Following a COVID-induced break in 2020, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is back with a bang this year, and we’ve listed seven things that are well worth checking out what is firmly one of the most prestigious and enjoyable events for classic car and motorsport enthusiasts around the world
After a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is back for 2021 and it’s taking place this weekend from July 8th - 11th! We hope that our Dyler FoS event preview will give you an exciting glimpse of some of the stars and cars you can expect to encounter at one of the most enjoyable events on the British motoring calendar.
What’s happening at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed?
The theme for this year’s FoS is ‘Maestros - Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders’, which is a celebration of drivers, teams, and marques who have succeeded across multiple racing categories.
Confirmed all-time-great drivers are Indycar and Formula 1 legend Mario Andretti, who will be reunited with his F1 title-winning Lotus 79. Lando Norris will be driving Ayrton Senna’s 1990 title-winning McLaren Honda MP4/5 up the iconic Goodwood hillclimb course. The Briton is scheduled to be joined by McLaren teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who will take over driving duties in the iconic red and white car later on in the weekend.
The legendary Penske team from the United States will also be on hand with several race cars from their rich history, including the controversial PC-23 which dominated the 1994 Indy 500, and the terrifying, 1,100bhp Porsche 917/30 CAN-AM from 1972.
Motorsport fans who also enjoy a bit of rough will be pleased to know that the much-loved Forest Stage rally course will play host to iconic WRC machinery past and present, including an ex-Richard Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 2000, the 2008 Citroën C4 WRC piloted by Sébastien Loeb and Kimi Räikkonen. Both of these will be driven by Girardo & Co. founder, Max Girardo.
The last ever Impreza WRC 2003 driven by four-time World Rally Champion, Tommi Mäkinen, will also run the Forest Stage in all of its restored glory.
And what about road cars at this year’s Festival of Speed?
Don’t worry about that. FoS 2021 will be no different to previous years, as there will be plenty of varied and interesting road cars for you to enjoy over the four-day event.
Lotus will be the traditionally celebrated marque this year, and will take centre stage at the prestigious ‘Central Display’ at the heart of the Goodwood Estate. The display will celebrate the past, present, and future of this historic British brand, and is expected to showcase Lotus’ all-electric hypercar, the Evija, and its brand new Emira - the company’s last ever ICE car, which will launch at this year’s Festival of Speed.
Given that the Festival of Speed is a de facto British motor show, BMW will also use the event to launch its new M2. The brand will also display its all-new iX and i4 EV models, which are set to go on sale later in 2021. Other manufacturers confirmed to be bringing new cars to the festival include Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, MINI, and Porsche.
If I have a ticket, what’s the best day to visit the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed?
To be honest, any. However, please note that Saturdays and Sundays are usually the busiest so expect queues to get in. The final day of the event - the Sunday - is also when the hillclimb action tends to reach its climax.
Friday July 9th is the day where you can expect to see F1 cars running up the hillclimb course. Alongside the usual historics, this year you can expect to see Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 title-winning Mercedes cover the iconic 1.2 mile stretch of tarmac, and Ferrari SF70H which Sebastian Vettel used to challenge the Hamilton/Mercedes combination for the F1 drivers’ and constructors’ championship in 2017.
As-per FoS tradition, a number of new cars launched at the event will take to the hillclimb.
And if I can’t attend this year’s FoS, can I still get tickets? If not, where can I watch it online?
That’s no problem. Tickets are still available by clicking here. You can also watch what’s happening through the FoS website which will be partially presented by much-loved, massively funny car personalities, Richard Porter and Jonny Smith of ‘Smith and Sniff’. Richard, the former script editor of The Grand Tour and Top Gear is also one of the judges on the upcoming series of ITV’s ‘The Car Years’. Jonny is still fronting his rather excellent YouTube channel called ‘The Late Brake Show’. The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed will also be broadcast on ITV over the weekend.
McLaren F1 star Lando Norris gets behind the wheel of Alain Prost’s championship-winning McLaren MP4/5B
To paraphrase the saying “everyone is a Sebastian Vettel fan, even if you’re not a Sebastian Vettel fan”, “everyone is a Lando Norris fan, even if you’re not a Lando Norris fan”. The likeable young Brit has proven to be one of the standout performers of the 2021 Formula 1 season with McLaren, and is locked in a fight with Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, for best of the rest behind the championship leaders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. During his second appearance at the Festival of Speed, Norris will be getting behind the wheel of the Honda V12-powered McLaren MP4/5B, which Ayrton Senna took to the 1991 F1 driver’s title after a season-long battle with the Ferrari of Alain Prost.
Girardo & Co drives a rallying revolution - the Subaru Impreza WRC 2000
The Forest Stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed never fails to delight, and this year, rally fans will be able to watch one of the greatest ever WRC cars in action - the Subaru Impreza WRC 2000. Despite looking largely similar to its predecessor, the WRC 99, Subaru’s 2000 challenger was 80% new under the skin and revolutionised how manufacturers design a rally car. The Impreza WRC 2000’s 2.0-litre flat-four Boxer engine weighed less than before, and its iconic shape was sculpted using aerodynamics to improve airflow and cooling. In amongst a whole raft of technical firsts, the car’s engineers also place the co-driver 50 millimeters lower, and 80mm further back than to improve the car’s already- impressively low centre of gravity. The technical changes paid off for Subaru, and the car was so fast - one second per-kilometer quicker than its predecessor - that lead driver Richard Burns thought the stage times he set on the car’s debut at that year’s Rally Portugal were incorrect! Burns won the event, and went on to win a further three rallies with this astonishing car, and only narrowly missed out on the 2000 WRC drivers’ title to Peugeot’s Marcus Grönholm by four points. This ex-Burns car, W25 SRT, will be driven at the 2021 by Max Girardo, whose Girardo & Co. company will also be bringing along a Citroën C4 WRC driven by all-round motorsport legend, Sébastien Loeb.
Travis Pastrana gets shredding and sideways with the beautifully batsh*t 862bhp Hoonigan Subaru Airslayer STI
Yes, we know it’s another Subaru. However, the 862bhp WRX STI custom made for off-road hero, Travis Pastrana, is a totally different beast from the Impreza WRC 2000. According to the folks at the Hoonigan skunkworks, their turbocharged, fully-carbon fibre monster of a Subaru is the “wildest WRX STI ever built” and there’s plenty of good reason to believe them. The 862bhp comes from a standard 2.3-litre boxer engine which Subaru fits to its roadgoing car. However, the Hoonigan engineering team have added a strengthened billet block to the motor, an enormous turbocharger, and improved air flow to the engine. Oh, and they added a crankshaft from the Vermont SportsCar-prepared Subaru RallyCross car to deal with all that extra pop-bang sound and fury. The numbers the incredibly lairy Subaru puts out are nothing short of mindblowing - it produces 900 Nm of torque, 8,000 RPM, and 50 PSI of boost. These figures are largely the reason why Pastrana managed to fully “send it” 120ft across the city docks (and high above a go-fast boat on the river running below!) in the latest Gymkhana video - ‘Ultimate Hometown Shred’. Despite its tyre smoking, sideways heroics back in the US, the car will make its official competition debut at the upcoming FoS with Pastrana at the wheel.
Roger Penske is reunited with the controversial Mercedes-powered 1994 Penske PC-23 IndyCar
It’s not often a race car causes so much controversy, that it gets its own book. However, that’s what the Penske PC-23 went and achieved. In fact, the whole crazy story behind this contentious race car is covered in the book ‘Beast’ by Jade Gurss. The Penske team found a loophole in the 1994 Indy 500 regulations which they exploited to run a pushrod Mercedes-Benz 500I V6 engine. The 3.4L, laterally-mounted unit could be tweaked to give the team between 150 to 200bhp extra over the V8 engines run by other teams for the greatest single-seater race in the US. Unsurprisingly, the entire project was largely carried out in secret until the teams took to the track for the Month of May. The engine produced a wild 1,024bhp and a top speed of 245mph. If these figures aren’t eye-popping enough, the PC-23 chassis was tricky to drive, and the engine had a tendency to explode over long distances. However, Penske still won the 1994 Indy 500 with Al Unser Jr after dominating practice and qualifying. Following the PC-23’s controversial victory, the loophole in the regulations that Penske. used to such devastating effect was immediately closed, and the Mercedes 500I engine never raced again.
Mario Andretti revisits the ground(effect!)breaking Lotus 79 F1 car
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Lotus was a Formula 1 powerhouse both in terms of success and engineering. It pioneered ground effect aerodynamics with the Lotus 78, and went on to improve on that with its successor, the Lotus 79 which made its debut at the 1978 Belgian Grand Prix where it took pole and victory in the hands of Mario Andretti. Nicknamed ‘Black Beauty’ for its elegant design, and its instantly recognisable black and gold John Player Special livery, the Lotus 79 had 30% more downforce than its predecessor, to the extent that Andretti even said the 78 was “like driving a London bus” in comparison. Andretti and Lotus went on to take the Formula 1 drivers’ and constructors’ titles in 1977. Watching these two icons of motorsport reunite at the 2021 Festival of Speed is something that any motorsport lover worth their team merch won’t want to miss!
Ric Wood Motorsport unleashes the 1,000bhp Godzilla Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 on Goodwood
For the PlayStation generation, the Nissan GT-R R32 is one of the dream cars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. For manufacturers who encountered the all-wheel drive, turbocharged, technological tour de force when it burst onto the Group A touring car scene, the Nissan was a living nightmare. The R32 GT-R dominated the Japanese Touring Car Championship when it was introduced in 1989. Alongside 29 wins from 29 starts, it won the JTCC title each year from 1989 to 1993. When it entered the Australian tin-top scene, its superior technology and wet weather prowess almost immediately broke the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth’s domination of Aussie touring cars. The GT-R R32 took two Bathurst 1000 victories in 1991 and 1992, and won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1990, 1991, and 1992. In fact, it was the Australian motoring press who nicknamed the GT-R R32 “Godzilla”... y’know, “monster from Japan” and all that. Ric Wood, a restorer of classic touring cars from Stockport in the United Kingdom, has rebuilt one of these JTCC Group from scratch, and has managed to extract a monumental 1,000bhp from its standard twin-turbo, 2.6-litre in-line six motor. Watching Wood’s “monster from Japan” take on the Goodwood hillclimb will be nothing short of spectacular.
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