The Festival of Speed remains unique in its ability to attract the majority of the current season’s Formula 1 teams and drivers, with at least six of the 2012 F1 teams confirmed for Goodwood. These GP teams will include Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Vodafone McLaren Racing, Lotus, Mercedes GP and Caterham. Current F1 drivers and leading characters in action at the Festival will include current double World Champion Sebastian Vettel, plus the two previous World Champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey will also be in action up the 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb.
Past Grand Prix masters present at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed will include Alain Prost, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Nick Heidfeld, Jochen Mass, Emerson Fittipaldi and Martin Donnelly, all joining a roll-call of other motor sport stars at Goodwood that reads like a Who’s Who of motor racing.
One of the great Festival of Speed’s moments will be relived at the this year’s event, when Nick Heidfeld is reunited with the very McLaren MP4/13 that he so famously launched up the Goodwood Hill in a record time of 41.6 seconds in 1999. His record remains. The screaming V10 machine will be running for the first time since its glory at the 1999 Festival, and Heidfeld – now a hugely experienced F1 star – is sure not to disappoint.
From the world of rallying, drivers Juho Hanninen, Thierry Neuville, Jan Kopecky and Skoda UK Motorsport’s 2011 IRC Champion, Andreas Mikkelsen will be on the Forest Rally Stage, along with many other rallying greats who will be reacquainted with the cars that made them famous, including Juha Kankkunen, Björn Waldegård, Rauno Aaltonen, Jimmy McRae, Hannu Mikkola andRussell Brookes. TV stars James Martin and Jesse James will also be in action on the Forest Rally Stage.
Motorcycling heroes will include big name riders such as three-time 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts, 1987 World Champion Wayne Gardner, present British MotoGP hero Cal Crutchlow, 13-time World Superbike race winner Aaron Slight, seven-time GP victor Henk van Kessel,plus legends Troy Corser, James Toseland, Neil Hodgson, James Ellison, Steve Parrish, Guy Martin, Stuart Graham, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, Stuart Easton, and Sammy Miller, among many others. Joining them from the exciting world of sidecar racing will be the winner of a staggering 10 world titles, Steve Webster, partnered by three-time World Champion Paul Woodhead.
All of the drivers and riders participating in this summer’s Festival of Speed will appear on the walkway leading into the exclusive BlackRock Drivers’ Club throughout the event, giving Festival goers and fans the rare opportunity to see their heroes up close, and possibly even have a word or two with them too.
[Source: Goodwood; photo: Tim Scott / Fluid Images]