GOODWOOD’S FESTIVAL OF SPEED CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

By Graeme Hurst with images courtesy of goodwood.com

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The world’s greatest celebration of motorsport wowed the crowds once again over the third weekend in July in a fitting, anniversary-packed tribute to mark 30 years of action at the world famous hillclimb in the United Kingdom.

First run in 1993, the Festival of Speed also celebrated a trio of 75th anniversaries: the dawn of racing at Goodwood, the founding of Porsche and the establishment of NASCAR. Also being honoured was the famous Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, which marks its centenary this year.

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As the celebrated marque, Porsche showcased an array of iconic models on the event’s much-anticipated central sculpture, which featured an 804, 963, 962 and a 356 – together with the 992 and 997 variations on the 911. Adding to the display was a parade of Porsches across the weekend, with everything from 1961 718/8 Spyder through to a 2023 963 blasting up the hill.

And being Goodwood, it wasn’t just the cars that thrilled showgoers: four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel was behind the wheel of a number of his personal race cars on the Sunday, including the ex-Nigel Mansell 1992 Williams FW14B and the ex-Ayrton Senna 1993 McLaren MP4/8.

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He was joined by current F1 drivers Oscar Piastri and Alex Albon, while Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team reserve driver Mick Schumacher gave the crowds an emotional moment when he got behind the wheel of his father’s 2011 Mercedes-AMG F1 car.

Other celebrity racers making an appearance included Ferrari’s Le Mans winners James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi and Miguel Molina, along with current Moto GP champion Francesco Bagnaia.

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And the thrills at Goodwood extended to the static displays: the popular Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance celebrated some incredible automotive design and elegance with the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award taken by a Gurney-Nutting-bodied 1937 Bentley 4 ¼-litre Rothschild Sedanca coupé, while auction house Bonhams marked 30 years of hosting a sale at the famous fixture with £10.65m of cars successfully going under the hammer.

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Top lot was the unique 2007 Koenigsegg CCGT GT1 Competition Coupé which sold for £3,3m. The sensational racer was created by the Swedish supercar company to compete at Le Mans, but never raced in anger thanks to a change in technical regulations.

Other notable highlights included the successful sale of two Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercars: a Roadster for £327,750 and a Coupé for £379,500. Also commanding strong money was a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that changed hands for £326,000 despite being in a dismantled state.

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