From June 23 to 26, the famous Festival of Speed was held in Goodwood, England. An extraordinary event where the passion for speed manifests itself in all its forms. We were there.
Reporter: Matthieu BROTEL
The Delage D12 is no stranger to our services. Just before his dynamic presentation at Goodwood, we met him in his stronghold, near Magny-Cours. Laurent Tapie, the initiator of the Delage revival and lover of the brand, had then put forward the idea of unveiling his hypercar au FOS (Festival Of Speed). « The Festival is the finest European event for introducing cars to the public. In a country, England, where the automobile is most esteemed,” he explains.
If the start of our journey naturally passes through the Delage stand and around the fifty hypercars that surround it in the “Michelin Supercar Paddock”, we are quickly surprised by the extent of this event. Of course, in addition to the display of spectacular and historical models, the Festival of Speed, is a hill climb which extends on 1.86 km of track along the “Goodwood House”, a famous Manor located near Chichester.
Throughout the course, there are scattered paddocks that bring together the participants. That said, more than a simple race against the clock, the Festival is also, and for many, a demonstration test and exhibition space for manufacturers and collectors, who take it in turns to drive illustrious old cars and motorcycles, just like the latest BMW M3 Touring disguised as a Safety Car.
By its diversity and its typically English relaxed atmosphere, the FOS thus imposes itself as an unmissable event in the automotive world where you can come across the most beautiful machines. 60s, like the latest prototypes and production models unveiled with great fanfare. Asked about the Festival, which this year is showcasing the innovators and brains of motorsport, Adam Waterworth, General Manager of Events at Goodwood explains “The Festival of Speed encompasses all aspects of mobility and their technology. We present more than 600 cars and motorcycles with the pilots who made them famous. »
Legends of the past
The party at Goodwood is also measured by the size of its visitor car parks where the huge lines of supercars make you dizzy. Very quickly, we took our marks on the side of the paddocks where a few centimeters from the mechanics, a 1956 Lancia (Ferrari) D50A Grand Prix single-seater starts religiously. A unique moment.
A few meters further on, we meet the gaze of Sir Jackie Stewart who walks casually between the terrifying Group C. Derek Bell is getting ready to take the wheel of the famous Porsche 956. The next row of tents is the Ferrari landmark where to 75 years of the brand, a 166 MM Barchetta from 1950 is exhibited alongside a 250 MM Berlinetta from 1953. We no longer know where to turn. At the corner of the driveway is the small, electric-powered McMurtry Spéirling, which is preparing to break the track record in 39.08 seconds.
A few moments later, we go back down to the “Goodwood House” and its monumental sculpture celebrating 50 years of the Motorsport division of BMW. Along the way, we meander through the pre-grids where the long-awaited Prodrive P25 (a modern reinterpretation of the Subaru Impreza 22B STi) quietly awaits its turn, while on motorcycles on the Kenny Roberts track, Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan celebrate the return of Wayne Rainey on his legendary Yamaha YZR500.
Room for electric
Behind the Manoir, the “Cartier Style and Luxury” selection offers more than forty automotive icons, including the Ferrari 330 GT Coupe, unique bodywork by Michelotti from 1967 rivals excellence with no less than six McLaren F1s! Finally, the descent to the starting line takes us through the stands of the major manufacturers where BMW presents its electric i range, as does Tesla and twenty other manufacturers au sein de « L’Avenue Electric – The Road to 2030 ».
In 2023, the event will celebrate its 30th anniversary and will continue to offer, as Adam Waterworth explains to us, ” a mixture of heritage and avant-garde”. What more ?