As the honored marque of this year’s Festival of Speed the sportscar manufacturer showed off with different actions. “We’re delighted that Goodwood gave us this brilliant opportunity to share our passion with enthusiasts, Porsche fans and owners here in the UK,” Krishan Bodhani, CEO, Porsche Cars Great Britain, commented. “Porsche has been one of our most loyal and enthusiastic partners, supporting the Festival of Speed since 1995 and the Revival since 2010,” said the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, host of the Festival of Speed.
The global debut of the Porsche 718 Spyder RS
Porsche fans and owners enjoyed a whole host of action, with the focus on the challenging 1.16-mile hill-climb running through the center of the venue. One of the many Porsche models mastering its way up Goodwood’s famous hill climb was the very first Porsche sports car, the 1948 356 No 1. From the other end of the Porsche 75 Years spectrum was the recently announced 718 Spyder RS, which made its global dynamic debut on Goodwood hill.
Other modern road-going cars to feature on the hill, each inspired by the ethos of Ferry’s original dream, included the latest 911 GT3 RS, the 911 Dakar, the latest version of the mid-engine 718 GT4 RS fitted with circuit-optimized Manthey Kit, and the new Cayenne S. Alongside the action, Porsche offered an unparalleled range of static exhibits and immersive displays around the Goodwood site.
Honored marque at the Festival of Speed
In its fourth recognition as the featured marque at the prestigious Festival of Speed, Porsche was given the exclusive privilege of showcasing a custom-designed sculpture gracing the grounds of the historic Goodwood House. The monumental display was the brainchild of renowned London-based artist Gerry Judah. Crafted from a staggering 50 tons of steel, the sculpture came alive with the inclusion of six distinguished cars, each emblematic of the milestones in Porsche’s illustrious 75-year history. The line-up featured a 1951 356, a 1960 718 Formula 2, a 1990 962C, a 2009 911 type 997 Sport Classic, a 963, and the newest addition to the fleet, the 911 type 992.
At the Porsche Experience pavilion, spectators were treated to an exciting display of Porsche’s latest offerings. The star attraction was the unveiling of the Mission X prototype, a hypercar that redefines aesthetic and technological innovation. With its Le Mans-style doors that swing upwards and forward and a state-of-the-art electric powertrain that efficiently marries performance, the Mission X elicited awe and admiration. Making its grand debut alongside was the Vision 357 Speedster. With no roof and a fully electric powertrain, the car is a modern reimagining with design elements paying homage to the classic 356.
In a parallel nod to the 356 model, the 356 ‘Art Car’ became a visual manifestation of Ferry Porsche’s vision. The digital artwork, crafted meticulously by Lusion, embodied the journey of an idea from inception to realization. It began with a depiction of the initial creative chaos, gradually converging into a tangible design. The crescendo of the digital narrative was a seed sprouting into a myriad of flowers, which subsequently conformed to the silhouette of a Porsche 356. The colorful metaphor, aptly christened ‘Flower 356,’ breathed life into the artist’s conceptual understanding, commanding attention and appreciation at the Porsche exhibit.
Various highlights at the Porsche exhibit
The Porsche exhibit was a veritable haven for car enthusiasts, blending other enticing features seamlessly with the vehicle showcases. A display curated by Porsche Classic took center stage, flanked by a bespoke Porsche merchandise store and a cozy café, serving as a refreshing pitstop for visitors. The stand also catered to younger spectators with a dedicated play area, while a DJ set the rhythmic undertones to the event.
Beyond the Porsche stand, an expansive parking zone was allocated exclusively for Porsche Club GB members, adding an additional layer of exclusivity to the event. Visitors were also privy to the ‘Labyrinth’, a vibrant, life-sized interpretation of the Porsche 75 Years logo that attendees could explore on foot.
Adding an artistic dimension to the automobile spectacle was ‘Dream Big’, an extraordinary installation by the visionary Chris Labrooy. Commanding attention in the middle of Goodwood’s cricket pitch, the installation featured a 911 Carrera seemingly positioned as a plaything in the hand of a towering figure, sporting a racing driver’s helmet. The diorama was visually striking, as it portrayed the sleek coupé akin to a toy car in the giant’s grip, seemingly being navigated along the ground.
A parade of Porsches
An array of celebrated racing cars marking Porsche’s 75-year legacy took center stage on the hill, showcasing the illustrious evolution of the brand. This line-up spanned from the iconic 917, steered by the 1970 Le Mans champion Richard Attwood, to the formidable 935/76 and the advanced 919 Hybrid, manned by Timo Bernhard. These treasures, among approximately 20 others, were transported from Zuffenhausen to Goodwood courtesy of the Porsche Heritage and Museum team.
The celebration was further elevated by the presence of esteemed personalities from Porsche’s racing history. Nick Tandy, a Porsche factory race driver and Le Mans victor in 2015 with the 919 Hybrid, graced the occasion. Joining him were Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen from the incumbent Porsche 963 driver roster. Mark Webber, former Grand Prix winner, 2015 WEC Drivers’ Champion, and Porsche Ambassador, was also in attendance.
In a tribute to the marque’s rich history, a grand Porsche parade was assembled around the central sculpture, journeying up the famed hill twice daily. The convoy was spearheaded by the historic 356 No 1, and the procession boasted a myriad of iconic models. Among them were the experimental 1983 racing iteration of the 928 ‘Trigema’, the off-road ready Cayenne Trans-Siberia, a 959, a 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S, and a particularly unique 911 ‘Type 991’. The latter was the millionth 911 manufactured since the model’s 1963 introduction and was piloted up the hill on the first day of the Festival by the famed golfer and Porsche Ambassador, Paul Casey.
In an unprecedented occurrence, gusty winds led to the Festival’s cancellation on its traditionally active Saturday. Nevertheless, the event resumed in full swing by Sunday, providing an ample dose of excitement for automobile enthusiasts.
The festival welcomed an international entourage of approximately 70 media representatives, courtesy of Porsche. Given the abrupt cancellation on Saturday, an innovative approach was imperative to organize fresh activities for the day. A concerted overnight effort by the teams from Porsche Heritage and Museum and Porsche Cars Great Britain PR department, resulted in a successful development of a new agenda.
About 15 cars, along with a unique Porsche tractor, were transported from the festival grounds to the media base at the picturesque West Dean College, an arts and further education institute situated approximately 5 km away. Here, media personnel got a chance to test drive several cars on the private pathways threading through the expansive West Dean estate. The driving experience included off-road journeys for vehicles such as the 953, 911 Dakar, the latest Cayenne and the Cayenne Trans-Siberia. The Heritage team demonstrated race cars including the 917/30. Porsche Cars Great Britain’s model line experts, who were also in attendance, conducted interviews at West Dean, while Ingo Bauer-Scheinhütte imparted insightful car design workshops. A local coffee maestro from Cast Iron even offered classes on crafting the perfect cup of coffee.
As the day concluded, all the vehicles were transported back to the festival, ready to enchant guests with a complete festival experience on Sunday.