The 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed - Preview

Spring had well and truly sprung on the beautiful Goodwood Estate this week. Press Day for the Festival is always special, and what better way to celebrate than alongside Ferrari Maserati UK’s Chief Driving Instructor Enrico Bertaggia?

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Racing Colours - National pride and Culture’, essentially what makes the cars and motorcycles of different countries so typical of their makers’ cultures, passions and skills. So expect to see ‘Made in Great Britain’ showcasing racing cars from the 1930s Blower Bentley to Aston Martin’s latest DBR9, all driven by motoring legends such as Sir Stirling Moss, Derek Bell and current BAR F1 driver Jenson Button. France will have its Bugattis, Renaults and Matras (with Alain Prost set to make his Festival debut), while Germany will be represented by Mercedes, Porsche and BMW, with regular Festival supporters Jochen Mass, Hans Stuck and Jo Winkelhock. Likewise Ferraris, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos from Italy and some of the crowd’s favourite US saloon, GT, sports racing and Indy cars from the USA. For many people in Europe the Festival is the only chance to see the Trans Am and Can Am cars from ‘over the pond’.

Modern cars are a big feature of the event in the Sunday Times ‘Driving’-sponsored Supercar Run. Intended as a chance for the public to get close to the very latest production, and planned production, road cars it’s expected that amongst others the new Aston Martin AMV8, Geneva’s Maserati Birdcage concept car, the Shelby GR-1, BMW M6 and Porsche Carrera GT will be present. And it’s the Supercar Run that brings us back to our opening paragraph...

The Ferrari F430 ‘on the hill’

This was the first time Ferrari’s latest mid-engined Supercar had been driven in the UK and your Editor was in the privileged position of being the first journalist to be chauffeured in a very new RHD car. Around 400 cars will arrive in the UK this year (both Coupé and Spider) and the successor to the 360 Modena features an all-new 4,300cc V8 pushing out a tidy 490bhp. The car tops out at 196mph, covering the 0 - 62mph in just four seconds. Ex-F1 driver Enrico Bertaggia was in charge of the F1-gearbox equipped car, and in true Latin spirit neither he nor the F430 disappointed. It was reassuring to learn from Enrico that the best way of driving the car is to leave the electronics alone (it has the ‘Manettino’ steering-wheel suspension and traction controls) and just let the car look after you. From the collecting area in front of the house down to the startline the scenery disappears in a blur while each gearchange is accompanied by ferocious acceleration. Careful to look after a new car, Enrico leaves the startline proper with some circumspection before opening up the motor and flashing through some of the lower gears.

The sharp left-hander beyond the house comes up so quickly, and from then on it’s a speed-restricted run to the top, past the famous flint wall and through the very fast top section. This is one seriously powerful car, with the most mellifluously fluid engine you could imagine. It’s also surprisingly spacious inside and despite being similar dimensions to the 360 appears more compact - I don’t know why. Worth trading up from a 360? Oh yes, for the engine alone, remember it has another 90 bhp and 85 Nm of torque. Roll on the ‘Run in June.

Back to things historic, regular Festival visitors will be re-assured that the sumptuous Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours (now in its 11th year) will feature entries as disparate as Edwardian Luxury Cars and a celebration of 50 Years of the Small Block Chevrolet, while the Soapbox competition has been rested and an innovation of a spectacular new 3 km ‘Forest Rally Stage introduced on the hillside above Goodwood House. Likely entries include the evergreen Mini Cooper S and Saab 96, through more contemporary machinery as the Lancia Delta Integrale and Subaru Impreza WRC. Spectators will be able to see the cars (driven by legends such as Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist) in the open at the top and bottom of the course. Another benefit will be to move the concentration of visitors away from the House and Paddocks.

And of course there’s the customary Bonhams Auction, that this year’s highlight will be the 1933 Bugatti Type 59, on the Friday, quality catering, plenty for the children to do - in short another Glorious Goodwood Festival.

Adrian Hamilton's magnificent 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport

1938 Bugatti Type 57SC 'Atlantique'

Tony Dron driving the 1986 Ferrari 288 GTO Evolution

1970 Martini Porsche 917K

Lord March and his daughter, Lady Alexandra Gordon Lennox, pose by the 1933 Bugatti Type 59, an entry in the Bonhams auction

Nick 'Pink Floyd' Mason's Ferraris; 1973 365 GTB/4 'Competizione' LM car and 2003 Enzo

As in 2004 all days of the Festival will be for advance ticket holders only - no tickets will be for sale on the gate.

The Festival is held at Goodwood House from Friday 24th June to Sunday 26th June inclusive.

To book your tickets for the Festival, please either telephone the Booking Office on +44 1243 755055 or buy on-line by visiting the Online Shopping & Tickets section of You will also find the latest news and press releases for this and the later Revival race meeting at Goodwood Circuit, to be held from 16 - 18 September 2005.

Story/Photos: Steve Wakefield
Main F430 Photo - Ferrari Maserati UK

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