Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed and from what we’ve seen and heard so far, it’s going to be the best one yet.
Whether you’re a fan of classic cars, supercars, concept cars, Le Mans cars, F1 cars or rally cars, you’re not going to be disappointed. But what can you expect to see on Lord March’s estate this weekend?
First up, rally cars. The all conquering five-time WRC champion Sebastian Loeb will be making his first appearance at the show. Loeb will be demonstrating his Citroen C4 WRC car at regular intervals on the 3km gravel Forest Rally Stage. His team mate Daniel Sordo will also be appearing.
Britain’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge star Kris Meeke will also be taking to the gravel in his Peugeot 207 contender. Meeke has been lined up to do a few runs in Colin McRae’s Mk2 Ford Escort as a tribute to the ex-world champion.
F1 fans won’t be feeling left out either. Six current F1 teams are scheduled to appear – Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Red Bull, Brawn and Toyota – while British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, as well as Mark Webber, Timo Glock, Marc Gene and Pedro de la Rosa, will be making an attendance.
Past masters are also likely to be giving a few demonstrations to the 150,000 strong crowd include Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees among the 120 plus star drivers scheduled to appear.
If you like nosing at what cars you’ll be driving down to Goodwood yourself in in ten years then there will be more than enough concept cars to keep you interested. The highlight has to be the Citroen GT concept supercar, while other head turners will include the Infiniti Essence and Renault’s new electric concept fleet.
Supercar fans are in for a treat, too. Ferrari will be showing off a trio of its new contenders – the 599 GTB HGTE, California and Scuderia Spider 16M – while the new Lotus Evora and a Goodwood special lime green Jaguar XKR will keep British fans happy. We'll also get a sneak preview of the Lexus LF-A supercar for the first time in the UK.
More exotic metal on show includes the Tramontana, Spyker C8 Airleron and Stile Bertone Mantide, while the Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst S is sure to have you reaching for your earplugs.
There’s going to be a celebratory feel about Goodwood this year as Audi celebrates its 100th anniversary and Sir Frank Williams’ four decades in F1 I commemorated. Be sure to check out the 35-metre high Audi monument, which features a new R8 V10. A selection of Williams F1 cars, including the FW07 and FW29, will also be running up the hill at various points throughout the weekend.
Goodwood seems so vast this year that it’s almost impossible to list just everything to see or do. Everyone is going to have their own personal highlights from the festival to take away and Autocar is going to be right there to capture all the very best bits.
There will be a report and picture gallery online on Monday, with a full report set to follow in the magazine on Wednesday. Stay tuned to Autocar.co.uk throughout the weekend for regular blogs, news, pictures and videos from Lord March’s estate.