GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED 2007: ‘SPARK OF GENIUS – BREAKING RECORDS, PUSHING BOUNDARIES’
The theme of the 2007 Goodwood Festival of speed was ‘Spark of Genius – Breaking Records, Pushing Boundaries’, celebrating the glory of the individual racers and engineering visionaries who took risks and made sacrifices in their quest for victory. From the brave competitors who campaigned in the first Brooklands and Isle of Man TT races 100 years ago, through to the land speed record breakers and the cream of the current F1 and WRC drivers, all have made their mark and were honoured at the 2007 festival.
To mark these superb motoring milestones, the selection of machinery on the hill included a spectacular array of ground-breaking competition cars, which either redefined the technical possibilities of the age or allowed the driver to achieve the seemingly impossible. Cars taking part included everything from a class of slimline single seaters from MILLER, DUESENBERG, ALFA ROMEO and MERCEDES-BENZ, to the various brilliantly daring designs of Lotus genius Colin Chapman, as well as convention defying vehicles such as the Chaparral 2j ‘Sucker Car’, Howmet TX gas-turbine car and incredible Milliken MX1 Camber Car with its strangely angled wheels. There was also a range of important cars representing the greatest achievements of heroic standard-setting drivers such as Nuvolari, Fangio, Clark, Senna, Ickx and Moss, right up to contemporary stars such as Schumacher and Alonso.
Many competitions and competitors have achieved cult status in their ambition for the ultimate in their particular discipline, and the Festival recognized the legendary performers in each. The famed Le Mans 24 Hour race provides perhaps the ultimate test of racing endurance and creates heroes of drivers who excel there such as Jacky Ickz, Derek Bell and Tom Kristensen, while the World Rally Championship continues to pit drivers against the challenge of racing over unfamiliar terrain full of natural hazards. Perhaps even more extreme is the Pike’s Peak hillclimb in the USA, where outrageous 900bhp cars ‘race to the clouds’ up 12 miles and 156 corners of gravel-covered roads, all of which are flanked by sheer free-fall drops and hardly any guard rails. A class of the ultimate Pike’s Peak cars will take to the hill, including Audi Quattro, Peugeot 405 T16 and Toyota Celica. On two wheels, Grand Prix and Superbike championships define the ultimate circuit racing, while the TT is easily the greatest road race and the grueling Paris-Dakar rally is the ultimate off-road test.
Great names from the history of motor sport: in addition to the cars, a galaxy of great drivers were at the event to drive them. From Grand Prix racing came World Champions Damon Hill, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees, as well as the world’s most experienced GP driver, Riccardo Patrese, who started a record 256 GPs. A host of GP stars were also in action including Lewis Hamilton, Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, Jenson Button and Allan McNish, who were joined by Le Mans winners Derek Bell, Richard Attwood, Jackie Oliver and Vern Schuppan. From rallying came Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Hannu Mikkola, Paddy Hopkirk, Michele Mouton, Stig Blomqvist, Björn Waldegård, Russell Brookes, Tony Fall and Marcus Dodd, while all the way from the USA came legendary driver Al Unser Snr, plus Jim Hall, renowned creator of the radical Chaparral cars. Goodwood also welcomed reigning World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx, and ALMS GT1 Champion Oliver Gavin – who is an ambassador for Festival sponsor Lloyds TSB Private Banking.
Lord March said: ‘It will be just fantastic to have so many great cars and drivers here at Goodwood to celebrate our theme, which is ‘Spark of Genius – Breaking Records, Pushing Boundaries’. I look forward with much relish to seeing the great innovations and innovators of motor sport in action on both the hill climb and Forest Rally Stage.