill like it was on high heels courtesy of its hugely long-travel suspension set-up!

Watching all this Porsche silverware from behind the straw bales was an inspiring experience; a museum on wheels that wowed everyone. Porsche GB broke out their 1965 ‘Project 50′ 911, which was driven by veteran Porsche pilot Richard Attwood…

… whilst they bookended the demonstration runs with a new 991 Carrera S decked out in a matching tribute livery.

Watching on, there was a seemingly endless wave of Porsches that passed by, from narrow-waisted ’60s machines through wide-body ’70s RSRs, ’80s Carreras…

… a ’90s GT2 from the American Le Mans Series and a modern GT3 Cup – the latter setting one of the faster times up the hill on its run.

Racing is entwined into Porsche’s DNA, and their bread and butter Cup cars were also supplemented by more exotic prototypes – the 956, 936/77 and trio of 917Ks mentioned in the previous story and more besides that I’ll touch on further down.

Cartier’s stunning Style Et Luxe display similarly entailed a sensory overload of static 911s to suit all tastes. The original 901 that started the whole story was supplemented by a beautiful kick-tail ’73 Carrera…

… and then some of the more brutal machinery to emerge from Porsche, such as the ’87 Turbo SE ‘Flatnose’…

… and the utterly insane, barely street-legal version of the 1998 911 GT1-98: the Straßenversion. That’s a 200mph street car with a twin turbo 3.2 litre flat six. Just what you need to go shopping.

In true manufacturer homologation style, it proved Porsche could rather than would build the road cars necessary to race in the FIA series… Porsche built this one for testing by the German government. The other 24 that were expected? Well, we’re still waiting…

Porsches have carried many iconic liveries, though few as instantly recognisable as the blue and red stripes of Martini, who are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, as well as 45 years of motorsport sponsorship.

That said, the design wasn’t always that way. One of the drinks brand’s early forays into racing was with the psychedelic livery on this 1970 917K, and silver was the original background colour before flat white took over.

The clean, fresh design makes almost any car look great, and it makes great cars look epic.

Martini’s display was opposite the line of 911s, and like the Porsches their cars were not standing idle: the majority headed out several times a day to join in with a relevant display. Lancia’s LC1 prototype is a rare sight…

… and I never tire of seeing the gorgeous LC2 Group C racer that followed.

For another variation, the iconic stripes were matched with British Racing Green for Mario Andretti’s ground effect Lotus 80 of 1979.

I love the way that Martini stripes are always altered depending on the car they’re applied to, giving a coherent, unmistakeable overall look but meaning that every car has individuality. And matching it to perhaps the most extreme Porsche ever – the Group 5 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’…

… with overhangs that put even the GT1 to shame, is pretty much the epitome of their usage. The stripes seem to be melting off the back of the car thanks to the 1,000kg and 750hp of brute force. This was yet another car that I almost became quite teary over seeing.

The 1993 Jaguar XJ220 was originally listed as a static-only display – the owner must have been wishing they’d kept it that way, after it clipped a bale just after the car passed me, bringing out the red flag and taking a chunk out of the rear quarter.

Martini moved into rallying sponsorship in 1982, predictably with the Lancia team and their 037 – a works example outfitted in Safari specification was taking part in the Forest Rally Stage.

Down under the Martini awning, a Delta Integrale, S4 and Focus represented their rallying heritage in static form.

So onto our third celebration, and back to the track. McLaren are another team who are intrinsically linked to iconic looks, starting with the appearance of their traditional orange team colour in the ’60s, then white and red during the ’70s and ’80s and most recently silver and red.

CanAm success was represented by three McLarens, starting with the M1A Oldsmobile from 1964.

This was the first car to bear the McLaren name – and it also bears some interesting names on the door. Graham Hill isn’t such a surprise, but it turns out that Elvis Presley drove this M1A during the filming for the movie Spinout!

McLaren pounded the CanAm opposition between 1967 and 1971, winning the title five years on the bounce. The 1970s wedge M8D gives me mixed emotions, being both one of the most impressive and intimidating CanAm cars there was and also the car in which team founder Bruce McLaren lost his life in a testing accident at Goodwood.

It fell to fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme, Bruce’s F1 and CanAm teammate, to pick up the team by the scruff of its neck and push them on; he took his second CanAm title that year.

Red and white first came courtesy of fuel suppler Texaco: this is the M23 that took Emerson Fittipaldi to the F1 World Championship in 1974, and was a car that was still in service three years later. That was a very different time.

The luminous red chevrons of the 1980s meant only one thing: domination. The MP4/4 was unstoppable, with Senna and Prost winning 15 out of 16 races during 1988. A legendary car worthy of legendary drivers.

McLaren returned to sportscars almost accidentally, their hand ‘forced’ by customers of the F1 road-car programme. This was the result: the sublime F1 GTR, and its original driver Ray Bellm was back behind the wheel at Goodwood, 18 years after winning on his first time out in Jerez.

The following year’s Le Mans campaign was even more successful: the #59 GTR led home another three McLarens in that year’s top five, making McLaren the first debutant winner at the 24 Hours since Ferrari in 1949. Usually this car is tucked up at the McLaren Technology Centre alongside many of the team’s other historic cars, so it sent a shiver down my spine to hear the V12 howling away.

McLaren had their own dedicated display and café area by Goodwood’s stable yard, which was heaving with people all weekend.

Important cars sat on pedestals, accompanied by video screens – again, hugely rare and important cars that you’d rarely expect to see in person (let alone have had the experience of sitting in!).

Being an owner of an F1 is to be a member of an exclusive club, but even buying one of these gorgeous scale models would require you to be a person of some means!

Centre stage was taken by the current road-car range, with pride of place given to the canary yellow P1, flanked by MP4-12Cs. The gloss black P1 that was tackling the hill looked pretty intense as well…

On the subject of intense, the idea of replicating the heat and sand of Daytona Beach in England would normally appear to be overly optimistic, but the weather played ball and if you squinted through the heat haze you could almost believe you were standing on a beach in Florida 80 years ago…

The Land Speed Legends display was truly spectacular, these utter legends shimmering in the sun just as they would have done all those years ago when they were driven to unthought of speeds. Sir Malcolm Campbell’s final iteration of the famous Bluebird line of LSR cars from 1933 had been shipped over from the Daytona museum. This is an 80-year-old with 2,300hp, which hit 300mph at Bonneville in 1935. There’s hope for us all.

The last time I saw the 1929 Golden Arrow and several of its compatriots was safely under cover in the UK’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu; seeing them out in the open was truly magical. These old LSR cars are simply incredible machines.

More recently, rocket-powered record holders took up the story from the Campbell family’s achievements: Blue Flame was from 1970, and with an equivalent to 58,000 horsepower on tap, reached 622.4mph on the Salt Flats. It shows just how tough these record attempts are that the speed wasn’t beaten for another 13 years, and has only been bettered twice since then.

Ah, I can’t wait for this year’s Bonneville Speed Trials! But for me, I have a final story to come from this year’s Festival Of Speed, swapping sand for dust – plenty of dust. The Forest Rally stage awaits!
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Старый 21.07.2013   #3
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The Goodwood Festival Of Speed is a broad church: perhaps the most non-secular of automotive events there is. Anything and everything from the history of the motor car, from the newest to the oldest. The event has been ticket-only for quite a while now and is always at capacity, and although the effect can be almost claustrophobic at times, it does mean that you get gloriously unexpected grand reveals of cars in this sculpture gallery of metal machine art. So many times over the weekend I had “Oh wow!” moments as another beauty was revealed when the crowd parted at just the right moment.

Sometimes it would be a case of “Is that what I think it is?”, as with the C111 in the opening picture. Other times it was more “What the hell is this – and can I take it home with me?”.

The Festival Of Speed has taken a leaf out of the book of the Revival, held down the hill at the Goodwood race track, and organised Forward Parking Areas to get all of us in the mood from the moment you step through the gate. For FOS the theme was naturally the supercar; a celebration of five decades of excess, where having the right car earned you the right to park inside the perimeter fence.

This provided a stunning introduction to what lay within as far as the street element of the Festival Of Speed was concerned. Modern fare such as Ferraris, McLarens and Porsches dominated, but in between sat plenty of rare exotics, gently roasting under the hot sun and slowly being covered in the dust that floated down from the Forest Rally Stage at the top of the hill.

I’ll move on to the anniversary honours in the next story (specifically the 911, McLaren and Martini), but the whole Festival is effectively one enormous celebration. The Blackrock Driver’s Club walkway featured a line-up of Lamborghini’s finest output…

… but the wildest cars were just round the corner in the Cartier Style Et Luxe display, which this year outdid itself.

Where else could a Veyron be one of the tamest and least impressive machines?

The lawn contained eight categories of cars to be judged by an illustrious panel that included McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray, Apple’s styling guru Jonathan Ive and design icon Sir Terrence Conran – and also Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon!

The Age Of Elegance covered cars from the birth of the automobile to the early 1930s, from which era Streamliner Sophistication took up the baton. I’m currently obsessed with cars of this period, when exuberance and art deco style collided to create some of the most beautiful cars ever made.

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57 S Atlantic is a case in point: its extravagant lines, fared-in rear wheels and drop-dead curves are stunning, yet it has an almost quasi-military industrial styling to it with the riveted, raised fin running over the body. It’s one of only four Atlantics built, with the S standing for surbaissé: lowered.

Standing nose to nose with the Atlantic was this futuristic hovercar – from 1938. The unique Phantom Corsair was designed by, of all people, Rust Heinz of the ’57 Varieties’ family and was built on a Cord 810 chassis. Four people sat across the front bench seat, with room for two more in the tapering tail.

It was front-wheel drive, featured electrically-operated doors, an automatic gearbox and fully independent suspension. I still find it difficult to believe that these cars are real, as opposed to exaggerated sketches in fantasy comic books. You can only dream of what would have come after these sophisticated machines had not the matter of a world war intervened; automotive extravagance on this scale would virtually disappear for a good 20 years.

I have to admit that the Style Et Luxe area has often provided only a short distraction from the paddocks and hill in previous years, but this time I could barely tear myself away.

Coupe De Grace covered grand tourers of the 1950s, like the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva above and this custom Ferrari 250 GT Speciale, commissioned from Pininfarina by film director Roberto Rossellini for his famous actress wife Ingrid Bergman.

How about the Fiat Turbina prototype from 1954, which picked up on wartime propulsion developments and experimented with applying them to the road.

160mph was the positive; high fuel consumption and overheating the negatives that led to the project being canned. But imagine driving this! It was a vision of the jetset future that was promised to everyone.

Sixties Sensations was just that: a collection of sublime sportscars that included legends like the E-Type, Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet, Facel Vega II, Maserati Mistral and Ferrari’s mid-engine supercar, the Le Mans-winning 250LM.

There was also the gorgeous lowline Bizzarrini Strada 5300 from 1966. Standing just 43″ high, and with a width that just accentuates the svelte styling, this street-legal racer is one of my favourite cars of all time.

The whole display continued to deliver knock-out blows as I wandered about, rather overwhelmed by everything. A day could easily be lost taking in the angles of the 45 cars I’d already passed – and then I stumbled across the concept cars. This was obviously called Show Stoppers for a reason… The crowds were thickest around these seven models that all broke the mould.

The Peugeot Proxima was released in 1986: a gloriously impractical concept with a 600hp twin-turbocharged V6, no doors and oh so very red cockpit to balance the technology it dripped with.

A sliding cockpit roof, carbon bodywork, photovoltaic panels to power the electrics and that squat future-car stance made it quirky, but quite something.

Lancia’s wedge-shaped Stabilo was from just eight years before the Peugeot, but although being based on a Stratos, somehow lacked the shock and awe of the other cars on display. The colour perhaps didn’t help, and neither did the porthole openings in the side window!

Concepts are often deliberately outlandish and difficult, but the 1970 Mercedes-Benz C111 was anything but. C111s were used as technology test mules, with this model powered by a mid-mounted four-rotor Wankel engine good for 180mph. There’s nothing about this car that is anything but utterly perfect.

Unlike the OSI Silver Fox! Part Lightning twin-boom fighter, part catamaran, part Europa, it was designed to compete at Le Mans in 1967. The engine was mounted in the left hull, balancing the driver in the right side, with a series of profiled wings in between. Outlandish and difficult, I’d say!

Vauxhall are one of the UK’s oldest car companies, and the SRV (Styling Research Vehicle) was from the same year as Mercedes’ C111 but showed off a far more extreme concept.

It was only ever a rolling chassis, but was still rather cool. It looked like a Dome prototype from Le Mans, which was itself space age, but was designed to seat four people – there are actually separate doors for the rear compartment, hidden flush with the rear bodywork.

You know it was ‘from the future’ through the liberal use of Helvetica Neue Extended for controls with labels like Relative Incidence and Max Neg O/L. And those buttons! It’s Space 1999 made real.

Regular street machines were shown off on either side of the hillclimb startline, with the Moving Motor Show on one side and then the enormous displays of the manufacturers on the other. There really were some incredible structures: mini cities in some cases.

UK debuts were rampant, with the carbon-tubbed 4C taking pride of place in the Alfa Romeo building.

Jaguar are pushing the new F-Type hard, and the top floor of their structure was dedicated to the heart and art of their new flagship model.

A specially commissioned minimalist sculpture by students from the Royal College Of Art was also shown off…

… whilst down below the crowds flocked around the real thing.

It’s a tough choice as to whether it’s more enjoyable to see these cars up close or to experience them in action. The great thing about Goodwood is not having to choose, as you can have your cake and eat it.

The assembly area at the bottom of the hill is as popular a place to watch the action as by the hill itself, and it’s the same story with the holding pen at the top of the hill. With batches of themed cars being sent up every 45 minutes, there was always a good chance to enjoy the collection of cars awaiting clearance to return back down the hill.

I caught the supercar categories at the top – Only The Fast Need Apply, The Future’s Now and Dynamic Debutants – which provided a mind-blowing car park to take in. Jaguar’s Project 7 looked super aggressive in the flesh…

… with its bulked-up bodykit, uprated engine, track-focused interior and matching helmet that celebrated Jaguar’s seven Le Mans wins and featured several design cues that harked back to the Big Cats of yesteryear.

Lower and faster than any other F, the roof has been completely removed and a D-Type inspired aerodynamic fairing and rollhoop added. I can’t wait to see a coupé…

Although any coupé lust I had was satisfied by Jag’s C-X75, which looked absolutely stunning – more than a match for the artisan hypercar output.

This patriotically-liveried Huayra represented Pagani’s hypercar…

… with its over the top interior styling providing a marked contrast to the more sober cockpits of so many other cars in this category. Bling overload!

And for stripped back, there are few that tick that box more than Aston Martin’s CC100, which was driven by Aston’s Director Of Design, Marek Reichman (as was the Jaguar by its creator).

Morgan retain a special position for most people, building cutting-edge, high power super cars at the same time as continuing with a basic wooden substructure and design that’s over 60 years old. The perfect match of old and new put through a blender of English eccentricity. Though I am glad that they’ve gone to a less cross-eyed headlight layout…

Alfa’s carbon-tubbed 4C was roaring up the hill with the rest of the Dynamic Debutant participants. I still haven’t got used to the insectoid, multifaceted headlight clusters though!

It wasn’t all about the mainstream: GTA’s updated Spano and Spyker’s Aileron were joined by newcomers Arash, Sin, Vencer and Tauro – and Mexico’s rival to the BAC Mono, the Vühl 05, also came out to play.

Though despite a parking lot worth tens of millions, one of the cars that made people smile the most was the Twizy RenaultSport F1. It uses a KERS system from F1, and equipped with slicks and an extreme aero pack is as fast as the quickest Renault road car! Go-kart meets lawnmower meets F1.

Volkswagen’s XL1 was another runner in The Future’s Now; I love the way that it seems to pick up on those space age concepts of the ’50s. I asked a passenger who had just had a ride up the hill what it was like. His response was simply this: “The torque!”

Though it wasn’t all about big boys’ toys: in the large market area were plenty of diversions.

So many supercars, so little time. For me it was time to get dusty and head up the hill to the Forest Rally Stage, and a date with a Skoda Fabia rallycar…
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Старый 21.07.2013   #4
Kosov
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I’m sure that if you really wanted to, it would be possible to argue that there’s not really a lot going for the Goodwood Festival Of Speed. You could complain that maybe the F1 cars that come out to play aren’t necessarily the absolute latest evolutions…

That the hill climb is a single short and narrow piece of tarmac that meanders up a not very steep hill.

There are only a couple of corners. This poster shows the course, which doesn’t look like much of a serious hillclimb, does it?

Straw bales for barriers show the agricultural nature of the land we tramp over for four days a year.

So why is it that on each of those four days of the Festival me and 150,000 other people make the pilgrimage down to the country pile of Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, to press ourselves up against the barriers and stew under the sun of a July in heat?

Oh yes. It’s coming back to me. It’s because Festival Of Speed is the most incredible automotive event on the planet. Where else do you get to be hip-to-cockpit with a Porsche 917K?

Or to ogle at some of the most impressive or important cars there have been?

It’s the fact that the 1.16-mile long strip of narrow tarmac snakes its way uphill with barely any run-off. The ascent is deceptively challenging (how about being confronted with a sold flint wall halfway up?), plus it’s tackled by cars spanning well over 100 years of automotive history. Some of which are priceless and irreplaceable. And mostly driven by racing drivers, who are of course maniacs.

One minute you’re being parped at by a 1902 Renault Type K, just about to be overtaken by Stirling Moss in his W196…

…then your ears are struggling to comprehend the lack of aural assault as the fastest electric-powered car in the world, Paul Lord Drayson’s Lola B12/69EV LMP, scythes past at an impossible speed given its silence. One hundred and eleven years of progress in front of you. It’s like a petrolhead’s dream made real.

The Festival is about being able to see the almost-melted radiator configuration of a modern Formula 1 car…

… which sits just 20 metres away from F1 cars at the other end of the championship’s spectrum in age.

It’s that juxtaposition that captivates me – and I’m sure all the other people who attend: fans, teams and drivers alike. For me, the Goodwood Festival Of Speed is also about education. Education in the most enjoyable sense and in the most important things: the three automotive Rs: road, racing, rally.

In this opening story on the 2013 Festival Of Speed I’m going to concentrate on the racing side of the displays. It’s almost pointless to say everything is ‘impressive’ or ‘stunning’ or whatever – you quickly run out of superlatives at FOS.

The joy starts as soon as you arrive on site through one of the many entrances. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose; you could arrive into the modern metal of the Moving Motor Show, the rally stage or into the main Formula 1 paddock. Cars suddenly appear as crowds part at marshals whistle blasts, and another incredible machine is wheeled past, either on its way back to its temporary paddock home or moving to the formation area to go out on the hill.

It’s rare that manufacturers bring but a single car to Goodwood. In fact, more often than not they open their vaults, load the trucks, boats or cargo planes and bring platoons of cars across. For instance, Toyota had all three generations of their TS Le Mans sports prototypes: 1992′s TS010, 1998′s TS020 GT-One and this year’s TS030 Hybrid.

It’s like the car world’s Crown Jewels are brought out into the open, for everyone to see and experience. The chances of walking into a top F1 or sportscar teams headquarters unannounced and expecting to be able to poke round a bit and have a chat with the drivers isn’t really going to happen. But at Goodwood there are few restrictions and even fewer barriers.

It could be a normally untouchable supercar, a 50-year-old sports racer, a century-old vintage ground-breaker or anything in between. You get to examine them from every angle, talk to the team and maybe get an autograph from a driver…

… then half an hour later you can see and hear that same machine howling up the hill, and be one of the thousands of people performing a virtual Mexican Wave of heads, snapping to follow the car’s progress as it passes.

Even more exciting is padding around the packed paddocks and being confronted with something you’ve never seen before. Sure, there are some cars that you almost expect to be at Goodwood, but there are far more that you not only don’t expect, and had likely never even heard of. I don’t know about you, but that just makes me want to find out more. For instance, Ferrari’s ill-starred Indy racer from 1952.

Next door, this glowing Bioshock-style racer was unsurprisingly gathering a large crowd all day (there are advantages of waiting right until evening for a final paddock sweep if you want to get clear shots). This is the Miller Aerodynamic Coupé, nicknamed the ‘Golden Submarine’. It’s a replica of a speedway special built for showman Harry Miller in 1916, built up around the single surviving engine, which is always a hit on its rare appearances.

Then there’s the Milliken MX1 ‘Camber Car’. Built in 1960 as an experiment, it has an exaggerated 22-degree camber, which increases lateral force from 0.8 to 1g. I quote: “The idea is to combine the camber thrust mechanism used to produce cornering grip on motorcycles with the slip angle approach used in conjunction with the steering input of traditional cars so as to increase the tyre’s lateral grip capability beyond conventional levels.”

Another car to challenge lateral grip beyond conventional levels was Ford’s 1995 Transit Supervan 3, which features a C100 Group C chassis and a Cosworth Pro Sports 3000 V6 beneath. It was one of the fastest vehicles timed on the hill over the weekend.

In 1973 Ferrari tested the extreme 312 B3S ‘Spazzaneve’ (‘Snowplough’) prototype for F1. The big intakes and integrated wing combined with the ultra-wide bodywork was more like cars of several years down the line. Jacky Ickx drove the car, but it was never raced. Not necessarily beautiful in the Ferrari tradition, there’s still something about it. Maybe Ferrari Red covers all sins?

And then, did you know that the Wacky Races cartoon was apparently based on real life? No, nor did I. Forty five years on, they’re still demonstrating ‘The most extreme cheating ever seen in motorsport’. Now, did I imagine that I saw F1 designers sneaking a look at these machines? Surely not.

FOS has very much become the place to launch cars in the raw after soft static launches at regular motor shows. Goodwood provided the proof that the Bentley GT3 is not only alive and kicking, but also noisy and fast! I can’t wait to see this brute at the races.

Another of my favourite traditions at Goodwood is when teams bring their cars straight from the previous month’s Le Mans 24 Hours preserved in their non-pristine, just-about-survived condition. Save the polish for the (admittedly awe-inspiring) Cartier Style Et Luxe enclosure; this is where you get to see racing cars having done what they’re supposed to do – showing the purist scars of their most recent encounter. The flies are so fresh you can almost taste the race.

And for fresh from a race, we had not one, but two 208 T16s: one demo vehicle, which was next to Adrian Newey’s X1 ‘future F1′ concept…

… and then the 875hp, twin turbo Pikes Peak rocketship in the flesh, which was tackling the hill. Everything about it is just so extreme, just as a proper Pikes Peak car should be…

… and exactly in the mould of its famous predecessor, the 405 T16 from 1988, which was next door to the 208 in the Cathedral Paddock.

FOS is always deliberately timed to not clash with an F1 race, hence the number of teams that regularly turn out. Yet despite the size and importance of the event, it somehow still manages to retain its low-key atmosphere, and you quickly get used to catching glimpses of well-known faces. It’s that misplaced familiarity of seeing people on the TV, and then thinking that you actually know them…

Drivers stroll through the paddocks, happily signing autographs and smiling for pictures; here’s WTCC veteran champion Gabriele Tarquini for instance. It’s massively refreshing for all involved: drivers turn up because they want to, therefore there’s none of the hiding away you so often get at regular races.

Seventeen F1 race winners from every era were at Goodwood this year, just some of a list of famous drivers too long to name individually who arrived over the weekend. Some were paired with famous cars, as with René Arnoux and his 1977 Renault RS01, the first turbocharged F1 car…

… and Nelson Piquet would be reunited with his arrow-sharp, wickedly fast Brabham BT52 turbo that carried him to the world title in 1983.

Those no longer with us were celebrated through their cars, like Ayrton Senna, whose legend was represented by the 1986 Lotus Renault 98T.

But enduring legends like Stirling Moss continue to delight Festival fans year-in, year-out, still taking his old cars up the hill to the cheers of the crowd.

It’s become de rigeur for current F1 drivers to pitch up; word seems to have spread about that relaxed atmosphere I’ve already mentioned, allaying the fears of all but the most publicity shy. Often they’re present to drive their own day-job machinery, but just as frequently they get their hands on something completely different. Adrian Sutil was at the wheel of the Martini-liveried Group 6 Porsche 936 sportscar…

… which had French sportscar legend Henri Pescarolo leaning up against it at one stage…

… before the car’s ‘owner’, in the winning sense, Jacky Ickx, was back where he belonged on the Saturday. 2013 seems to be a particularly strong year for anniversaries and celebrations. McLaren and the Porsche 911 are 50, the World Rally Championship was inaugurated 40 years ago, it’s Martini’s 150th birthday (it first sponsored a racing car 45 years ago) – and the Festival itself is 20 years old.

Riccardo Patrese headed out in his 1979 BMW M1 Procar from the one-make series that supported F1 through ’79 and ’80 .

I was particularly pleased to see touring car and BMW specialist Steve Soper back behind the wheel as he’d retired from racing following an accident in the BTCC in 2001. I was even more happy that he was in the 1999 Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR, which I saw win the race at the first 24 Hours I attended.

Like Audi’s R18 this year, this car was driven up the hill in ’99 just weeks after winning at Le Mans.

Martini stripes weren’t the only famous stripes adorning famous Porsche sportscars, although the slightly over-zealous censorship of the classic Rothmans livery seemed a shame…

… especially when there were so many other Porsches which had no such problem.

Talking of Porsches, there was no less than a trio of 917Ks. To see one is special, so I needed a little sit-down after seeing three in quick succession.

Oh, and both Bentley Speed 8 LMGTPs from 2003 were present, firing up the hill in close formation.

The Bentley was a beautiful design 10 years ago, and I don’t think it would look out of place on a modern LMP grid. In fact, maybe Toyota got its idea for the rear wheel arch wing ‘extensions’ from the decade-old Bentley!

Smoke and thunder naturally came courtesy of the American contingent, with a clutch of contemporary NASCAR machinery hammering up the hill.

Back in the Cathedral Paddock, their precursor by 50 years was represented by this Ford Galaxie 500, which dwarfed the European tin-tops that lined up next to it. The awning simply wasn’t wide enough to accommodate all 280 feet of it (that’s a rough measurement)…

The Festival is all about surprise and opposites, and there could be few things less the opposite of a NASCAR than the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Le Mans Coupé. That epithet was no throwaway title, because despite its classic concours looks the streamliner was designed to win at Le Mans in 1938. It had a 100-mile lead when a dropped valve forced the car into retirement, handing the win to Delahaye.

Going to the Festival Of Speed is easy. Trying to decide what to show you after is far more difficult, and even more frustrating is what you realise you’ve missed when checking through the programme for references. There really is that much on that even four days isn’t enough to take it all in.
Next up, I’ll look at the second of the Rs: the road-going contingent, followed by celebrations of Martini, McLaren and the 911, and then we’ll take a trip to the top of the hill and the awesome rally stage. I think I left what little wits I had left in the passenger seat of Robert Barrable’s S2000 Skoda Fabia…
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