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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2003 - Preview

‘Festival of Speed – The First Decade’. In 2003 the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates its tenth anniversary, and in celebration of this important milestone the Festival will focus on some of the most memorable highlights from the ten events to date, with the field of cars and motorcycles representing some of the ‘greatest hits’. Around 200 of the world’s greatest cars, drivers, bikes and riders from around the globe – including everything from Edwardian racers to Group B rally cars and the latest Formula 1 machinery – will return to Goodwood to ensure that the 10th anniversary Festival is by far the best yet. Nowhere else in the world can you experience such a rich mixture of motor racing heroes from past and present.

Riggle returns – ultimate drag-racing showman back by popular demand. Arguably the single most memorable vehicle ever to have taken to the Goodwood hillclimb is the wheel-standing Plymouth Barracuda ‘Hurst Hemi Under Glass’ of all-American drag-racing hero Bob Riggle. No one who visited the Festival in 2001 could forget the extraordinary sight and sound of Bob performing 100-metre wheelies in front of Goodwood House in his 1100bhp car, leaving a trail of sparks glowing in his wake. Bob has agreed to return with the Barracuda this year for more of his unique antics – he is sure to receive a hero’s welcome.

Formula One – the world’s best cars and drivers. The Festival of Speed’s unique ability to attract the top works Formula One teams is its key strength, and already six teams have confirmed attendance in 2003. Nowhere else in the world can you get so close to the latest and greatest cars and drivers. This year, Goodwood will throng to the sound of the latest McLaren-Mercedes, Williams-BMW, BAR-Honda, Toyota, Renault and Jordan-Ford in action on the hill. Due to their busy schedules, it’s not yet decided exactly which drivers will run and on which days,

The fastest Goodwood drivers go head-to-head. Formula 1 star and Goodwood hillclimb record holder Nick Heidfeld has been given special permission by the Sauber F1 team to drive the McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 in which he set a record time of 41.6 seconds in 1999. Challenging him will be Pikes Peak record holder Rod Millen, who set the fastest time of 2002 in his 800bhp 1990 Toyota Celica. Rod has vowed to return in 2003 with ‘something even quicker’ – the turbocharged 900bhp Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck which he hillclimbs in his native New Zealand.

Chaparrals head a mouth-watering collection of competition cars from the USA. Over the years the Festival has established an enviable reputation for attracting some of the USA’s most spectacular racing machinery. Arguably the most memorable cars of all were Jim Hall’s magnificent Chaparral sports-racing cars, which made their first (and only) visit to Europe for a generation for the Festival in 1997. Jim and his number one driver Phil Hill will return to Goodwood this year with the trend-setting 2E and 2F, the high-winged sports cars that pioneered the use of aerofoils in motor racing. It is hoped that the 2J ‘sucker car’ will join them. Every year around 20 competition cars are shipped in exclusively for the Festival, and more than ever are expected in this anniversary year. Notable returnees from the USA include the fabulous Howmet TX gas turbine car that caused a sensation at Le Mans and set a world speed record of 194mph; the gigantic 14-litre FIAT S76 Grand Prix car that won the French GP in 1911; and the distinctive Bugatti Type 57G Tank, which won every race it entered in 1937/8.

Spectacular early cars. The Festival is unique in bringing together the rarest and most important cars from the beginnings of motor sport history – cars which are hardly ever seen in action elsewhere. The following Festival favourites are making a welcome return:

  • 1902 Napier Gordon Bennett – Britain’s first International race winner.
  • 1908 Panhard et Levassor GP – Magnificent chain-drive charger built for French GP.
  • 1913 Peugeot L45 – standard-setting GP car with revolutionary dohc engine that re-inve.nted the petrol engine.
  • 1917 Miller Aerodynamic Coupe – we hope that the first car built by Harry Miller, a fabulous streamlined coupe known as the ‘Golden Submarine’, will return.
  • 1922 Leyat Helica – bizarre propellor-driven car, now restored after being commandeered by the German army during WW2 and immediately crashed into a tree.
  • 1923 Avions Voisin C6 Laboratoire – striking recreation of the world’s first monocoque GP car.
  • 1933 Napier Railton – perpetual lap record holder at Brooklands at 143.44mph, setting more than 40 speed records with John Cobb.
  • As well as returning favourites, there will also be some new additions, including the recently restored Sunbeam Indianapolis built to contest the 1915 Indy 500.

    Porsche remembers an unparalleled record on the track and 40 Years of the 911 on the road. The Festival habitually features a breathtaking array of famous Porsche sports cars and 2003 will be no exception. The company’s own museum will provide a collection of cars to run alongside privately-entered machinery, including:

  • 1970 Porsche 917K – the car that launched Porsche’s unprecedented run of success at Le Mans and a great Festival favourite.
  • 1970 Porsche 908/3 – lightweight Porsche built for the Targa Florio and Nurburgring.
  • 1973 Porsche 917/30 – the world’s most powerful sports car is a long-standing favourite with the Goodwood crowd, especially in the hands of Derek Bell.
  • 1977 Porsche 936/77 spyder – the famous Le Mans spyder is synonymous with Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx, who will be back at Goodwood to drive it.
  • 1977 Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ – the Festival would not be the same without the arguably the most distinctive racing Porsche of all time.
  • 1983 Porsche 956 – the Rothmans Porsches dominated Le Mans during the 1980s.
  • 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 – Porsche’s most recent winner at Le Mans will hopefully be driven by winner Allan McNish, now a Formula 1 test driver for Renault.
  • Also, the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ will feature a class of all the landmark 911 road cars to celebrate ‘40 Years of the 911’. The Festival will also hopefully be a chance to see the sensational new Carrera GT supercar in action perhaps with its best driver Walter Rohrl at the wheel.

    Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ – 50 cars celebrate the art of automobile design. The Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ automobile design competition – supported this year by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited - continues to grow in popularity, and 2003 will be no exception. A class of each landmark Porsche sports cars will recognise ‘40 Years of the 911’, and Chevrolet Corvettes from Europe and the USA will come together to celebrate ‘50 Years of the Corvette’. As ever, magnificent 1930s Grand Routier cars will feature and, with Rolls-Royce having recently introduced its stunning new Phantom – which is assembled in a fabulous new factory on the Goodwood Estate – the ‘Style et Luxe’ will also look back at the new car’s illustrious forebears with a class dedicated to the Rolls-Royce Phantom dynasty. The ‘Style et Luxe’ is always full of surprises, and this year will be no exception. There will be a class for classic British stock cars, and even a wonderful array of beach cars. For further information please refer to the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ press release.

    Supercar Run will be better than ever. The Supercar Run for the latest production and planned production road cars will provide the first public showing of the new Bristol Fighter. Joining it will be Lamborghini’s new smaller supercar, P140, and the latest offerings from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, BMW, Chevrolet, Renault, Toyota, Nissan, TVR, Pagani, Noble, Morgan, Lotus, Ferrari and Maserati to say nothing of myriad specialist manufacturers.

    The Goodwood Festival of Speed is held at Goodwood House on 11,12,13 July 2003. Advance tickets can be purchased from the office TEL 01243 755055, FAX 01243 755058. Or -
    For full details of all the events at Goodwood please visit their excellent website

    Story: Goodwood Events. Photos; John Colley