The 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed was held July 3-5 in the scenic parkland surrounding the Goodwood House Estate in England. The Festival of Speed is far more than just a hill climb, as it can rightly claim to be the world’s largest and most diverse celebration of the history of motorsport and car culture.
The theme of this year’s Festival of Speed was “True Grit – Epic Feats of Endurance.” The theme celebrates the drive and determination of motor racing’s heroes, who overcame huge physical, mental and mechanical barriers in their quest for glory. Motor racing legends and modern day stars lined up alongside their friends and adversaries at the celebrated 1.16 mile hill climb, in a tribute to great feats of endurance in competition.
Goodwood also featured the centenaries of Audi, Bugatti and Morgan, 50 years of Mini and the Daytona Speedway, 40 years since Jackie Stewart and Matra’s dominance, plus 60 continuous years of the Motorcycle World Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Current F1 points leader Jenson Button wowed the crowds aboard the Mercedes-Benz factory collection’s recently-restored W25, some 75 years on since the historic Silver Arrows debuted in the new-for-1934 750kg Grand Prix formula. One of only two survivors, and insured for a whopping £35 million, the W25 was famously described by The Autocar in period as, “The noisiest car on earth.” The description is still appropriate; the car’s supercharged straight-eight was audible from a mile away, if not further depending on wind conditions.
This wonderful machine was originally painted white – the German racing color – but, according to legend, the paint was removed to save weight, exposing the bare aluminum. The media soon dubbed it the Silver Arrow and the term came to encompass the mighty German GP cars of both Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. Pink Floyd drummer and Historics regular Nick Mason demonstrated Audi Tradition’s Auto Union D-type and appeared suitably wide-eyed after his first run in the V12 leviathan.
In addition to the action-packed hill climb and paddocks, spectators could visit the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ Concours d’Elegance, plus see the exciting sideways action on the 2.5-kilometer loose-surface Forest Rally stage that is cut into the wooded area close to the hill climb finish line.
Fastest Time of the Festival went to Justin Law who recorded an amazing 44.40 second run aboard a Jaguar XJR-12. For complete results, click 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed Results.
2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed Picture Gallery (click picture for larger image)
[Source: Goodwood Festival of Speed]