The Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​2023

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One of the showpieces of the British motoring summer, coming on the heels of the British Grand Prix, the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​offers fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most exquisite and exotic motorsport machines and some of the best drivers in the world.

30th anniversary of the Festival of Speed

Celebrating 75 years of racing at Goodwood and 30 years since the first Festival of Speed, the popularity and acclaim of this summer spectacle has grown and grown over the years, with a continuous aim to evolve and grow, driven by Goodwood’s hardworking and forward-thinking team. Organizing an event that attracts global megastars such as Sebastian Vettel, Francesco Bagnaia, Tom Kristensen and Jenson Button, and with colossal manufacturer involvement year after year is no small feat, but the Festival of Speed ​​is executed with such precision that the draw year after year continues to attract the highest pedigree of attendees.

The Festival of Speed ​​is known for celebrating other milestone centenarians, and in 2023 there were plenty to choose from. Porsche’s 75th anniversary took center stage, with the huge installation in front of Goodwood House paying homage to the phenomenal success of the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. A grid made up of Le Mans-winning Porsches, including the 919 Hybrid, 917K and 911 GT1-98 among many others, has been complemented by a grid celebrating 60 years of the 911, with a varied array of the many forms the 911 has taken across the world of motorsport.

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Other celebrations saw a superb collection of Le Mans prototypes, to celebrate 100 years of the first running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 60 years of McLaren, where alongside a stunning line-up of their many successful Formula 1 cars, CanAm, Sportscars and a McLaren Indycar all took trips up the Goodwood Hillclimb. In a session steeped in nostalgia, Lotus’ 75th anniversary was celebrated with a stunning range of early British Racing Green cars and a number of iconic black and gold Cosworth-powered cars from the 1970s.

As always, rallying played a huge part in the Festival of Speed, with 50 years of the WRC being celebrated with a large grid of cars attacking Goodwood Hill and an eclectic array plying their trade on the purpose-built rally stage in the woods.

McLaren Solus GT sets the tone

With such a focus on the Festival of Speed ​​this weekend, it’s become customary to expect a number of manufacturers to unveil their new machines at the event, whether static or dynamic. This year was no exception, with the most Festival of Speed ​​debuts in its history. With Alpine, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Renault and McLaren all bringing their latest and greatest to the party, it was the McLaren Solus that may have stolen the thunder.

A car that had its debut in the virtual world of Gran Turismo, the V10-powered hypercar has been entered into the Goodwood Shootout, where the best drivers from a wide selection of cars compete to complete the 1.17-mile hill-climb course in record time. The course record was broken in 2022 by the phenomenal McMurtry Speirling, setting an unprecedented time of 39.08 seconds.

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Although no car broke the 40s barrier in 2023, the pace was still very hot, with Michael Lyons claiming third place in a McLaren Cosworth M26, with a time of 46.89. The drastic Subaru GL Family Huckster in the hands of Travis Pastrana took second place with a time of 46.37, but it was McLaren works driver Marvin Kirchhofer who propelled the all-new McLaren Solus GT to the top of the timesheets with a thrilling run down the hill in just 45.34 seconds. A great shot from McLaren and a fitting way to commemorate the brand’s 60th anniversary.

Formula 1 Highlights

After a hugely successful Formula 1 career, multiple world champion Sebastian Vettel made an appearance on Sunday, bringing two from his own personal collection of Formula 1 cars, the ex-Ayrton Senna McLaren MP4/8 and the ex-Nigel Mansell Williams FW14B. As part of the promotion of his recently established ‘Race Without Trace’ sustainable fuel campaign, Vettel raced up the hill in both cars, while promoting the adoption of sustainable fuel in motorsport and everyday motoring.

In a moving moment, former Haas F1 driver and current Mercedes AMG F1 reserve driver Mick Schumacher drove the Mercedes AMG F1 W02, driven by his father Michael in 2011. Seeing the indistinguishable bright red helmet behind the wheel of the silver Mercedes brought back memories in a poignant and touching demonstration race.

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Cartier & Bonhams offer an air of refinement

In stark contrast to the bouncing action of the rev limiter and tire smoke on the hill, there was a calmer, but no less compelling, side to the Festival of Speed ​​around the huge site. More than 200 sensational cars went under the hammer on Friday at Bonham’s car auction, with highlights such as the 1964 Aston Martin DB5, Koenigsegg CCGT GT1 Competition Coupe and Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR among notable features.

As always, the Cartier Style and Luxury Concours d’Elegance offered respite from the hectic paddocks and on-track action. A superb assortment of delicious cars, as always assembled on the lawn, judging by a jury of Ramla Ali, Adam Badaiwi, Emma Corrin, Nick Foulkes, Sir Jonathan Ive, Flavio Manzoni, Marc Newson and Jordan Rand. Gurney Nuttin’s sublime Bentley 4 1.4-litre Rothschild Sedanca Coupe has taken the overall honor of Best in Show, winner of a renowned competition to celebrate incredible automotive design and elegance.

While the best efforts of the British weather led to Saturday’s cancellation, the first cancellation in the history of the Festival of Speed, the event continues to demonstrate why it is so beloved on the world stage. A superb showcase for the finest elements of the motorsport and automotive world.

2023 Goodwood Festival Of Speed ​​Gallery

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