Goodwood: Festival of Speed.
When a British Lord has his garden party in early summer, it is usually hardly worth mentioning. However, when Lord March extends invitations to his Festival of Speed in the tranquil town of Goodwood in South East England, everybody shows up. Manufacturers, legendary racing drivers, celebs and more than 200,000 spectators. And that is not by chance. Because the goings-on all around Goodwood House and especially on the 1.86-km 'hill climb track' whip mobility fans into a state of frenzy every year. The term 'all around' in this context definitely also describes the airspace above the beautiful gardens.
Champagne, sun and (looking at) the world's most beautiful cars - what could be more magnificent?
The Red Arrows aerobatic team ensures stiff necks among the spectators.
The Red Arrows aerobatic team.
Twice each day, the air is rocked by the Red Arrows aerobatic team in their Hawk T1 jets for one and by a Eurofighter Typhoon for another. If you now believe that the 75,000 hp of the jets represented the climax not only in terms of power, but in terms of volume as well, you're mistaken. Proven impressively by, among others, the Austin Bantam Roadster Rat Trap dragster with its 6.9-litre V8 and a huge cloud of tyre smoke.
When love goes through the ears.
As chance would have it, the performance of the Eurofighter and pre-starting the Mercedes-Benz W 25 and its Silver Arrow brother W 125 happened at exactly the same moment. Within a radius of about 20 metres, nobody had any idea afterwards that the fighter jet had performed its barrel rolls in the sky at the same time. Especially the unsuspecting, who were intent on taking a picture of the still dormant exhaust chimney with their smartphone, briefly thought the earth would open up under them when the Silver Arrow engines were started. But contrary to what some might surmise now, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Team was hailed precisely for these once-in-a-lifetime moments for every spectator that will be remembered forever.
Ellen Lohr has the privilege of driving the oldest automotive participant up the small hill: the Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp from 1903.
Nothing would move without the highly motivated and highly skilled mechanics of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Team.
Racing driver legends.
One could literally feel that these few minutes when the spectators in the immediate vicinity had to bite their teeth to relieve the pressure in their ears (the hands were busy shooting video) not only deposited soot on their skin, but also some of the greatest memories of their life in their minds. The prolonged applause and the tears in the eyes of the spectators when this rare experience in the Mercedes-Benz Classic pits was over naturally did not leave the justifiably proud mechanics untouched. And when even racing driver legends such as Bernd Schneider or Jochen Mass cover their ears because of the noise, every petrol head knows: the action here rocks!
Love this event!
Under the motto 'Peaks of Performance – Motorsport Game Changers', Mercedes-Benz Classic presented a selection of vehicles, each of which significantly shaped and influenced the motor racing rules of the particular time. In addition to the legendary Silver Arrows, other extremely rare cars were on display. The Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp from 1903 that Mercedes-Benz Classic brought was the oldest representative of the Stuttgart-based brand this year. If that alone weren't enough, the 6.8-litre four-cylinder was kept at bay by the first and only woman racing driver ever to win a DTM race to date, Ellen Lohr.
The likeable Brand Ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic once again had great fun, as she shared with her social media friends directly from there: 'Love this event'! Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg also was happy to tackle the hill climb in the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W 05 Hybrid – as was current Silver Arrow driver Valtteri Bottas.
The Formula 1 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W04 racing car, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton in 2013 at the Grand Prix of Hungary.
A unique chance for Formula 1 fans.
For affluent fans of Formula 1 racing, Mercedes-Benz Classic additionally has a really big surprise in store: the Formula 1 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W04 racing car, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton in 2013 at the Grand Prix of Hungary and others, is for sale – offered by ALL TIME STARS, the vehicle dealership of Mercedes-Benz Classic. It's 2.4-litre V8 engine revs up to 18,000 rpm. It is the fourth Grand Prix racing car of the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 works team founded in 2010 and based in Brackley, England. The price for the Formula 1 racing car will be shared with interested customers upon request.
Of course, the focus of this year's Festival of Speed was not only on the brand bearing the three-pointed star. The 70th anniversary of the Ferrari brand, a number of automotive world premières like that of the McLaren 570S Spider or just the presence of the countless living racing driver legends alone once more provided a journey back in time through automotive history complete with 24-hour goosebumps. The spectacular sculpture in front of Goodwood House was dedicated to the career of Bernie Ecclestone this year and showed five Formula 1 racing cars from different eras.
Drifting Rally-Dakar trucks, screaming Formula 1 engines or buzzing electric speedsters – the Festival of Speed presents vehicles in action that unfortunately are too rare a sight in public. For that reason alone, it is not only auto enthusiasts who, on a long weekend in the garden of Lord March, comprehend the value and importance of Classic departments like the one of Mercedes-Benz. Because anything that can still trigger such intense emotions across generations today, not only deserves to be preserved, but must be preserved and cherished.