GRR

The nine best sportscars at the 2022 Festival of Speed

26th June 2022
Ethan Jupp

It felt like a big year for sportscars at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, as we celebrated 40 years of Group C, 50 years of BMW M, 75 years of Ferrari and welcomed to the world a brand-new top-level prototype racer from Porsche. Needless to say, the latter is the opener on our list of the very coolest sportscars at FOS.

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Porsche 963

It was an enormous moment, as Porsche pulled the covers off its undisguised new LMDh prototype for 2023 and beyond, now named the 963. Resplendent in those typical Porsche racing colours of red, white and black, this stunning machine got straight to work stretching out its hybrid 4.6-litre twin-turbo V8 up the Hill. This wasn’t just a Festival moment, it was a moment in history: the first time an LMDh car has run uncovered and fully revealed in public.

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BMW V12 LMR

Of course, a big moment in title marque BMW M’s history was when this car crossed the line to finish first at Le Mans in 1999. Arguably the crowning jewel of BMW’s motorsport achievements, the V12 LMR harnessed the proven S70 V12 in with a Williams-developed chassis and the drum-tight Schnitzer team to take a great win, with what proved to be a consistent and enjoyable car for all drivers. A masterclass of endurance.

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Ferrari 333SP

Ferrari’s unofficial prototype was never a Le Mans star but did secure a number of IMSA and Sportscar championships in its lengthy tenure. The coolness of the one at the Festival? Mostly that it was in the Timed Shootout being pushed to its absolute limit. Never one to miss if you’re a fan of that five-valve head V12, which also powered Nigel Mansell’s Ferrari F1 cars and indeed, the F50 supercar.

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Audi R8 GT3

If you spied an Audi R8 GT3 in the paddocks and on the Hill that had a face that was more gaffer tape than metal or carbon, that means you spotted this year’s Nürburgring 24-hour winner, brandishing its battle scars with pride. The Team Phoenix car was driven to victory by Dries Vanthoor, Fred Vervisch, Kelvin van der Linde and Robin Frijns. The nose damage was sustained by Vanthoor, who collided with a Grello Porsche earlier on in the race. A proper racer with freshly earned stripes here at FOS.

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Porsche 911 RSR

Speaking of winning machinery, the 2022 Le Mans-winning Porsche 911 RSR, which came to the Festival not necessarily with the battle scarring of the Audi but with a face playing as a bug’s graveyard. The current RSR has an incredible legacy with Porsche, with this being one a succession of victories the marque has accrued since its introduction in 2017. With GTE going away next year, so too will the screaming RSR and that’ll be a shame.

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Sauber-Mercedes C9

In the pantheon of Group C cars, the Sauber-Mercedes C9 is right up there as one of the most memorable. Most will recall them wearing the typical Mercedes silver but today we have cars here running in their iconic AEG liveries. A real machine not to have missed on the Hill, as Jochen Mass’s old monster stretches its turbocharged Mercedes V8. Le Mans-winning performance present and correct here in West Sussex.

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McLaren F1 GTR

One of the most iconic cars to not win at Le Mans has to be the McLaren F1 Longtail, resplendent here in the FINA livery. BMW M power took the F1 in its original GTR form to victory in 1995. Porsche then brought a prototype dressed as a 911 and the Longtail was McLaren’s response, contorted and stretched as it is. An unmissable sight on the Hill as that BMW M V12 sang under the foot of period driver and motorsport legend Steve Soper.

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Glickenhaus SCG007

Like the Porsche fresh back from Le Mans, the Glickehaus SCG007 returns to us at the Festival this year a podium sitter at the famous race. Specifically, the first American-built podium finisher for over 50 years. That’s quite the achievement for what is, by comparison to the corporate might of Toyota, a garagiste. Jim Glickenhaus was here on hand to escort his car on its weekend away in Sussex, even sitting it next to the new Porsche he looks forward to racing next year. Great sports.

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Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

We love an Aston Martin here at Goodwood and they don’t get much more special than this. It’s a DB4 GT Zagato. With Le Mans history this car is recently restored, as one of the original Zagatos made and one of just four in lightweight DP209 specification. You won’t have missed it in baby blue, a truly beautiful sportscar sight at the 2022 Festival of Speed.

Photography by Joe Harding, Jordan Butters, Tom Baigent and Nick Dungan.

  • Porsche

  • 963

  • BMW

  • V12 LMR

  • List

  • Ferrari

  • 333SP

  • Audi

  • R8

  • 911

  • Sauber

  • Mercedes

  • C9

  • McLaren

  • F1 GTR

  • Aston Martin

  • DB4

  • Glickenhaus

  • SCG007

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