The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed gets underway this week & organisers have revealed this year’s central feature which is the traditional huge sculpture placed in front of Goodwood House.
The statue is usually a tribute to one of the marques present at the festival, but this year the central feature will celebrate the life & career of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone called “The Five Stages of Ecclestone”. This will represent five distinct eras of Bernie Ecclestone’s involvement in Formula 1 with five iconic Formula One cars representing an era on the sculpture.
Bernie’s short stint as a driver in the late 1950s will be represented by the Connaught he drove at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. While his time as the manager of Austria’s Jochen Rindt – the sport’s only posthumous champion – will be marked by the iconic Gold Leaf Lotus 72. Then Ecclestone’s championship winning stint as the owner of the Brabham team will be marked by the BT49 – driven by Nelson Piquet in 1981. The last two featuring his time at the helm of the sport – big money & big TV deals – will have Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001 & the Mercedes-AMG W07 which was last year’s title winning car in the hands of Nico Rosberg.
The man himself will be in attendance at Goodwood this year on the 02nd of July appearing alongside significant names & acquaintances from his life.
The festival starts today & runs until Sunday the 02nd of July with the theme for the motoring world’s Annual Garden Party being ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’. Naturally this means a huge variety of race cars will be in action from 1,000bhp turbocharged Formula 1 cars, 1980s unlimited Group 7 sportscars of Can-Am & spectacular Group B machines from the world of rallying.
All the tip of the iceberg!
The famous hill climb will see plenty of action over the course of the four days & the lure of such a fabled stretch of asphalt has once again ensured appearances from the great & good of the motorsport world. Fresh from GTE Pro victory at Le Mans are Jonny Adam ^ Darren Turner driving an Aston Martin Vantage GTE & AMR Pro respectively. Tom Kristensen – ‘Mr Le Mans’ himself – will be there along with former winners Allan McNish, Emanuele Pirro & Derek Bell.
As usual the world of Formula 1 makes up a large portion of the guest list & an Indy 500 winner in the form of Kenny Brack. Multiple BTCC champions Colin Turkington & Gordon Shedden, TT supremos Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop, Jenny Tinmouth & Mark Higgins for two wheeled fans. Plus the first British winner of the Dakar Rally Sam Sunderland.
We won’t bore you with the TV names!
Traditionally the Friday is a good day for debuts as last year the Bugatti Chiron, the McLaren 570s Sprint & all made their first public appearances – so more high-profile launches will be guaranteed this year!
The location for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hasn’t changed at all since the first running of the event in 1993, although the scale of the operation has increased considerably over the years. Held in the sprawling parkland surrounding Goodwood House, the FoS brings thousands of motoring enthusiasts to Lord March’s estate every year with visitors flocking from all corners of the UK and beyond.
You will be able to find the GTROC mooching around on the Friday, but we don’t have an official stand this year & Nissan themselves have been very ‘Q’ about the event too. Though our members will be there over most days so we hope you all have a great time.
To cap things off here are the previous themes over the last few years :
- 2007 – Spark of Genius – Breaking Records, Pushing Boundaries
- 2008 – Hawthorn to Hamilton – Britain’s Love Affair with World Motor Sport
- 2009 – True Grit – Epic Feats of Endurance
- 2010 – Viva Veloce! – The Passion for Speed
- 2011 – Racing Revolutions – Quantum Leaps that shaped Motor Sport
- 2012 – Young Guns – Born to Win
- 2013 – Best of the First 20 Years of the Festival of Speed
- 2014 – Addicted to Winning – The Unbeatable Champions of Motor Sport
- 2015 – Flat-out and Fearless – Racing on the Edge
- 2016 – Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power
- 2017 – Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers