If there’s one motoring event on the calendar to suit everyone, it’s Festival of Speed.
The theme of this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed event was ‘Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers’. Celebrating record breakers and achievements in all motorsport departments, from land speed record-setters to the latest track weapons.
The 26th Festival of Speed event also marked 20 years since the outright hillclimb record at Goodwood, of 41.60 seconds, was set by ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld. A record that as of July 5th 2019, no longer stands. In fitting with the ‘Speed Kings’ theme, a new Festival of Speed Hillclimb record of 41.18s was set by Romain Dumas driving the Volkswagen ID. R.
This would turn out to be one of the shortest-standing records set by the already infamous, all electric Volkswagen ID. R. On Saturday 6th of July – just one day later – the record was broken again, by the same driver in the same car. Dumas broke his newly set record by setting a lightning quick time of 39.90 seconds. All this achieved using electric power and on Bridgestone tyres.
Festival of Speed isn’t just about going fast and breaking records. As an event of prestige and class, it is an ideal place for manufacturers to unveil and display their latest creations. This year’s event welcomed the return of the De Tomaso marque with their first model in almost thirty years, the painfully beautiful De Tomaso P72.
The De Tomaso brand is now under the ownership of Hong Kong-based company Ideal Team Ventures. The same group that now own the Apollo brand responsible for the Intensa Emozione (pictured below), another of our favourites at this year’s Festival of Speed, the noise of the IE alone is enough to give anyone chills!
Though nothing has officially been released with regard to what powers the P72, it’s clear from the gear stick in the centre of the Pegani-esque interior and extra peddle on the left side of the footwell, this is a good-old-fashioned manual. We can only assume De Tomaso will remain true to their heritage and opt for some sort of V8 motor powertrain. Only 72 of these will be produced, so don’t count on seeing one at your local car meet!
Another namesake we were pleased to see make a return was the Porsche 935 – commonly referred to as ‘Moby Dick’ due to it’s large tail.
Based on the Porsche GT2 RS – the 935 is limited to just 77 and can only be used on racetracks. Powered by a 3.8-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo engine – almost identical to the one in the road-going 911 GT2 RS – which produces a huge 700bhp. Despite being just shy of five metres long, the 935 is lighter than it’s road-going counterpart by around 150kg thanks to an all-carbon-fibre body and interior components.
It’s impossible not to talk about the wheels on the 935. In keeping with it’s racing heritage and throwbacks to race cars of old, Porsche have fitted Moby Dick with some turbofan style wheels. Wrapped up in Michelin tyres, the 18-inch forged centre-lock wheels are a thing of beauty – especially with the aerodynamic ‘turbo fans’ fitted. Turbo fans were seen on the original Porsche 935 & 978 Le Mans racers and are used to force air into the wheel wells to cool the brakes. These are removable as they were designed to be replaced each race – though we’re not so sure you would want to throw away these ones – see images below of the wheels with & without turbofans fitted.
Sticking with Porsche, this year marked 50 years since the ‘All-Conquering Porsche 917’ first raced.
This was celebrated with one of the largest gatherings of 917s since 1969, with some being driven by legendary racing drivers, including those who raced the 917s decades ago.
Derek Bell MBE was reunited with the 917 LH ‘long-tail’ he drove in the 1971 Le Mans 24hr. This was the first time he had driven the car since, though the livery has been changed from the Gulf colours it raced in to the striking Martini livery of car no. 21.
Making a sharp 180º turn, we move from the Germans and take a look at an Italian car that really blew us away.
What Goodwood article would be complete without mentioning at least one Ferrari? Not this one that’s for sure. The Italian powerhouse brought with them a whole range of special edition and one-off models, including their latest creation – the P80/C.
Based on the 488 GT3, this one-off track car was commissioned by a “connoisseur of the Ferrari world” who set a brief to create a modern sports prototype that paid homage to the Dino and 330 models.
Having taken 4 years to design and develop, the P80/C’s body is made entirely of carbon fibre. Without a need to meet any racing regulations, designers had unrestricted reign over how this car would look, hence the lack of headlights – though there are some LED’s behind the mock-intakes on the nose – and tinted windscreen.
We’ll likely not see this car again as it will go to its owner, a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous, so we’re glad we got the chance to see and hear it at least this one time!