Silver was the name of the game at Goodwood, July 12–15, when the Festival of Speed celebrated 25 years since its inception and the chosen feature marque was Porsche celebrating its 70th birthday.
Under a blazing—for England—sun the weekend sizzled to the sound of high powered engines and spinning tires as the Duke of Richmond’s best of the past 25 years did their stuff on the hill and in the forest rally stage.
Five Porches were suspended in star (or should we say stern) formation 170 feet above the circular drive fronting Goodwood House with a host more performing, for the vast crowds, with runs up the hillclimb. Porsche had invited many of their famous drivers to be reunited with their equally famous cars, Walter Röhrl, Derek Bell, Gijs van Lennep, Richard Attwood and Mark Webber were all in action during the weekend.
Twenty-five editions of the Festival have attracted a wealth of motoring history and, as a consequence, this Silver edition saw a selection of the finest from the very birth of the internal combustion engine to the present day including Grand Prix, Sports, Indy, Americana, Bikes, Saloon, Rally, NASCAR & Supercars.
Beside the Festival birthday their were other anniversaries celebrated, 70 years of Lotus, 50 years of the Ford Escort, 30 years of Superbikes, 60 years of Lola, 60 years of the British Saloon Car Championship and 70 Years of the Jaguar XK. Quite a list to pack into four days…plus the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ Concours!
As always there were those who took the hillclimb seriously and went for a fast time, as well as the ‘show offs’ who entertained the crowds with doughnuts, burnouts, wheelies and other antics unbecoming of the motorcar, but great fun!
Now after 25 years the Festival has gained the reputation as the “petrol head’s garden party” or “porn for petrol heads” and it’s difficult to argue anything different when the great and the good, and not so good, of the motoring world have been coming for a quarter of a century to play in the Duke of Richmond’s front garden. So here’s to the next 25 years.