Goodwood is a name which is synonymous with the world of motor sport. It possesses a history dating back to the 1930s. This year the organisers of the festival have commissioned the London based artist Gerry Judah to create a sculpture for Porsche that represents speed and dynamism. The result is a spectacular gravity defying work which incorporates three actual 911 Porsche cars in an arial acrobatic display. The installation which resembles an airforce flyby is 35 metres high and weighs over 22 tonnes.
The main ‘Central Feature’ of the festival displayed prominently outside Goodwood House is dedicated to the class of road and racing 911s, covering all seven generations of the iconic sports car. The 911 has played a key role in helping to put the Festival of Speed on the map over the last 20 years. Whether appearing in action in road and race form on the testing 1.16-mile Goodwood Hillclimb, spitting gravel sideways around the Forest Rally Stage, or sitting serenely static yet inviting on the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours lawn or Porsche exhibition stand.
In 50 years of Porsche the 911 has been at the very heart of the Porsche brand for the past five decades. Few other sports cars in the world can look back on such a long tradition and continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts the world over since its debut as the model 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show at Frankfurt in September 1963. Today the truly versatile 911 is considered by its many devoted fans to be the quintessential sports car, and the central point of reference for all other Porsche series, as each of the marque’s other models carry a piece of the 911’s philosophy.
In the summer of 1936 the Earl of March and 9th Duke of Richmond – better known as the talented automotive designer, engineer, racing driver and Brooklands winner Freddie March – held a private hillclimb for the Lancia Car Club at Goodwood House. He won it, naturally, and in doing so inspired his grandson, the present Earl of March, to create a new and exciting racing event at his family home.
The resulting event was the Festival of Speed. The inaugural event was held in the summer of 1993, and attracted 25,000 spectators. Today, the Festival of Speed has become firmly established as the must attend annual celebration of motoring culture. Its enduring popularity is now capped at 150,000 with admission stricly by advance ticket only. Visitors travel from all over the world to attend.
The event has expanded way beyond the hillclimb and now includes a host of other adrenaline-fuelled attractions. Today the Festival features a challenging loose-surface Forest Rally Stage, the high-speed Supercar Run, the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance, world debuts of new car models and the FoS-TECH technology pavilion with its advanced automotive technology displays.
Today the Festival of Speed’s extraordinary atmosphere and uniquely intoxicating blend of speed and drama makes it a must for everyone that relishes the prospect of getting up close to both the priceless vehicles and famous racing drivers, riders and celebrities.