The sports cars & extreme racers revealed at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Sports Car News

This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed saw the launch of new sports cars, supercars, and some more unusual racing concepts: these are the highlights

2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed Audi R8 GT2

Photo: Motorsport Images

The Goodwood Festival of Speed provided a glimpse of what the racing circuits of 2020 — and beyond will look like. The hillclimb record-setting Volkswagen ID R might have taken the majority of headlines, but it won’t be competing on any grid in the near future. 

However, you will be able to see the new Porsche 911 in the World Endurance Championship later this year. Audi previewed the new GT2 regulations with a new R8; Ford released a track-only version of its GT; and the electric SUV that will compete in the new Extreme E series was unveiled.

There was also an air racing concept from Airspeeder, heralding a future of motorsport that may lie in the sky.


Audi R8 LMS GT2

Next year’s GT2 regulations are confusingly designed to fill the gap between GT3 and GT4 classes, and appeal to amateur drivers, with reduced aerodynamics and a lower price than GT3 racers.

The first cars for the new class have begun to appear, and Audi unveiled its contender, the R8 LMS GT2 at Goodwood.

It is the most powerful customer racing car made by Audi, with 630bhp. The company says the R8 LMS GT2 “addresses gentleman drivers who have been the backbone of GT racing for decades.”

The German manufacturer handed the new machine over to nine-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen, who stretched its legs up the hill.


Porsche 911 RSR GTE

Porsche’s brand new 911 RSR GTE has the task of defending the manufacturers’ crown in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The brand-new offering from Weissach is said to be 95 per cent different to its predecessor, with an engine that has increased in size from, 4.0 to 4.2 litres and improved aerodynamics.

The company says that components have been rearranged to improve airflow and work the diffuser harder, maximising downforce.

“The only components that we’ve kept unchanged from the predecessor are the headlights, brake system, clutch, driver’s seat and parts of the suspension. Tests so far have run excellently,” said Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche’s GT Factory Motorsport director.

The 911 RSR is set to take part in its first race in September, at the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of the 2019/2020 WEC season.


Ford GT Mk II

An upgraded 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 isn’t the only innovation on Ford’s newest GT. The Mk II will be the fastest version of the car ever produced and also one of the most expensive, with a £960,000 price tag attached to it. However, it is not road legal.

Unveiled at Goodwood, the GT Mk II uses components from the GT’s racing programme, which ended this year at Le Mans. It has resulted in a 90-kilo reduction in weight compared with the road car, as well as a redesigned rear wing, splitter and diffuser, for improved downforce.

As well as the improvements have been made to the car’s handling and aerodynamic performance, the Mk II is also 50bhp more powerful, as it is not limited by homologation restrictions. Ford Multimatic Chief Technical Officer, Larry Holt said: “The regularly asked question [was] ‘How would the car perform with all the limitations lifted?’ The answer is, spectacularly.”

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De Tomaso P72

The striking De Tomaso P72 was one of the most eye-catching cars to climb the Goodwood hill throughout the 2019 Festival of Speed.

The supercar is a tribute to the P70 before it, and is said to be built to LMP1 standards, with a carbon fibre monocoque chassis covered by a sweeping body. Only 72 of them will be built.


Extreme E Odyssey 21

Extreme E’s bespoke E-SUV broke cover at Goodwood ahead of the series’ targeted debut in 2021.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag proudly claims the brand-new Odyssey 21 electric SUV is “unlike anything else in motorsport,” and will be a part of a racing series that aims to raise awareness of climate change.

The new prototype SUV, built specifically for entry into the yet-to-launch Extreme E racing series, has 536bhp from motors on each wheel, enabling it to tackle the varied terrain that’s planned for the series: from the Arctic to the Amazon.

Build by Spark Racing Technology, the same company responsible for the first-generation Formula E car, and with a battery manufactured by Williams Advanced Engineering, the Odyssey 21 will undergo testing later this year but was given a brief run out at Goodwood beforehand.

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Airspeeder graphic from 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed

One of the more unconventional Goodwood sightings over the weekend, the Airspeeder octocopter was introduced to the world and debuted in front of the public.

The prototype speeder will bring in a new era of motorsport next year, with the Airspeeder World Championship aiming for a 2020 launch.

The craft itself is four meters in length and weighs 250kg. Eight 67bhp motors powered by a 500kW battery provide full power for up to 15 minutes.

A demonstration took place in the Goodwood Festival of Speed Future Lab, with CEO of Airspeeder, Matt Pearson calling it “a very emotional moment.”

The series aims to mix Formula E’s green mandate with Formula 1’s glamour. Races will last 30 minutes and include one pit-stop for a change of battery.

Further testing of the Mk IV speeder is set to take place later this year in the Mojave Desert, with a 200kph speed targeted ahead of its debut.

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