It’s billed as the largest motoring garden party in the world and every year thousands of petrolheads from across the world converge on the Sussex countryside to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a host of UK debuts and a vast array of rare and formidable racing cars.
Sit back as we preview the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This year’s theme: Flat-Out and Fearless – Racing on the Edge
This year, the organisers have chosen a theme of Flat-Out and Fearless – Racing on the Edge, which is said to typify some of the most spectacular drivers and moments from motorsport past and present. The battles between Senna and Prost, the wild and bonkers Group B rally drivers or Jenson Button defying the odds to win the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011. These are just three examples of the theme, which will be central to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
All-new category: Fearless but Flat-Broke
Such high-profile success stories will live long in the memory, but what about motorsport’s nearly men? The drivers who put everything into reaching Formula 1, but never quite achieved the success they craved? Well this year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will celebrate these individuals with a new category – Fearless but Flat-Broke – Racing on the Edge. Cars appearing on the hillclimb will include the March 2-4-0 (pictured here), a Tecno E371, an Amon AF101, a pair of Lec CRP1s and a host of other vehicles. It promises to be quite a display.
Goodwood Moving Motor Show
The Moving Motor Show returns once again and takes place on the 25 June. Visitors will have the opportunity to race – er… we mean, drive – up the hillclimb past Goodwood House in a selection of new cars. It’s the closest thing Britain has to an annual motor show and it offers something different to the usual static displays. The Festival of Speed kicks off on the 26 June, running through to the 28 June.
Ken Block to drive the all-new Ford Focus RS
YouTube and Gymkhana legend Ken Block is returning to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the first time since 2011. Highlights of his appearance include a drive in the all-new Ford Focus RS – a car making its UK debut at Goodwood – along with his heavily-modified 1965 Ford Mustang, which features four-wheel drive and an 845bhp V8 engine.
Global debut of the Bienville Legacy motorcycle
A debut of a different kind here. It’s called the Bienville Legacy and it’s one of the most powerful four-cylinder production motorcycles ever created. The US-built motorcycle has been in development for over three years and features a patented suspension leveraging one composite leaf-spring with the engine mounted at its centre. Carbon-composite brakes allow for rake and trail adjustment for the first time on a production motorcycle. The 1,650cc V4 engine will be supercharged to produce up to 300hp.
Another all-new category: Catch my Drift?
Drifting is an incredibly popular form of motorsport across the world, so it’s no surprise to see the Goodwood Festival of Speed dedicating a special category to the discipline. Drivers will include ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett, Ken Block, James Deane, Piotr Wiececk, Joachim Waargaard and Kuba Przygonski. Expect lots of sideways action and an awful lot of tyre smoke.
Michelin Supercar Run
The Michelin Supercar Run is one of the Festival of Speed’s most popular spectacles and this year’s promises to be the best yet. Last year, Jann Mardenborough set a new supercar record for the hillclimb, beating a number of ex-Formula 1 drivers in the process. Cars taking part this year include the McLaren P1 GTR, the Koenigsegg Regera, the SCG 003 and a plethora of other big names. The supercars will run every day, with the final shootout taking place on the Sunday.
GAS Arena will be more action-packed than ever before
Fans of two-wheeled machinery shouldn’t feel left out, because Goodwood is promising the ‘largest-ever list of international aces’ to appear in the Goodwood Action Sports (GAS) Arena. Some of the biggest names in freestyle motocross, BMW dirt, trials and mountain bikes will take to the arena. Dougie Lampkin will also be in attendance once again.
Mazda 787B Le Mans car
Now this really is a treat. Cast your mind back to 1991 and the Le Mans 24 Hours race. No doubt you’ll remember the legendary rotary-engined Mazda 787B Group C car, complete with vivid orange and green livery. By focusing on reliability, Mazda achieved greatness by taking the lead in the 22nd hour, just as others were suffering with terminal problems. To-date, it’s the only Japanese car to conquer Le Mans and it’ll be the headline act of Mazda’s display at this year’s Festival.
Aston Martin Vantage GT12
Making its moving debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be the Aston Vantage GT12. The most extreme Vantage features a motorsport-derived chassis, aerodynamics and handling package and – in the words of Aston Martin – ‘bridges the gap between road and race track driving.’ With production limited to 100 cars, it’s no surprise to see the £250,000 supercar has already sold out. So you can leave your chequebook at home.
Renault Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy: UK debut
Slightly more affordable – and indeed, attainable – is the new Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy. The hot hatch will make its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Renault has recently announced it will cost £21,870. The 220hp Clio benefits from a reworked engine, changes to the steering and suspension and what we hope is an improved transmission. You can order the Clio now and expect to take delivery in August.
McLaren 570S Coupe
McLaren is showcasing its three-tier model range at Goodwood, with the 570S Coupe making its global dynamic debut on the famous hillclimb as part of the Supercar Run. It’ll be joined by the P1 GTR and 650S Le Mans, both of which are rarely seen in public. The McLaren 570S Coupe made its debut at the New York Auto Show, earlier this year, and is fitted with a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine developing 570hp.
Largest-ever display of Ferraris
Ferrari is promising its ‘greatest ever display’ at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed with no fewer than 10 classic cars, ranging from a 1953 250MM to a 1990 641. These are in addition to the dynamic debut of the 488 GTB as well as the FXX-X, both of which will tackle the famous hillclimb. Other Ferraris set to take part in the Michelin Supercar Run include a California T, F12berlinetta, La Ferrari and the F12 TRS. And if that’s not enough, Ferrari’s Corse Clienti division will be showcasing a 599 XX, while a 458 Challenge will participate in the hillclimb. Phew, got that?
Lexus GS F: UK debut
The Lexus GS F will be driven in public for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with Mike Conway at the wheel. The appearance at Goodwood follows the global debut for the V8-engined GS F at this year’s Detroit Motor Show and a production version is due to be announced later in the year.
Peugeot 308 R Hybrid: UK debut
Peugeot has been known to embrace the Goodwood Festival of Speed and this year is no different. Making its European debut will be the 500hp 308 R HYbrid, which will be joined by the 308 GT and 308 GT Line, with its 3-cylinder petrol engine. Other Peugeots of note include the all-conquering 205 T16, the 208 WRX rally car and the Peugeot Vision GT from Gran Turismo 6. Peugeot is also promising to launch a new secret model, which we reckon will be a new 308 GTI. If so, we can hardly wait.
MINI John Cooper Works: UK debut
Visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed are sure to flock to the new MINI John Cooper Works. The 2.0-litre TwinPower engine delivers 231hp, making it the most powerful production MINI ever made. Top speed is a rather rapid 153mph and – when fitted with the optional Steptronic transmission – it’ll accelerate to 62mph in 6.1 seconds. Prices start at £23,050.
Mazda MX-5: UK debut
If the appearance of the 787B Le Mans car isn’t enough for you, Mazda is also giving a UK debut to the new MX-5. Priced from £18,495, the new MX-5 is available with either a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre engine. Anyone who pre-orders a new Mazda MX-5 can win the chance to test the all-new car on the Goodwood Racing Circuit.
Seat Ibiza: UK debut
The SEAT Ibiza may not be the most exciting new car to be making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but it’s a proper real-world motor. It’s also one of the most successful cars in the world. In addition to the new Ibiza, SEAT will also be showcasing the Leon ST Cupra 280 and Leon X-Perience jacked-up estate car.
Bentley Continental GT Speed
Bentley is showcasing not one, but two record-breaking cars at this year’s Festival. First up is the Bentley Continental GT, which – following Idris Elba’s high-speed run at Pendine Sands – broke the historic ‘Flying Mile’ UK land speed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927. The GT Speed should find the going less sandy when it tackles the hillclimb at Goodwood.
Bentley Boy Blue Train race
It’s the 85th anniversary of the famous Bentley Boy Blue Train race in 2015 and to commemorate the achievement, Bentley will be sending the actual car up the 1.16-mile hillclimb. It was in 1930 when Captain Woolf Barnato – the then chairman of Bentley – accepted a wager that he could race from Cannes to London before the Calais-Mediterranée Express (Blue Train) could get from Cannes to Calais. Naturally, the car won.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06: UK debut
From a distinctly British wager to an all-American supercar – the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will make its UK debut at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The ‘Vette will be tackling the hillclimb as part of the Michelin Supercar Run, while Chevrolet will be serving refreshments in the Chevrolet Cafe, where you can relax surrounded by Corvettes of the past and present.
Toyota is promising another exceptional display of race, rally and road cars at this year’s Festival, including the TS040 Hybrid car, fresh from the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Spectators on the hillclimb route will see three NASCAR Camry race cars, Mike Skinner’s Tacoma and Rod Millen’s Pikes Peak Celica. Further highlights include a display of GT86 cars, each finished in retro racing livery and the FT-1 Concept.
Citroen and DS
For many people, this will be the first opportunity to see the DS range following the brand’s split from Citroen. Look out for the new DS 5, now without Citroen badges. Meanwhile, Citroen has confirmed that Kris Meeke will be at Goodwood in his DS 3 WRC, while the Citroen C4 Cactus and C1 Airscape will be venturing up the hill as part of the Moving Motor Show. Oh, and if you enjoyed the Airbump trampolines in 2014, they’ll be bouncing back again.
Mazda CX-3: UK debut
Fresh from its UK press launch, the all-new Mazda CX-3 crossover will be making its UK debut at Goodwood. Prices start at £17,595 and, while it’s hardly cheap, we rather like the way it blends a premium feel with sporty dynamics. Check it out for yourself at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Honda in full
Honda is claiming the Festival of Speed will be the first time a UK audience has seen the 2015 Honda line up in full. On display will be the new Civic, CR-V, Jazz, HR-V, Civic Type-R and NSX. According to Honda, ‘this is the moment Honda UK has been waiting for the last five years.’ Check out the entire range at Goodwood.
Red Arrows and Typhoon display
The Red Arrows and the Eurofighter Typhoon Display Team will be putting on a spectacular air display at this year’s Festival of Speed. Visitors will be invited to look to the skies on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Fiat S76 to make rare public run
In 1911, the Fiat S76 was the unofficial fastest car in the world, but it hasn’t completed a public run in over 100 years. That’s about to change at Goodwood, where the 28-litre Fiat will take part in a special category celebrating ‘earth-shattering Edwardian leviathans.’ The Fiat achieved 135mph on a kilometre stretch at Oostende, Belgium, only to be denied a record as it was unable to complete a return leg within an hour.
Valentino Rossi to make Goodwood debut
You have to ask, why has it taken so long for MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to make an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed? Fear not, MotoGP fans, because the legendary rider will be at Goodwood as part of the 60th anniversary of the Yamaha Motor Company.
Usual favourites at the Festival of Speed
The 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed will also host the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance – now in its 20th year. There will also be the annual Bonhams sale of Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia on the 26 June, while Mazda will be honoured in the form of the central feature outside Goodwood House. It promises to be a vintage year for the Festival of Speed and MSN will be there to bring you the highlights.