Porsche at Goodwood Festival of Speed
With an unbeaten record of 16 victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, the reputation of Porsche has been founded on success in the high speed, high pressure motor sport environment. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Porsche 917, the first Porsche to win Le Mans outright, and it is therefore appropriate that the theme of the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 3-5) is ‘True Grit – Epic Feats of Endurance’.
To commemorate this birthday occasion in style, a stunning selection of examples of the 917 – many on loan from the new Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany – will be present at Goodwood, including the 1970 Le Mans winner and the distinctively-liveried 917/20 ‘Pink Pig’.
A novel feature of the Festival of Speed is that it seeks to reunite famous race drivers with cars of the type they raced in period. Porsche enthusiasts visiting Goodwood will be able to see Richard Attwood, former F1 driver and 1970 Le Mans winner for Porsche, driving a 917; sports car racing legend Brian Redman will be behind the wheel of the 917/30 CanAm racer; David Piper, who bought a 917 new from the factory in 1969, will be driving his own car; and Jackie Oliver, who won Le Mans in 1969, will be reunited with an evocative Gulf-liveried 917.
Naturally, there will be many other examples of the Porsche marque in action at Goodwood, and there are in fact two exclusive UK debuts in the Sunday Times Supercar Run, a renowned showcase of the fastest and most exclusive road-going sports cars. The latest Porsche 911 GT3 – ten years since the now-legendary GT3 series began – will be making its first UK appearance, and also guaranteed to draw attention will be the first public unveiling of the new Porsche Panamera Gran Turismo.
Visitors to the Festival of Speed will also be able to experience Porsche power personally courtesy of driving consultants from the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, who will be demonstrating the performance and handling of the Porsche Cayenne on a specially designed dynamics course at the Porsche Driving Experience area.
For visitors wishing to refuel themselves, the Porsche Café Le Mans will be once more situated on the outside of the track near the footbridge, offering meals and refreshments.
The Porsche Café Le Mans will also host the UK debut of a remarkable 1/6th scale model of the Porsche 917. Produced by Dynamic Concept of Paris, this model offers such outstanding levels of detail that it would not look out of place alongside the legendary 917 examples in the paddock.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed will this year provide the backdrop to a remarkable demonstration of grit and determination when Porsche aims to break a Guinness World Record for the longest distance covered in 48 hours by a team of 12 runners using treadmills.
Organised by the sports scientists from the Porsche Human Performance Centre at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone, this gruelling athletic exercise – supported by Technogym and Adidas – will take place live at the Porsche exhibition area over the Festival weekend. Starting at 12 noon on Friday July 3, the runners are seeking to break the former distance record of 495.76 miles set in April 2008 – which means maintaining an average speed of over 10mph!