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It’s full speed ahead as petrol heads see fastest hill climb speed smashed

Three glorious days of sunshine were followed by a wet day for the 26th annual Festival Of Speed at Goodwood.


The prestigious event, which attracts people from across the world, was another show-stopper, with a theme of ‘Speed Kings, Motorsport Record Breakers’.


With famous Formula One and Le Mans drivers including Australian Mark Webber, Brazilians Rubens Barrichello and Emerson Fittipaldi and Damon Hill, visitors were in for a treat, getting up close to all the action.


This year, the festival celebrated 70 years of Aston Martin with the famous sculpture depicting a single car, DBR1, outside the Goodwood House. Each day, at 1pm, Aston Martins lined up outside and fireworks were set off to mark the celebrations.

The all-electric Volkswagen ID. R set the fastest ever time up the Goodwood hill climb course, completing the legendary climb in 00:41:18 seconds on Saturday.


The previous record of 00:41:60 stood for 20 years, and was set in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld driving a McLaren MP4/13.


The all-electric Volkswagen was piloted by two-time Le Mans 24 Hours-winner Romain Dumas.


The state-of-the-art ID.R averaged 101.4mph along the challenging 1.16-mile course.


The remarkable Volkswagen can accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.25 seconds, topping out at 168mph.


Motorsport director Sven Smeets, from Volkswagen, said: “The Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb is one of the most iconic hill climbs in the world. The track is so narrow and difficult to master, with zero room for error. Dumas and the whole Volkswagen team performed flawlessly to set the record.


“A change is taking place in the field of production vehicles and in motorsport. Electric cars are becoming increasingly more powerful and it’s great to see them now rivalling combustion engines on track. To get an idea of how far we’ve developed the car, in 2018 we ran a 00:43.86 – this year we were almost three seconds faster.”


Also on Saturday, international stunt driver, Terry Grant, drove the length of the track and up the hill on just two wheels in a Jaguar F-Type.


Terry is the holder of multiple world-records, including having executed the highest loop-the-loop in a car, the fastest two-wheel mile and the highest number of doughnuts in 100 seconds.

He continued to entertain the crowds in the arena, a new area for drift cars and stunts, by performing doughnuts in his vehicles around another stuntman on a motorbike. The crowd looked in on awe as the motorists did handstands while Terry drove within inches of him in a circular motion.


The Red Arrows were easily visible in the sky at 11am on Friday, performing their iconic moves, followed by the Blades Aerobatic Team, who performed the remaining three days. The Red Arrows had to cancel their display on Sunday afternoon due to forecast poor weather.


Elsewhere, Emerson Fittipaldi was reunited with his legendary Lotus 72, Honda revealed their new electric city car, which goes simply by the name of “e” and Sir Jackie Stewart was honoured with a special tribute.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of his first of three Formula One world championship drivers’ titles, and gathered at Goodwood were a raft of cars driven by ‘JYS’ in his pomp. Sir Jackie won 27 World Championship Grand Prix from 99 starts.


Interviewed by his former protégé, Indy superstar Dario Franchitti, Sir Jackie said: “It’s a wonderful privilege to be here. I’ve had a wonderful life, blessed. Helen here has looked after me for 57 years of marriage, I’ve got my two sons, I’ve got the Matra in which I won my first British Grand Prix, the two Tyrrells and the BRM in which I set my first lap record and won the Monaco Grand Prix. His Grace puts on a magnificent show. There’s really nothing like it. The British fans know more about the sport than anyone else in the world. They have such an appreciation. It is a real honour to be here.”

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