Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1404, (2 - 8 August 2018)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1404, (2 - 8 August 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Smoking British summer

Britons added more heat to the summer with two major car events

Silverstone Classic

Eye boggling cars burning fuel and rubber. Starting with the traditional Goodwood Festival of Speed and following with the Silverstone Classic, these two top class events had excitement strong enough to reach car enthusiasts all over the world. With all the pack of thrills, motor freaks rushed to witness the events, and for the unlucky, YouTube Live was the alternative.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed, this year celebrating its silver jubilee, was founded in June 1993 by Charles Gordon Lennox, known as Lord March, Duke of Richmond. The circuit was shut down by his father in 1966 as the cars became too fast and unsafe to race on the track. The festival quickly built a legacy as one of the world’s best car events, if not the best. March always made sure to gather up nearly all the motor figures and enthusiasts from across the world in one event each year, so all of them could fulfill their enthusiasm and share the love.

If you like racing cars, classic cars, super cars, hyper cars, luxury cars, even motorcycles, you name it, the festival of speed features them all. The Goodwood track, located in west Sussex, England, is simply an uphill that needs to be climbed as fast as you and your ride can pass by the checkered flag. The event was held from 12 to 15 July, attracting 100,000 attendees, from fans and celebrities, each day. The record Hill climb was recorded in 1999 by F1 driver Nick Heidfeld with a McLaren MP4/13 with a top speed of nearly 162 km/h, which is relatively fast for the extremely narrow track. That’s why F1 cars are no longer allowed to go for timed laps to ensure safety of the crowds. They are only allowed to go on demonstrating runs to entertain spectators.

Each year the Goodwood festival is special. In 2016 McLaren celebrated 40 years since F1 legend James Hunt won the world championship, by commissioning a McLaren P1 GTR driven by Bruno Senna up the hill. In 2017 the festival celebrated 70 years since Ferrari was founded, in the presence of Bernie Ecclestone, the legendary F1 figure. In this year’s event it was time to celebrate 70 years of Porsche cars.

Through the years several runs and stages were added to the event allowing different types of cars to take part. In 2000, a super run was sponsored by Michelin. In 2006 a full track was designed in the forest for rally cars. In 2014 the super run featured timed laps for mass production sports and supercars. This year was a great opportunity for big manufacturers to stretch their muscles, putting their machines in comparison with their competitors.

Some cars were very special this year, like the Porsche Singer, which is based on a restored 1990 air cooled Porsche 911, or the 964, designed by Singer USA. The car hit Goodwood at the right time, celebrating 70 years of Porsche. The car is completely renovated and enhanced with the collaboration of several manufacturers like Williams advanced engineering, BBS wheels, and Michelin in order to provide a limited edition number of cars that represent the ultimate modern classic Porsche 911 experience for a starting price of 1.8 million quid. The Singer has an F1 inspired engine, a 4 litre naturally aspirated flat 6, that outputs a whopping 500 bhp at 7,200 rpm while the masterpiece engine can keep revving up to 9,200 rpm, all driven by a pure manual gearbox. There are a lot of other stunning details about this car that will take books to state.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Among other remarkable cars were the two new Aston Martins, the Vantage and the Superleggera, Ferrari FXX K Evo, Ferrari 599XX Evo, Aston Martin Vulcan AMR, McLaren Senna, Ford GT, Bentley Bentayga Pikes Peak, 911 GT3, 911 GT2. Movie and celebrity cars showed up as well like the Ford Mustang of Steve McQueen from his movie Bullitt.

For classic car lovers, there were a whole three days dedicated to them, the Silverstone Classic, which took place in the iconic F1 circuit from 20 to 22 July. The event featured classic racing cars competing across the track.

This year the classic event featured 100,000 visitors, including fans, motor clubs and media. The racing track recorded more than 1,000 entries for spectacular racing cars from different eras in history. The event, started in 2011, and marking its fourth successive edition, also celebrated the 70th anniversary of Silverstone.

One of the special traits of the event is the classic car auction, or the reborn. It has its own auction which allows classic car owners to put their cars up for bidding. This year there were so many special cars in near perfect condition broken down into categories. In the historic racing cars there were special cars like the 1988 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth rated around 200,000 quid, the 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Fixed Head estimated at around 200,000 quid. In the Headline acts category the special cars included the 1958 Mercedes 300SL Roadster, from 700,000 to 800,000 quid, and the Ferrari Dino 246 GTS rated around 320,000 quid. In the Homologation specials, there was the BMW M3 sport Evo rated around 95,000 quid, and the super rare 1992 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evo II, around 150,000 quid. People were allowed to bid on these cars even from a distance via phone or online.

The classic event also had many special moments during the three days. More than 110 hugely enthusiastic car clubs were out in force displaying a glittering array totalling more than 10,000 classic road cars. Many of these clubs were also celebrating marque and model anniversaries with special track parades of their own. Notable among these was the Morgan Owners Club marking the 50th birthday of the iconic Plus 8 and a troupe of Jaguar clubs honouring 70 years of the seminal XK120 sportscar as well as 50 years of XJ models.

Providing yet more entertainment for every age, all the crowd-pleasing attractions that have proved so popular with families at recent classics returned in spectacular style: Streetcar Shoot-outs, the JET big wheel, Spitfire engine fire-ups, Mike Brewer’s Car Clinics now presented by Haynes Publishing, crazy golf, an adrenaline zone, period funfair rides, air displays and pulsating live music sets this year from chart-toppers Soul II Soul and UB40. The entertainment just kept coming, with some notable new additions, too.

World record holder Terry Grant brought his jaw-dropping stunt show to the classic for the very first time while younger visitors were given the chance not only to polish their pre-season football talents at the Yokohama Chelsea Skills Zone but also (if aged 10 and over) to whet their motoring appetites by driving a dual-controlled Vauxhall Corsa with Young Driver.

Another amazing new attraction was a dazzling display of Supercar Legends presented by Yokohama, based right at the heart of Silverstone’s International Paddock. In keeping with the event’s reflective character, it showcased not only some of the world’s latest speedsters from hallowed hyper brands such as Aston Martin, Koenigsegg, Pagani and TVR but also an iconic forebear, thus highlighting the enviable heritage of participating brands.

Next year’s classic festival is from 26-28 July.

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