JF DIrickx , A. Benjamin / Per Eklund 'Happy People' Porsche 911SC


 Goodwood FOS sculpture by Gerry Judah
Goodwood FOS sculpture by Gerry Judah

Once again the huge Goodwood March premises was crowded for 4 days. Approximately 50.000 visitors each day, assuring some traffic jam fun both by arrival in the morning and by heading back home in the late afternoon. However, the only conclusion you can draw is : it definitely is worth the traffic jam.

I guess someone who hasn’t visited the Goodwood Festival of Speed before, can’t really imagine what the event is like. It is not like any other car show. It’s just different, completely different. Not only the surroundings of the show is amazing : the huge park and the great 18th century castle are astonishing. Gerry Judah once again creating an impressive and spectacular sculpture to bring the featured car, Mazda, of the year in the spotlights. This year the artist created a towering vision of Mazda’s motorsport heritage, designed to tie in with this year’s Festival of Speed theme – flat out and fearless: racing on the edge. The statue, twisted into a spiral to represent Mazda’s DNA and motorsport pedigree with the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo concept car and the famous rotary-engined Le Mans racer, the Mazda 787B.

The event kicks off on Thursday with the Moving Motor Show, followed by another 3 days of roaring action. Visiting the event in just one day may be possible, but you better be sure to arrive early, leave late, and you better wear some good walking shoes and have a splendid condition to see anything the event has to offer.

Many people come to the Festival of Speed to enjoy the hillclimb. The 1.16 mile Goodwood Hillclimb route that serves as the driveway to the Goodwood House for 90% of the year, now serves as a route where dozens of astonishing vehicles from the most exclusive brands make their way up , from the Goodwood House to the drivers club, on top of the hill. Depending on the pilot at the wheel of the car, you can see some agressive driving or just cruising up. One thing’s for sure, at the hill-climb you’ll see some real supercars, some very rare and exclusive vintage cars and lots of people with names that sound like a clock.

East-Africa Safari Rally Porsche 911SC
East-Africa Safari Rally Porsche 911SC

One of the most spectacular action scenes at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Forrest Rally Stage. Rally cars from all era’s try to make the 2.3mile long Rally Circuit in the best time. It is truly amazing to see the evolution of the rallycars over the years, and there’s definitely no better way then at the FOS, where you can compare the times and speed of the dfferent aged cars. It requires a bit of walking up the hill, and some forrest crossing, but the most spectacular spot on the rally stage is without any doubt the famous jump.

There are even 2 Porsches at the Rally Stage. The East-Africa Safari Rally Porsche 911 SC, a car that still wears the signs of the rally in a very visible way : to be honest, the car was in a horrific condition. Hopefully the new owner of the car, as it was auctioned a few weeks later at the Coys Auction at the Nurburgring, brings back the car to a presentable condition. The next Porsche was quite something else : the ‘Happy People’ Porsche 911SC, once raced by the Swedish Rally Champion Per Eklund. In only competed in a few WRC races, Eklund entered the car in some less important rallies and even did some Autocross in it. The momenf of glory for this Porsche 911, in a remarkable ‘happy people’ livery, was the 1978 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland where Per Eklund and his co-driver Björn Cederberg managed to achieve a 4th place overall.

Exactly as any car manufacturer, Porsche tries to impress the visitors too. It built up a true building, with a mockup Porsche 919 to celebrate the Le Mans 24h victory. The brandnew Porsche 997 GT3RS and the Cayman GT4 stole the show. Those more into the SUV could try a Macan or Cayenne in the field. They had a line up of more amazing cars in the paddocks. The Porsche 917 that served as Steve McQueen’s racer in the Le Mans Movie, the Porsche 936 , Porsche 956 and 962.

We’d like to thank the 911Motorsport Crew for the hospitality during the Goodwood Festival of Speed event. Without them this article wouldn’t have been possible !!
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