Left is the Tom Kristensen winning car #7, Porsche TWR WSC95, Joest Racing, Le Mans 24H, 1997,and right is the 1970 LM winning car #23 Porsche 917 driven by Hans Herrmann/Richard Attwood
Regular Goodwood attendees would have been starved of all the glorious action in 2020 that this venue has to offer, as the Members’ Meeting, Festival and Revival were all cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the Goodwood team have really done themselves proud with the newly created SpeedWeek, held over the weekend of 16-18 October. They have taken all the great elements of both the Festival and Revival, and rolled these into one great spectacle.
It was weird for sure not to have any spectators at Goodwood, as the only folk milling about the paddock and surrounds were the marshals and stewards, drivers with wives and/or girlfriends, crew and media. But a new trend has developed in recent days, because with everyone wearing a mask, you can no longer tell when a friend or colleague is greeting you with a smile. What has now become the standard alternative to the acknowledging smile, is the nod. So folks, get used to it, for as long as face masks rule, the smile is out and the nod is in!!
All three days over the weekend were dry which allowed some really great racing. Activities started on Wednesday for the teams who needed to set up and get their cars ready, while Thursday was given over to admin sign-on and some media laps for Goodwood’s partners. Track action really only started on Friday with practice and some races.
There were a couple of new model reveals (Bentley and Mustang Mach-E) and for the younger viewers there was the Goodwood Driftkhana which generated a smokescreen that any military commander would have been proud of. On the modern car front, there was the interesting ‘shoot out’ in which a select group of cars from a range of disciplines (Formula 1, sports prototypes, GTs) completed a timed lap from a standing start. The Formula 1 car was obviously quickest, but there were some surprises in it for those who thought they knew it all.
‘Porsche at Le Mans’
Of course there were the usual race classes that we have come to expect from Goodwood, but once again, the quality and variety of cars on offer was spectacular. Of special interest to Porsche enthusiasts, there was the spectacular ‘Porsche at Le Mans’ demonstration run on Friday and Sunday.
This demo run featured some iconic Porsche race cars that have won the Le Mans 24 Hours over the five decades since their first victory. At the top of the list was the 1970 Le Mans-winning #23 Porsche 917K, driven by none other than Richard Attwood, one of those who piloted the Salzburg-liveried 917 to victory on that memorable day. In the ensuing years, the Stuttgart manufacturer has eclipsed all other race car manufacturers with 18 further victories, the most recent being in 2017 with the 919 Hybrid.
Porsche is justifiably proud of this record, and on track were some more of those race winning cars, plus others representative of those models that were victorious, including a 935 K3, the Le Mans-winning 936, 956, 962, the 1997 Le Mans-winning WSC-95 with the winning driver that year Tom Kristensen at the wheel. Also in the demo run was a ’58 718 RSK, a 910, a ’74 911 RSR 3.0, the race-winning 1998 911 GT1-98 and the victorious 2015 919 Hybrid.
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