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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018

Lee Stern
12 Jul 2018

Everything you need to know about the 2018 FoS and Porsche's central feature

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The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed is officially under way. Coined the world's largest automotive garden party, the event celebrates cars and bikes in all their diverse forms, and this year Porsche – which is celebrating its 70th birthday – has been named as the marquee sponsor.

The central feature erected in front of Goodwood House honours the German manufacturer. Standing at 52m-high it will be visible across the whole estate. Six iconic road and race cars, bookending Porsche’s 70-year history, are mounted on branches sprouting from the structure's central pillar.

> Porsche GT3 RS review

Over 600 cars and bikes, old and new, will descend on the Goodwood estate in Sussex, where manufacturers will be out in force, displaying their latest creations to the public in towering temporary structures and on the tricky hill climb course.

Snaking up through the estate, it’s the hill climb route that attracts the most attention, with all manner of vehicles set to take to it over the long weekend. Our personal event highlight is the supercar paddock, which allows visitors to get up close to the latest gaggle of rarely spotted models. However, it’s not all about modern unobtainium: there will be something for everyone, with motorsport icons, performance road cars and quirky creations – from all eras – in attendance. There will also be plenty of other exhibits and performances to keep all the family entertained, a headline feature being an aerobatics routine from the Red Arrows.

Numerous exhibitions will pay tribute to Porsche’s extensive motorsport success, with cars from multiple disciplines – including WEC, Formula 1 and rallying – on display. A wide range of Porsche road cars, sure to include the likes of the 911 2.7 RS and various generations of 911 GT3, will also be displayed. Meanwhile on the hillclimb, spectators will be treated to an all-Porsche demonstration run to further celebrate the revered brand.

> Driving at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

A slightly different agenda controls each day’s events. Thursday is the quietest day and provides the best opportunity to walk all the manufacturers’ stands and acquaint yourself with their models. On the Friday, the stopwatch comes out as hill climb entries take to the course for practice. Moving into the weekend, the Formula Drift and stunt displays will wow the large crowds, as cars continue to tackle the hill climb ahead of event’s final day. And it’s here, on the Sunday, that definitive times are laid down as the fastest competitors gun for the all-time record.

So popular is the Festival of Speed that ticket availability is limited on all days but the Thursday. Entry is cheapest on the first day, at £37 for an adult ticket, and prices rise for each successive day, reaching £69 for the Sunday. Concession tickets are available, as are hospitality packages.  

What to see

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo will arrive in West Sussex with its new, limited-edition NRING models, based on the Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which celebrate the duo’s lap times at the Nordschleife. Elsewhere on Alfa’s stand you’ll find the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 car, as well as the Alfa Romeo GTAm and 1900 Sport Spider; both have been flown in from the Alfa Romeo Museum

Alpine

Last year the A110 made its dynamic debut, and its motorsport counterpart, the A110 GT4, will follow suit this year; the French sports car manufacturer created the racer for an amateur one-make series. Alpine will also display the A110 Legende, one of two new A110 variants set to succeed the Premiere Edition which is no longer on sale.

Aston Martin

No less than eight Aston Martins will fire up the hill, three of which will be making their public debuts. The new DBS Superleggera will spearhead Aston’s festival showing, featuring in the supercar paddock in between runs up the hill. In tow of it you’ll see the V12 Vantage V600, a limited-edition runout model to wave off the old Vantage. Furthermore, all three DB11 variants, including the new AMR, will be in attendance, too. 

Bentley

Straight off the back of its record-breaking run in the ‘Race to the Clouds’, the Pikes Peak Bentayga will tackle its second hill climb, at the festival, marking its dynamic debut in the UK. Following suit will be the new Continental GT and its racing counterpart, the brand-new Bentley Continental GT3, which is based on the recently launched second-generation grand tourer.

BMW

BMW’s festival presence will revolve around the new 8-series. The new Coupe and M8 GTE will take to the hill, while the Concept M8 Gran Coupe will demonstrate where the brand will take the 8-series model next. Honouring its return to Le Mans this year, the German marque will be sending the iconic 3.0 CSL, an M1 Procar and the V12 LMR up though the course, too.

Brabham

The Brabham BT62 will arrive at the Goodwood estate with a red and blue livery, aping the Brabham 1978 BT46B F1 car. Not only will the BT62 be on show in the supercar paddock, but it will take on the hill route, too, for its UK dynamic debut.

Ferrari

Both the Ferrari 812 Superfast and the 488 Pista will make their dynamic debuts on the hill, where spectators will see the Portofino and the GTC4 Lusso T in action. The latter pair will also be on display in the supercar paddock alongside three, privately-owned Ferrari XX models, including the FXX K Evo. Another La Ferrari-derived model, in the shape of the open-top Aperta, will complete Ferrari’s Goodwood showing.

Ford

To promote the new Mustang Bullitt, due on UK showroom floors in September, Ford will display it alongside the very car that featured in the famous film back in 1968, marking the star car’s debut on foreign soil.

Another space on Ford’s stand will be reserved for the Eagle Squadron Mustang GT – a tribute to American pilots who served in the RAF during World War Two. As for the hill climb, you can expect to see the Ford GT GTE and M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Championship in action.

Honda

Honda’s history of striking stand designs will continue at this year’s festival, where the structure erected will imitate a racetrack grid. According to Honda it’s supposed to showcase the brand’s ‘rich racing pedigree’. To that end, the Honda-engined 2018 Torro Rosso F1 car will line up alongside the NSX GT3 and the BTCC Civics from the past two seasons. As for road-going metal you’ll find a Civic Type R and an NSX, as well.

Lotus

No new, yet-to-be-seen models will make their debut at the festival. However, Lotus has confirmed it will announce more special-edition models over the weekend. They will honour the British marque’s past racing triumphs, in a similar vein to the recent line of tribute models which have emerged from Hethel. 

McLaren

McLaren has announced its forthcoming 600LT will feature at the festival, and also revealed the roster of drivers who will be representing the marque over the course of the weekend: Emerson Fittipaldi, Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris are just a few to mention.

Mini

Mini will bring its whole model range to display on its stand in the Goodwood estate. Two concepts, making their premiere, will headline Mini’s showing at the festival – the John Cooper Works GP Concept  and the Electric Concept. The latter previews the brand’s first all-electric model, which is due in 2019.

Mercedes-Benz

New AMG models are the main attractions for Mercedes this year: the AMG GT 63 four-door will tackle the hill, while the AMG G63 will appear on UK shores for the first time. Elsewhere, Valtteri Bottas will take the W07 F1 car past the Flint Wall, with the AMG GT R set to follow, and back on Mercedes’ stand the Project One will take centre-stage.

Polestar

Polestar’s long-awaited hybrid sports car will take to the hill for its dynamic debut, albeit in camouflage-clad prototype guise. However, two Polestar 1s, in production specification, will be on display elsewhere in the grounds. Deliveries for the 592bhp coupe are due in the second quarter of 2019.

Roborace

For the first time the 1.16-mile course will be covered by an autonomous vehicle. Roborace’s 500bhp-plus, all-electric car is equipped with advanced autonomous technology and hints at a possible, unmanned future of motorsport.

Tesla

With production delays, quality issues and mounting orders, the Tesla Model 3’s birth has been nothing short of arduous. Despite this, over 500,000 have been ordered globally, while European sales are scheduled for 2019. To whet the EV appetite, Tesla will be showing the Model 3 at the festival, marking its European debut.

Toyota 

Toyota has continuously teased the Supra, refusing to reveal the forthcoming sports cars’ specification all the while. However, Toyota has confirmed the Supra will charge up the hill at Goodwood, wrapped in a patterned disguise. The Supra, which has been developed alongside the upcoming BMW Z4, will exist under the Gazoo Racing banner and s due in 2019.  

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