The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed Reigns Supreme

Festival of Speed | Press Article 17/04/24

Late June traditionally sees Goodwood basking in warm sunshine for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS). This year however, the summer sun only made the occasional appearance, with the rain creating a few challenges.

The wet weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the sell-out 200,000 plus FoS crowd though, with enthusiasts relishing the sights and sounds of more than 500 competition cars, motorcycles and supercars attacking the challenging 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb, plus the tough Forest Rally Stage and activities field.  

The wealth of competition machinery included seven current Formula 1 teams with their Works drivers at the wheel, including the reigning F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg at full throttle in his Mercedes-Benz F1 W05 Hybrid, as well as a number of previous Grand Prix World Champions, such as Jackie Stewart, Jensen Button and Emerson Fittipaldi. 

Virtually every other form of motor racing was also represented for all to enjoy at FoS, from Titanic pre-war Grand Prix cars, endurance cars, legendary rally weapons, NASCAR, racing motorcycles, Indy and fearsome Can-Am cars, right through to modern drift cars and this season’s BTCC racers, with an exciting shoot-out being staged for these tin-top racers for the very first time at Goodwood.

Star cars in action at Goodwood, all reflecting the 2016 FoS theme of ‘Full Throttle: The Endless Pursuit of Power’, included a quartet of unusual but innovative 1920s Voisin speed record machines, plus some wildly hooning drift cars and drivers, including the legendary Ken Block and ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett, sliding Lord March up the FoS Hill with aplomb in his leery Mazda FD RX-7. 

A parade of ex-F1 World Champion James Hunt’s competition cars, including his iconic Hesketh-Cosworth and McLaren-Cosworth M23 Grand Prix cars, was highly appreciated by the enthusiastic spectators, as was the ear-splitting Chevrolet V8-engined Widowmaker drag bike, the on-the-edge Kamaz T4 Dakar rally truck, and the unusual 1979 Hepworth-Chevrolet GB1 Can-Am car, being seen in action for the very first time in public.  A huge number of supercars also made their dynamic debuts at FoS, including the sensational Bugatti Chiron, the beautiful Aston Martin DB11, Ferrari F12 TDF, and a sneak preview of a new V8-powered Bristol, set to be ‘officially’ launched later this year.

More than 120 famous drivers and riders took to the FoS Hill, including Hollywood A-lister Keanu Reeves visiting Goodwood for the first time, and riding up the Hill each day on his KRGT-1 motorcycle, built by his Arch Motorcycle Company in California.

Away from the high-revving excitement of the FoS hillclimb and Forest Rally Stage action, an oasis of calm and tranquility could be found on the lawns of the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours, with a stunning 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV being awarded the Cartier Best of Show award by a select panel of famous judges. 

Thrusting over 40 metres into the sometimes cloudy skies over Goodwood House, the much-anticipated FoS ‘Central Feature’ installation this year celebrated 100 years since the foundation of the popular BMW brand.  The Bavarian marque’s centenary was marked in daring style with a bold steel monocoque structure, onto which three important and original competition BMWs were mounted; the famous 1938 328 Mille Miglia roadster, the Brabham-BMW BT52 F1 car, and the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR.

The lively and entertaining 2016 Goodwood event culminated in a stimulating timed shoot-out, seeing a number of top drivers and cars competing against the clock for the FoS fastest time of the year up the hillclimb.  A close-fought battle saw Olly Clark in his purposeful Subaru Impreza ‘Gobstopper’ beating second-placed Kenny Brack’s powerful McLaren P1 LM by less than half a second!  It was a fittingly ‘full throttle’ end to a damp but thoroughly enjoyable and memorable 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.


Editors Notes:

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