Kings of the Goodwood hill

This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is a celebration of those drivers and teams that saw success across the racing disciplines. Expect to be impressed, says Damien Smith


Sir Stirling Moss' Mercedes 300SLR '722' from the 1955 Mille Miglia will be in attendance

There’s talk that we’re about to experience the euphoria of a second ‘Roaring ’20s’ as we come blinking back into the post-pandemic light. For ‘our world’, the timing of the brakes being released from restrictions couldn’t be better: the Goodwood Festival of Speed, back after a painful year away, should return on July 8-11 and could be the perfect occasion to embrace some semblance of normality – at an event that has a history of transporting us to a state that is anything but. Boy, it’ll be good to be back in the Duke of Richmond’s garden.


Remembering Sir Stirling Moss


Jenks’ navigational box

Speaking of boys, the FoS will be the first public occasion where motor sport can properly celebrate the wonderful life of The Boy, Sir Stirling Moss, in the wake of his death last year on April 12 at the age of 90. The enforced delay will likely only heighten the emotion as we finally get to pay our respects and you won’t be surprised to read that the Duke and his team are planning to pull out the stops for England’s greatest racing hero.

The jewel in the celebration at FoS will be a rare appearance from 300SLR ‘722’, the car in which Stirling and Motor Sport’s continental correspondent Denis Jenkinson conquered the Mille Miglia in 1955. Mercedes-Benz rarely allows the treasure out of its Stuttgart museum, but it’s absolutely right and fitting that the car should journey to Goodwood once more this year to sit in state on resplendent static display – along with Jenks’ famous ‘bog roll’ navigational box, naturally. It might draw the odd passer-by.

Further celebrations are inevitably planned for the Revival and Members’ Meeting later in the year, with the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy at the former becoming a permanent fixture. “Stirling and his wife Susie were such an important part of the Goodwood family for so many years,” says the Duke. “All of us here felt his loss especially keenly as we weren’t able to commemorate his incredible life as we would have liked last year. We hope that fans at our events, and around the world, will join us in celebrating his racing career and bidding farewell to ‘Mr Goodwood’ in 2021. Stirling’s supreme skill and love for his sport will continue to be remembered at Goodwood for many years to come.”

This is Stirling’s year, above and beyond anything else at Goodwood. Bring a hanky.


Roger Penske: Back after 58 years


Roger Penske’s last visit to Goodwood was in 1963 driving a Ferrari 250 GTO. This year ‘The Captain’ returns

It’s an oddity that, 28 years after the Festival of Speed first graced the now famous 1.6-mile hill, ‘The Captain’ has never set foot at the event. Roger Penske was last at Goodwood to race at Ferrari 250 GTO in the RAC Tourist Trophy – in 1963. Finally, the Duke has convinced this titan of US motor sport to join him, as guest of honour to mark the 2021 theme: ‘The Maestros – motor sport’s great all-rounders’. Indubitably, Penske fits that bill, not as a driver but certainly as one of racing’s greatest and most influential team owners and patrons.

“I have wonderful memories of racing at Goodwood in 1963 and am honoured to be invited to return this summer,” says Penske. “I am very much looking forward to sharing in the celebrations with Goodwood’s passionate fans as they return for the 2021 Festival of Speed.”

The squadron of Penskes that will join him is suitably impressive. Among the gems will be the four-wheel-drive Lola T152 that was Penske’s first entry at the Indy 500 in 1969; the McLaren M16B in which Mark Donohue became RP’s first Indy winner in 1972; and the PC23 ‘Beast’, Penske and Ilmor’s Mercedes-badged pushrod special that dominated the 500 in Al Unser Jr’s hands in 1994.

The 84-year-old Captain himself is down to drive on the hill in the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 with which Team Penske won the Sebring 12 Hours in 2008. Perfect, given the newly announced alliance with Porsche that will lead both to embark on a new adventure together in the World Endurance Championship and US IMSA series.

“We are incredibly excited that Roger is able to join us at the Festival of Speed this year as we celebrate motor sport’s great all-rounders, among whom he undoubtedly numbers,” says the Duke. “We are looking forward to seeing both the hugely successful cars which have been assembled, as well as Roger himself take to the Hill over the course of the weekend.”


BRM’s F1 70th Anniversary


Hold your ears: Goodwood belatedly marks BRM’s 70th anniversary

Affections for British Racing Motors linger strong among the Goodwood (and Motor Sport) faithful, and this is one celebration that is likely to prove popular with the hardcore. BRM was founded in the wake of the cessation of World War II in 1945, but this anniversary marks 70 years since its entry into world championship grand prix racing, in 1951. Any excuse!

The collection of BRMs, including all the grand prix winners, will be led by what remains the marque’s most famous – and most infamous – model: the 1.5-litre V16- powered Type 15 in which the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Moss, José Froilán González and Peter Collins all strived (mostly in vain) to put British Racing Green on the map for the first time in the world championship era. The celebration coincides with the well-publicised plan for marque expert Hall & Hall to build three continuation specials of the V16, from around 20,000 original blueprints and drawings.


Norris and Ricciardo in Senna McLarens


McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo will get a historic chance

The appearance of current F1 stars and teams is a signature of the Festival of Speed and at the time of writing, no less than five of the current grand prix entrants will be represented: Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes- AMG, Red Bull and Williams.

Of the current drivers due to run on the hill, Lando Norris is likely to be a major draw given the 21-year-old’s fantastic form this year. He will be joined by his equally effervescent McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, the pair engaging in a contracted PR commitment that they’d probably agree is a little better than most. Each will get to sample a trio of Ayrton Senna McLarens: the MP4/4, the model that claimed victory in 15 of the 16 rounds in 1988 and in which the Brazilian won his first world title; the MP4/5 from Senna’s second title year in 1990; and the MP4/6, his final championship car from 1991 and the last V12-powered grand prix machine to claim an F1 world title. Norris and Ricciardo are known for their wide smiles, but it’s fair to say their faces will be aching more than usual when they get to Goodwood, a week before the British GP.


Something old, something new


It’s fast, but will the Glickenhaus SCG 007 break any records?

The central display outside Goodwood House will celebrate the history of Lotus this year and as well as the sculpture will include a so-called ‘immersive experience’. But while history remains the focal point of the Festival of Speed for many, it’s always refreshing to see something brand new. The appearance of the Glickenhaus SCG 007 Le Mans Hypercar sure hits that mark this year.

The new non-hybrid 3.5-litre V8-powered LMH entry wasn’t deemed race-ready for the Spa 6 Hours at the start of May, but at the time of writing was due to make the second round of the World Endurance Championship at Portimão on June 13. All being well, patron Jim Glickenhaus has pledged his car for the festival in July, a week before round three of the WEC at Monza and well ahead of its debut at the Covid-delayed Le Mans 24 Hours in August. Among the driving crew for Glickenhaus is one Romain Dumas, Goodwood’s hill record holder after his stunning 2019 run in the electric Volkswagen ID.R. Somehow we think it’s unlikely Glickenhaus will be encouraging any such attempts with his precious 007. But it speaks volumes for the power of Goodwood that a new racing car with everything still to prove will be showcased at the festival, along with the road-going SCG 004S that will stand out in the Michelin Supercar Paddock.

Oh, how we’ve missed Goodwood. Hell, how we’ve missed everything! But having lost it in the midst of a global crisis perhaps there’ll be a revived appreciation for what the Festival of Speed means to us. It’s just so great to have it back.

Goodwood’s ticket guarantee

What will happen should there be a cancellation

All being well and the government’s road map to lifting Covid restrictions by June 21 stays true, the Goodwood Festival of Speed really might feel ‘normal’ this year – although it feels slightly unreal to write that after all we’ve been through.

Goodwood reports (at the time of writing) that tickets for the FoS and Revival are still available, but that the delayed Members’ Meeting is now sold out. The Duke and his team have also made a guarantee in case things don’t go to plan. If you buy a ticket and any Goodwood event is cancelled, it can be transferred to next year or you can receive a full refund. For those who bought tickets for the FoS and Revival last year and have rolled them over to 2021, new tickets will be sent out and those dated 2020 won’t be valid. But that’s not the case for the Members’ Meeting. If you have 2020 tickets they will be valid for the event this year, which is scheduled to run in October.

You may also like

Related products