In 2019, Aston Martin was the honoured marque at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. Aston Martin adorned the iconic Central Feature as they marked their 70th anniversary of their first race at Goodwood, and the 60th anniversary of its historic 1959 World Sportscar Championship.
The Lavant Cup race at the 1949 Goodwood Easter Meeting was held over five laps, and marked Aston Martin’s first Goodwood appearance, with W G Bingley finishing in tenth position aboard his Aston Martin. Little did Bingley know that 10 years later, Aston Martin would achieve its greatest success on the same circuit.
The 1959 World Sportscar Championship RAC TT at Goodwood was the title-deciding race of that year’s championship. Ferrari had won at Sebring, Porsche had mastered the Targa Florio, and Aston Martin had been victorious in both the 1000km race at the Nürburgring and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Disaster struck for Aston Martin, though, when Roy Salvadori and Stirling Moss’s race-leading car was set on fire in the pits during the first pitstop. Moss was swiftly put into the third Aston Martin DBR1 of Carroll Shelby and Jack Fairman. The trio went on to beat the Porsche 718 RSK of Wolfgang von Trips and Jo Bonnier by a lap, sealing the 1959 championship.
This was by no means Aston Martin’s first success at Goodwood – the British manufacturer had completed a clean sweep of the legendary Nine Hour races in 1952 with the DB3, and ’53 and ’55 with the DB3S. The relationship continued into the early 1960s with the beautiful Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.
More recently, Aston Martin has been a stalwart of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and many of the manufacturer’s most important cars have run up the Hill, from its Le Mans-winning DBR9 to the DBR1 that won the aforementioned TT in 1959. There was, of course, a class of Aston Martin’s most important racing cars that took to the Hill at the 2019 Festival of Speed, while the Supercar Run displayed a cross section of the company’s current range of road cars. One of the classes in the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’Elegance was dedicated to cars powered by the legendary Tadek Marek-designed Aston Martin V8 engine, which made its debut 50 years ago, in 1969.