Goodwood Festival of Speed 2005 - Review



Lord March and the Goodwood Events team proved once again that late June is Festival-time. It’s an unwise motoring enthusiast that misses the annual celebration of all things automotive, old and new.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘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 the Racing Green of Britain could be seen in its many variations, from deep and plain on Bentleys and D-Type Jaguars, to the wonderful medium metallic Aston version of the 1959 Le Mans winner, and the two works cars from the previous weekend’s race that were so unlucky just an hour or so from the finish. A feature of this year’s Goodwood was the number of small-engined French sports-racing cars from René Bonnet, Alpine and Matra equipped with wings, fins and aerodynamic long-tail bodywork fit for the annual Vingt Quatre Heures and their particular indices. These are totally unique and while they may pop up at the Le Mans Classic, it’s only at Goodwood that such an extensive selection is usually seen. Needless to say Italian car enthusiasts were treated to a sea of red from Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati.

The organisers rather cheekily stated that "Goodwood boasts bigger F1 line-up than United States Grand Prix" and of course they were absolutely correct with 1,000s of true Grand prix aficionados allowed access to their heroes that a visit to a ‘proper’ GP would never permit. In addition to the modern single-seaters there were Moto GP motorcycles, touring cars and of course modern supercars in the ever-popular ‘Supercar Run’. Having turned down a chance to drive a 612 Scaglietti in this this year, I was slightly kicking myself late Friday afternoon as it’s the manufacturer’s big chance to showcase their products in the most beautiful backdrop possible. Debutants this year were the Aston Martin V8 Vantage making its first live-action showing, and Alfa Romeo with the exciting Brera Coupé, not to mention the amazing 21st Century take on the Maserati Birdcage by Pininfarina - see separate story.



New for 2005 was the addition of a rally stage near the top of the hill and this certainly had the desired effect of thinning down the crowds in the paddocks a little. While the weather may have been a little warm for the obligatory woolly hat, an anorak would have been handy on Friday afternoon as the heavens opened, accompanied by prodigious thunder and lightning. Despite this, and due to meticulous planning borne of years of sometimes inclement weather, the event went on with all walkways in the main arena preserved by metal pathways. Of the static displays, "The ultimate expression of the bespoke road-going GT" accolade was given to the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, a worthy winner of this year's Cartier Style et Luxe, while various dioramas showed the history of the small-block Chevrolet be it surfing, in Hot Rods, or under the bonnet of an Iso Grifo.

The Festival is no longer about fastest times, as so many cars are run in (very fast) demonstration runs only, but Goodwood regular Justin Law, driving a ‘Silk Cut’ Jaguar XJR12 won FTD with a 49.22 secs, just pipping Anthony Reid in a Nissan Primera Touring Car on 51.22 secs. Elsewhere, on the Friday Bonhams successfully auctioned over £4 million of automobilia and motor cars including £1.32 million for the 1933 Bugatti Type 59. They also announced two more exciting GP Bugattis for the Revival Sale in September. See separate story.



The next date for your diary is the Revival Race Meeting at the Goodwood Circuit in September. As in 2004, all days will be for advance ticket holders only - no tickets will be for sale on the gate.

It will be held from 16 - 18 September 2005 and as usual we will be previewing it extensively in late August, including our usual in-car experiences on Press Day.

To book your tickets for the Revival, please either telephone the Booking Office on +44 1243 755055 or buy on-line by visiting the Online Shopping & Tickets section of www.goodwood.co.uk. You will also find the latest news and press releases for this and the Festival.

Story: Steve Wakefield

Photos by Roger Dixon - all strictly copyright.

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