PORSCHE HEADLINES GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
70 years of Porsches celebrated at huge West Sussex event
Porsche was once again honoured with the Central Feature sculpture at the 2018 instalment of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Produced by British artist and designer Gerry Judah, the feature stood taller than Nelson's Column and commemorated some of the most important Porsches ever made, including the 911, 959 Group B rally car, and the car that started it all – the original 356.
The sculpture was just one part of Porsche’s broader activities at the Festival, all of which added to Porsche’s 70-year celebrations and included a procession of Porsche racing icons on the first day of the event. Goodwood 2018 saw a huge number of Porsches both on display and attacking the event’s famous timed hill climb. Porsches old and new for both road and race made appearances.
Newest of all was a cameo role by the hot new 911 Speedster Concept, expected to go on sale in production form next year. Porsche’s 700hp 911 GT2 RS was likewise in attendance, as was the latest GT3 RS, which wowed the crowds with a burnout display. The 919 Hybrid Evo, hot off its record-breaking heroics at Spa and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, was also at Goodwood. However, Porsche and the 919 didn’t have a proper tilt at claiming overall Goodwood honours, possibly because internal negotiations at VW Group, which owns Porsche, meant VW'S incredible Pikes Peak-winning ID.R racer was allowed to take on and indeed eventually win the race to complete the hill climb in the shortest possible time.
As for the classics, ultra rare examples from Porsche’s back catalogue, both road and race, were on show. Highlights included a 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1. This Martini-liveried 911 competed in the 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans as a prototype and helped set the template for future 911 Turbo models courtesy of forced induction, wide arches and a giant ducktail wing. Another ultra-rare racer at Goodwood was the Rothmans Porsche 961. Based on the 959 sports car, the 961 was built for Group B rally. However, the 961 was not long for this world. Just one example was built and three races run. Porsche’s plans to produce a customer version were cancelled when the infamous and short lived Group B rally class as a whole was scrapped in 1986.