Endurance Icons At The Goodwood Festival of Speed
Photography by Nat Twiss
Attending all four days of the Goodwood Festival of Speed can be a little much: the massive crowds, the heat, and the hill can really take it out of a guy.
But just when I needed a second wind, the classic endurance cars always gave me the shot I needed to keep going.
Nothing gives you a better reminder of where you are—not to mention a shot in the arm and eardrums—than the four rotor engine in the Mazda 787b at redline. Even better is the next car, and then the next car. That’s the brilliance of the Festival of Speed: There is never a lull, and never a boring machine.
Don’t think drivers just trying to please the crowd, either. The timed runs led to some pretty big efforts by the drivers to get cars up the hill as fast as possible. Not every car reached the finish line, in fact, the predecessor to the 787b, the the 767b, met its demise in a hay bale. Its front end was bashed, and its rear spoiler snapped.
An expensive bill on the way for the owner—who was, fortunately, also the one driving. I certainly wouldn’t want to crash someone else’s Group C car!
Speaking of drivers, there were some real legends running over the weekend. Motorcycle ace Valentino Rossi capped his excellent weekend by taking another Mazda Group C machine up the hill, and René Arnoux had the pleasure of showcasing a Le Mans-winning Alpine A442B. British titans Sir Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart had their hands on various vintage Mercedes machines, and many more revered names were also in attendance and driving.
Seeing cars from all eras, from iconic events like the Mille Miglia to Can Am, Le Mans to Bathurst, really can’t be put into words—which is why I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.