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Don't blink or you'll miss these racers at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Finally, the time has come for the 2021 Festival of Speed after a painfully long two-year hiatus. We’ll be reporting through this live blog on all the most mouth-watering metal and exciting action to emerge from Goodwood, scroll down for the full event!

Day 4

It's not just about the machines. Goodwood Festival of Speed is all about the people, and we have certainly missed catching up with everyone in the last 12 months. Damon Hill, Gordon Murray, Paul Stewart, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Simon Kidston and Marino Franchitti all seemed to be in a very relaxed mood as they soaked up the atmosphere that makes Goodwood such a special place to be.


One of the true gents of the Formula 1 paddock, it’s always great to see Karun Chandhok back behind the wheel of the Williams-Cosworth FW08 with its iconic green and white Saudia livery. Always spectacular at Goodwood is Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, seen above enjoying a lively run in the 1935 Frazer Nash Shelsley Single Seater. Elswhere around the paddocks we have been absorbing the details such as the gorgeous exhausts of the 1923 Delage Bequet.


If you’re a fan of Stuttgart’s finest, then Goodwood is really delivering this weekend. Racing legends such as the Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ and the 1969 917K are the reasons why so many of us lust after a modern 911. Increasingly the modern interpretations such as the Singer DLS and Lanzante’s epic 930 TAG Turbo project have us frantically working out which body parts we could sell to fund our dream car.


As the weekend comes to a finish there’s been so many highlights. The shear breadth of motorised vehicles on the hill is simply unrivalled. Where else can you see such a fine selection of vehicles covering over 100 years. A welcome return to some kind of normality, fast cars, great people and typical British weather! To pick a favourite of the weekend is simply impossible, we need a bigger garage so we can take a few things home with us!


Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 at the 2021 Festival of Speed! Yesterday we showed you the vast array of cars on display here at the festival, so today we'll be heading over to the Forest Rally Stage to soak up some of the mud and hopefully catch a few Scandi flicks, no not adult films - oversteer of course! We'll also be bringing you samples of the freshest metal at the Supercar Paddock, as well as some of the highlights from the Cartier Lawn. It's going to be a typically thrilling day here at Goodwood, so check back to ensure you don't miss out. 


For the energetic few that make the walk up the Goodwood Hill and passed the intimidating flint wall, they will be rewarded with the often overlooked, rally stage. A twisty challenge in the dry and even more treacherous when it rains and the Sussex chalk get slippery. Thankfully on Friday afternoon the forest was a welcome retreat from the beating sun and a chance to see some iconic rally cars kick up dust. But what would you choose to tackle the rally stage. The Ford Escort Mk1 is probably the perfect balance of size and performance all channelled through the rear wheels. Maybe the the rain though it's all about the 4WD.


With the change of weather at Goodwood it’s time to warm things up. So how about a flame from the ‘Beast of Turin’ Fiat S76. Or maybe a trio of hot Porsches, two Singer DLS in perfect shades of green and the all-new Porsche 992 GT3 Touring. If you still need warming up, then perhaps a seat in the mighty Ferrari Monza SP2, that 6.5 litre V12 is sure to dry things out.


We should take time to say a huge thank you to the 11th Duke of Richmond. One mans’ dream has revolutionised how we consume our enjoyment of the automobile. For so long we simply attended static car displays until that first Festival of Speed in 1993, when our senses were treated to an overwhelming display of action that to this day still feels special. Thank you Charles, from all of us at Classic Driver.


How do you brighten up a dull day? Stick Daniel Ricciardo in one of Ayrton Senna’s old McLaren Formula 1 cars. We are guessing Ricciardo is deep in thought as to if he should attempt one of his legendary ‘shoey’ moments when he gets to the top of the Goodwood Hill. We say yes!


Action on the hill is still fast and furious, the cars have done their best to dry the course out ahead of the Shoot Out. Coming up shortly a hand-picked selection of cars will try to put down the fastest time of the day. Yesterday Justin Law in the Jaguar XJR 12D was the fastest up the hill in just over 46 seconds. Who will be fastest today?


As usual the big action of the day was saved for the shoot out. Today the cars would qualify for their starting order for tomorrows final shoot out. The majority of the hill had dried out apart from around the flint wall and under the tress, causing some quite exciting moments. Jack Tetley who was in fine form in his 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, was on course for a great time until a rather large moment hampered his time. But it was an impressive display of car control to ensure he made it to the top of the hill. With the tricky conditions it was unsurprising that Travis Pastrana would take the fastest time of the day with a 48.10 in his Subaru Impreza WRX.


Day 2

It's great to be back here at Goodwood with the sun streaming down and the tyres screeching as a traditional game of elevenses is played along the Start Straight this Friday. The crowds are out in full force today, and it's easy to understand why. Who would want to miss the chance of catching a glimpse of a trio of iconic Porsche racers? Equally magnificent of a spectacle was one of the first drift runs up the hill, it would be difficult to miss the enormous wing on that LS6-powered dodge charger, even if it wasn't completely sideways. Stay tuned for more to come! 


It's a good day when you see two legendary Audis streaming up the hill. With this 1985 Sport Quattro S1 E2 and 1997 A4 Quattro both putting their famously effective four wheel drive systems to use, they may not be the smokiest runs up the hill today, but you have to admire the ruthless efficiency of these German racers. As for our pick of the two, it was always going to be the S1! 

Our tame photographer, Rob Cooper, has been hard at work running around the festival snappping the best moments of action this Friday. However, it's these detail shots that had us thinking: of all the iconic liveries on display this weekend, which is the best looking? The words Martini Lancia or Gulf Porsche go together like nut paste and fruit conserve, but the simplicity of a good Marlboro livery is incredibly tough to outshine. If you had to wrap your pride and joy, would you go for one of the big three mentioned above, or something a little more obscure?

It would appear ducktails and fender-flares are the order of the day over in Kimera Automobili's corner of the festival. Seeing the EVO37 in the flesh is certainly a sight to behold, but this is just a glimpse of what's to come this weekend. We've got something very special planned with the EVO37, so be sure to check back so you don't miss out! 

Cars are sometimes described as scary to drive, but rarely does the mere presence of a vehicle strike fear in the hearts of those in its vacinity. The Beast of Turin, perhaps the most intimidating car at the 2021 Festival of Speed, is one such automobile. As our photographer experienced first hand, not only is its size rather frightening, but so is its propensity to spit flames from its massive 28 litre 4 cylinder engine. Thankfully Rob lived to tell the tale, escaping with just a few singed arm hairs. 
It has been an amazing, sunny Friday here at Goodwood, with so much variety that we can barely decide what to focus on. One minute you're gawping at a Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder flying by, and before you've had time to collect yourself, perhaps that car's polar opposite shouts its way up the hill in the form of a light green ERA A-type R3A. We're only halfway through this year's Festival of Speed and there will be plenty more to come tomorrow, so make sure you don't miss any updates! 

Day 1

With so much excitement unfolding over the weekend, it’s quite easy to end up lost in a far corner of the Goodwood estate staring at an obscure prototype in a petrol-fuelled blissful daze. That’s why we always like start by catching our bearings at arguably the focal point of the event: the Central Feature in front of Goodwood House, inspired by this year’s manufacturer of honour, Lotus. The Central Feature, dubbed the ‘Lotus Aeroad’, celebrates the launch of both their Evija EV hypercar and the recently announced Emira, which will be the last combustion-engined vehicle built by the historic marque. In keeping with Colin Chapman’s famous mantra, “Simplify, then add lightness”, this year, the sculpture notably lacks any actual cars. Instead, an interactive app can be used to get the full immersive experience. 


As for the other new metal breaking cover at the festival, we made a beeline for the stunning Maserati MC20, perhaps the most exciting car to bear the trident since the MC12, which is making its UK debut here at Goodwood. The much-anticipated GR86 is also on display to the public for the first time, along with BMW’s second-generation 2 Series. But which new cars are we most excited for? The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm is a firm favourite and easily our pick of the saloons at the festival, but the outright winner has to be a tie between the bombastic Kimera EVO37, and the otherworldly Aston Martin Valkyrie. Be sure to check back later for an exclusive on that bewitching Kimera! 


There are plenty of new road cars to get your pulse racing on Day 1, but the racers are what it’s all about. Everyone and their mechanic has their eyes set on topping the boards in the Timed Shoot-Out, but one unique hopeful that caught our attention is MissionH24’s LMPH2G endurance racer. With a four-stack hydrogen fuel cell providing the juice to it’s quad-motor setup, this cutting edge racer puts out just over 625hp and can reach a top speed 185mph, making it one to keep an eye on. Scuderia Glickenhaus are another strong contender; their sleek SCG 007 LMH certainly looks the part, so it will be interesting to see just how quickly it can climb the hill, especially with Romain Dumas behind the wheel. Lastly, a factory fresh 992-gen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is a competitor even the teams fielding Le Mans prototypes are worrying about. 


As with last year’s virtual FOS, this year a host of Rally Legends, both mechanical and fleshy, are strutting their stuff on and off the tarmac. Girardo & Co. are fielding two Citroens that look set to steal the show: the bonkers 1994 ZX Rallye Raid, and the legendary 2008 WRC-winning C4, both driven by Max Girardo. What’s more, living icon Sébastien Loeb is putting Prodrive’s new Ian Callum-designed BRX Hunter to the test. It would be remiss not to recommend checking out the 8 rally legends, here courtesy of Fondazione Gino Macaluso, especially the be-snorkeled Fiat X1/9 ‘Rallye’.  However, that’s really just a fraction of the all-terrain weapons set to clash here at Goodwood this weekend, and we’ll be providing an in-depth look at many of them over the next few days. 


We’ll be here at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed all weekend providing you with action-packed updates, so be sure to check back right here to avoid missing anything this weekend!


Photos by Rob Cooper