If, like me, you prefer your motorsport with fenders and racing for long distances, then the 2019 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard has some real joys in it. We thought we would pick a few favourites to make sure you don’t miss the most spectacular…
Five stunning sportscars you have to see at FOS 2019
When it comes to Mercedes’ time in Group C racing all you seem to hear about is the Le Mans-winning Sauber C9. But as far as we’re concerned, what came after the C9 may, if anything, be even more interesting.
Sure, the C11 never won the big race, but that’s simply because it never entered. Mercedes-Benz chose to skip the trip to La Sarthe that year as the race was, inexplicably, not part of the World Sports-Prototype Championship for 1990. Instead they utterly dominated the WSC, with Mauro Baldi and Jean-Louis Schlesser winning five of the nine rounds (and the C11 didn’t race at the opening race at Suzuka).
Powered by a mighty 5.0-litre, turbocharged V8, the sculpted C11 looks more aggressive than its predecessor. It was also apparently better to drive than the C9, so we have no doubt that had it entered the LM24 that year it would have won.
But wait, there’s one more thing to remember. There wasn’t just one car racing in the WSC that year, a second car featured Jochen Mass for the whole season, partnered in rotation by a young Karl Wendlinger, future F1 race-winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen and some bloke called Michael Schumacher. Wonder if he ever amounted to anything?
Ferrari 166MM/212 Export “Uovo”
Underneath this car is ‘just’ another Ferrari 166MM, originally bought by the Marzotto brothers to take part in the Targa Florio. The car was crashed in its first attempt and on a rebuild the they decided it was time for a rebody, and thus the Uovo was born.
They handed the car over to sculptor Franco Reggiani to create some special bodywork. Reggiani had been trained in aeronautics and took inspiration from jets, creating a shape he likened to that of a plane without wings. The newly-bodied 166 was lighter (by 150kg) and much more aero-efficient than the car that went before it, but its new look split the opinions of those who saw it.
When it raced for the first time in the Giro di Sicillia in 1951 it was still unpainted in bare aluminium, and lit its way using an enormous aircraft light, mounted to the right of the car. The car, which had been given the Uovo nickname by this point (Uovo means ‘egg’ in Italian) raced to a 20km lead, before a differential problem caused it to retire. Even so, the car was the centre of attention wherever it went. At the Mille MIglia later in the year it yet again built-up a massive lead – the equivalent of 30km – before a tyre issue forced another retirement. A third race that year finally led to a victory in the Giro della Toscana.
After this the car raced less and less, to relative success, but it continued to be most famous for those incredible looks. At the Festival of Speed this year you’ll be able to see this extraordinary beast in action once more, looking as spectacular as it did when Reggiani finished it.
Aston Martin Project cars
OK, we’re cheating a bit here, and we’re going to do it again in a second. This isn’t one car, it’s three, but what a trio it is!
DP212, DP214 and DP215 are rather rare in their own right, but to have all three together is something truly special. The ‘Project’ cars where Aston Martin’s attempts to return to the heights of its 1959 Le Mans and World Sportscar Championship-winning season.
After sales of the road-going DB4 began to stagnate, some dealers suggested to Aston Martin they could shift more if there was a successful race programme going on. And thus the Project 212 was born. Based on a cut-down DB4 chassis and with its engine bored from 3.7- to 4.0-litres this was Aston Martin’s gentle look at a full return to Le Mans. The car, in the hands of Graham Hill, would stun the world, leading the field by a significant margin from the word go, before it retired after five hours with a mechanical issue.
Rather than giving up, this spurred Aston into more action, and they returned the following year with not one but three cars. Two called 214, and another called 215. All three duly qualified in the top 10, and the 214s were the fastest GT cars entered. Sadly all three retired due to mechanical issues.
Arriving at Goodwood for the TT later in the year the 214s were fixed and ready for victory, until a scrutineer noticed they were running different-sized rims to their homologation. The change meant the cars were impossible to drive and they slithered into a lowly finish.
The 214s would race once more, finally clinching victory at Monza, after a tight battle with Ferrari and its 250 GTO. Just imagine the sight, two of the most beautiful cars ever made duking it out in front of a partisan Italian crowd! Aston Martin would not race again as a factory team for 26 years… Now, as we celebrate 70 years of Aston Martin at Goodwood, you can see all three Project cars together, a sight not to be missed.
Many Porsche 917s
An entire class just for Porsche 917s. One that includes just about every possible livery – Martini, Gulf, Salzburg, Green Salzberg, Sunoco – and pretty much every type of Porsche 917 ever made. This is going to be good.
This is even more of a cheat than the Astons, as there are 12 Porsche 917s on our entry list… Everything from one in the original, tricky to handle, 1969 form, through the incredible K to the Can-Am killing 917/30. This could well be the most 917s ever brought together, and it is going to be spectacular.
We think you should particularly look out for the long-tailed 917LH and the stunning 917 P/A, resplendent in its wonderful white and blue Porsche + Audi livery, a car which was originally meant to be fitted with a flat-16 engine. Yes, you read that right.
But in reality, it is the simply incredible thought of that many 917s going up the hill together which must get the juices flowing. It will bring back thoughts of Rodriguez at Brands Hatch, of Attwood at Le Mans and Steve McQueen on film. You may need to hold on to something.
The McLaren M8D was the car in which Bruce tragically lost his life here at Goodwood. But after that tragedy it brought extreme triumph to the team in orange. Rallying around fellow driver Denny Hulme the M8D won nine of ten rounds in 1970. Hulme clinched his second Can-Am title, covered in bandages from burns he sustained in a monster shunt at Indianapolis earlier in the year.
The M8D is an absolute brute, powered by a 7.6-litre Chevrolet V8 ready for around 670bhp and equipped with a brand-new Aero configuration. It was a handful, as every Can-Am car was, but in competition it was simply triumphant.
This year two new drivers will step into the M8D, this one owned by McLaren themselves. And in perhaps the perfect tribute to the boss it’ll be two brilliant young chargers, both set for stardom and helping McLaren plot a course to the top of Formula 1. Those two drivers are the Spanish sensation Carlos Sainz Jr., fresh from storming through the field in Austria, and young British charger Lando Norris, who coincidentally also stole the show at the Red Bull Ring.
Seeing this mighty beast at Goodwood is always special, and seeing two of McLaren’s brightest talents at the wheel will be something to remember.
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images and RM Sotheby’s.
The Festival of Speed collection
Check out the latest additions to the Festival of Speed collection, including our new Racing Colours baseball caps
Alfa Romeo 159 Baseball Cap
Bugatti Type 35 Baseball Cap
Cunningham C4R Baseball Cap
Mercedes-Benz W125 Baseball Cap
Festival of Speed Snapback
Vanwall Baseball Cap
2019 FOS Poster
Aston Martin 2019 Cap
FOS Tube Bandana
2019 FOS Pin
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