The Goodwood Festival of Speed makes the Monterey Historics look like a VARA club weekend. A couple years ago I received a last minute invitation to attend. Considering there would only be myself and 100,000 of my closest friends in attendance, I figured it was worth a look. Good luck getting a look. While the Earl of March's spread is impressive by any standard, it none the less was groaning under the strain of a huge audience. It took carefull planning and/or sheer persistence to get up close to anything. Would I recommend the event? Absolutely. I hope to see the Goodwood Revival some day as well.

1924 Mercedes Targa Florio

It was Mercedes year at Goodwood, so the Daimler folks had all sorts of goodies on display.

 

and Pre War GP Cars

There is nothing on earth like the sound of old Mercedes race motors. They're angry. What must the Italians have thought as the German juggernaught swept their once dominant cars off the track

From pre war to post war and then GTP, when Mercedes has raced, their cars have always dominated. I read somewhere once the three pointed logo stands for sea, air and land. I wonder if Helmutt told the drivers of the late GTP cars "Ja! You drive over ze bump und you vil see air, und zen land...in ze voods." Sadly for motorsports, Mercedes successes have been accompanied by some incredible dissasters.
Goodwood draws the heavy hitters. All the top Formula 1 teams are in attendance, as are the major manufacturers. The crowds made it difficult to move through the pits. The photos I got were a combination of circumstance and the fact I only had a small flash card for the ole digicam. Next time I'll know better.

Ferrari Formula 1

At a show like this, none of the teams bring current spec cars in a high state of tune. The difference in engine note was obvious. At actual F1 events the teams fall all over themselves in an effort to cover the important bits like fron and rear wings. This being a spectator event, they have to let you see something.

Even detuned for a romp up a driveway, they are still impressive. One of the teams, not Ferrari, allowed their technical director to have a go up the hill. I wish I could remember who it was. He launched off the line and almost immediately turned hard right into the hay bales. The driver was unhurt, but the team had one less car in the stable.

Usually its the test drivers who star at Goodwood, although a few of the main drivers will always attend. As I recall, Juan Pablo Montoya had his BMW Williams singing and dancing up the hill.

Bentley Le Mans Prototype

Certainly we would all like to think the "boys from Crewe" are out testing new British technology. Sadly, the truth is the boys from VW asked their Audi race division to rebadge an Audi coupe and label it Bentley. As the Audi versions had an annoying habit of going Mercedes (see air, then land in the woods) it was just as well to make them look different once the aerodymics were fixed. Whatever the truth, its great to see good looking closed cockpit prototypes at Le Mans.