Every meeting seems to celebrate an anniversary or two these days, but Goodwood being Goodwood, its events recall more and on a grander scale than others. At this year’s Festival of Speed, held on 13-16 July (minus the loss of Saturday due high wind warnings), the spotlight fell on 100 years of Le Mans 24 hours, 75 years of Porsche, Lotus, NASCAR and the Goodwood circuit, plus 60 years of McLaren and an unbelievable 30 years of the Festival of Speed itself. John Whiteman reports…
The Le Mans parade was led by a 1923 Bentley 3 litre that started off that marque’s illustrious participation at the Sarthe and progressed through Alfa Romeo and Lagonda representing the 1930s before the war intervened. Starting the post-war era and making a welcome re-appearance at the Festival was the Collier Collection’s 1950 Cadillac Series 61, dubbed ‘Le Monstre’ by the French, with Jaguar D-type and Ferrari 250 TR further representing the ‘50s and Ford GT40 and Ferrari 512S the ‘60s.
Throughout the 1970s Matra-Simca and Alpine-Renault still vied with privateers driving the likes of the Lola De Cadenet, with its original pilot Desire Wilson, and Ferrari 512 BB LM to the ultimate prize for the French, a win for local Le Mans resident Jean Rondeau driving a car of his own creation, the Rondeau-Cosworth M379B.
By the 1980s the race was becoming more and more professional led by the dominant Porsche 956/962 followed by Jaguar with the XJR-9LM, Sauber-Mercedes C9 and Mazda 787B and BMW V12 LMR into the new millennium. The 2000s were dominated by Audi in various forms and later by Toyota into the present day, with all being represented in an incredible slice of history.
The crew of this year’s winning Ferrari 499P made one of many ‘moments’ when James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi together with Miguel Molina from the fifth-placed sister car were presented to the crowd on Sunday from the balcony of Goodwood house…….
Read more in the September 2023 issue of Historic Motor Racing News
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