Turbocharged excitement is in the air at Goodwood as the clock ticks down to the running of the first Formula One high-speed demonstration at the 72nd Members’ Meeting on Saturday afternoon. It will be a historic moment when the mega-powerful turbo monsters of the 1980s perform on the Motor Circuit for the first time in public.
Even as a vast range of racing machines, including the Group One saloons, thunder around the circuit for their practice sessions, crowds have been gathering in the F1 paddock as the crews prepare their cars for the high speed action to come.
Back in the day some of these cars were said to have produced as much as 1500bhp in qualifying trim, although come race day this figure was reduced to a far more sensible 1000bhp. We can only imagine the noise and fury once they’re all on track at the same time.
The high speed demonstration will feature a variety of cars from 1983 to 1988 (after which turbocharged engines were banned until their return to F1 this year) including examples of Toleman, Alfa Romeo, Renault, Lotus, Beatrice, Arrows, Ferrari, Zakspeed, and Renault, although the star of the show is arguably the very same McLaren MP4/2 which Niki Lauda drove to the World Championship in 1984, having come out of retirement to drive for the Woking constructor.
As well as the on-track action there is a selection of cars on static display in the paddock, including the 1986 Benetton BMW which is said to be the most powerful Formula One car ever.
As a further treat for F1 enthusiasts McLaren has also brought down examples of the MP4/2B and MP4/2C which won the drivers’ championship in 1985 and ’86.
And as if the spectacle of a field of original turbo-era Grand Prix cars circulating at speed around the Goodwood circuit isn’t enough, the course car will be the McLaren P1 – making its public on-track debut.