Looking forward to Goodwood

Historic Racing

I begin this dispatch with a Mental Health Warning.

The following paragraphs do not contain mention of the round, black products produced by an Italian supplier to Grand Prix racing. They may, however, contain traces of rubber as those ingredients are used in our sport.

So, there we are, those of you who are baffled and bored with the endless debate about you-know-what may read on without fear of repetition.

We all know which side our bread is buttered, who is the piper that plays our tune. In my case, my daylight hours, and too many in darkness, are shared between many masters, the two most important being our esteemed editor and the Earl of March.

I mention this because the end of May signals the onset of Festival fever. This summer Goodwood celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Speed (it is actually the 21st event) and a huge effort is being made to stage a memorable weekend. My role in this is to ensure that the television coverage, and subsequent programmes, are of the highest possible standard. Not such an onerous task when you consider the content on offer.

Touching on Formula 1, though not the black round bits, there will be seven teams at Goodwood in July, all with their regular drivers apart from Scuderia Ferrari who will trust Marc Gené with the machinery. You may have heard that Kimi Räikkönen will be there to drive the Lotus and certainly the prospect has caused a great deal of excitement. I cannot confirm this story but I can tell you that Ice Man would surely love the Festival. No press conferences, no formal interviews, no sponsor commitments and a hell of party in Goodwood House on the Saturday night. Come on Kimi, get that perfect-for-poker face down to sunny Sussex.

Porsche fans will be thick on the famous lawns this year, the company celebrating 60 years of the 911 with an incredible line-up of both road and competition cars. McLaren will be there in force too. It’s 50 years since Bruce started the team and the guys at Woking have been working hard to prepare some great cars including James Hunt’s M23 from 1976. Then it’s 40 years of the World Rally Championship so expect to see some big names when you climb the hill to the forest rally stage. Essentially the 2013 Festival will be Lord March’s greatest hits album, bringing back the best moments of the last two decades and cramming them into three days of pure pleasure.

If you take the latest edition of Motor Sport along with you then you will truly appreciate the importance of the Festival’s tribute to 90 years of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Too many great cars and drivers to mention here, but don’t miss this.

And the best thing? Well, those things we do not mention will surely last long enough for a few shrieking blasts up the Goodwood Hill without a pitstop.

Should you be otherwise occupied from July 12 to 14 the event will be televised live on Sky and a week afterwards by ITV. That’s where I come in and there are just 40 days to go before the cameras get rolling.

Click here for more from Rob Widdows.

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