The parkland of Goodwood House, West Sussex, will this summer once again see Porsche celebrate its achievements on road and track with a star-studded participation in the annual Festival of Speed from 4 – 7 July. And highlights of the weekend include the World Premiere of the new 911 RSR race car plus a sneak preview of the Porsche Taycan all-electric sports car.
Over the four days, the latest examples of road-going sports cars and historic racers will be on show and demonstrated up the famous Goodwood Hillclimb course. In most cases, Porsche motor sport personalities from the past and present will be behind the wheel, underlining the unique family spirit that still imbues the company to this day.
The world-renowned Porsche Museum has gathered together a stunning line-up of icons from its collection in Stuttgart which this year will take visitors on a journey through the evolution of lightweight sports car technology.
The Porsche tradition of intelligent performance is clearly evident in the remarkable 909 Bergspyder from 1968; here, the design of the car clearly shows what could be described as the essential Porsche DNA. Most notably, a mid-engine layout, a ‘boxer’ engine design, two-seats, and a lightweight construction to ensure the highest possible performance and efficiency. In the case of the 909 Bergspyder, the focus on lightweight design extended to a minimised fuel tank design and exotic, lightweight materials in the braking system. This remarkable car is making its UK debut at Goodwood after running for the first time in over thirty years at the Gaisberg Hillclimb in Austria at the end of May.
2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic 917 sports racing car, which built its reputation on victories at legendary race tracks like Le Mans, Spa and Daytona. An impressive line-up of 12 chassis will be present to celebrate at the Festival of Speed, including an evocative ‘Gulf’-liveried race winner from the Porsche Museum collection.
UK debut: 1968 Porsche 909 Bergspyder
Only two examples of the 909 were ever built, and they were the lightest cars ever to roll off the Porsche production line. The race-ready car weighs just under 384 kg, including fuel. With a 275 PS, 1,981 cc, flat-eight engine at the rear, this gives a power-to-weight ratio of 1.4 PS per kg. The fibreglass body weighs just ten kg. The frame is made of aluminium, and the coil springs of titanium. The car did not have an alternator or fuel pump. Instead, the power and fuel supply came from a silver battery and a pressurised petrol bladder. Two movable rear spoilers are connected to the wheel suspension, an idea that was later adopted in the first Porsche 917. Built for racing in hillclimbs (hence Bergspyder) the model nevertheless had a short motorsport career. In 1968, one of the two 909s was raced twice before Porsche turned its attention to circuit races and rallying.
1970 Porsche 917
The 580 PS flat-twelve cylinder 4.5-litre engine of the 917 set new standards. Changes in the racing regulations in 1969 motivated Porsche to build the car. Prototypes were allowed a maximum engine size of 3.0-litres, and for sports cars 5.0-litres were allowed. However, a series of at least 25 had to be built. The 1969 race season allowed the 917 to become fully race-proven, with the result that the car entered 1970 with its reliability assured and finely-honed aerodynamics which further improved its track behaviour. At that time, the factory did not enter the cars directly, but via its close partners, John Wyer Automotive and Porsche Salzburg; nevertheless, the World Championship for long distance sports car racing proved to be a triumph for Porsche. Despite fierce competition from Ferrari, the blue and orange, and red and white 917s won almost every race.
The Le Mans 24 Hours race was particularly important, as Porsche had not been able to score an overall victory to date. In 1970, seventeen 917s participated and two completed the race – in first and second places. The winners were Hans Herrmann (D) and Richard Attwood (GB) in number 23. And Attwood joins Porsche for Goodwood, reunited with the 917 once again in the demonstration hillclimbs.
Immortalised in its iconic ‘Gulf’ livery by Steve McQueen in the movie classic, Le Mans, the speed and success of the 917 resulted in it becoming a popular choice for private entrants racing in the sports car World Championship. A total of 59 examples of the 917 were built, 41 as short or long-tail coupes, and 18 as Can-Am or Interserie Spyder versions with 1,400 PS turbocharged engines.
1970 Porsche 908/03 Spyder
Weighing a mere 545 kg, this Spyder is a further demonstration of extreme lightweight construction, its foam-reinforced plastic bodyshell accounting for a mere 12 kg. The driver and the 350 PS 3.0-litre flat-eight engine were moved forward to optimize the weight distribution. The factory team raced the 908/3 Spyder only four times, but won three of those four races; including its premiere in 1970 at the Targa Florio in Sicily, with Jo Siffert (CH) and Brian Redman (GB) at the wheel.
1976 Porsche 935 ‘Baby’
In just three months, a car for the 2.0-litre class in the domestic German race Championship is developed from the successful 935. The regulations dictate a smaller engine capacity, so a 1,425 cc version of the turbocharged flat-six power unit is created. With this accomplished, the victory by Jacky Ickx (B) around the Hockenheim circuit effectively demonstrates that Porsche can be competitive across the categories in motor sport.
UK debut: 2015 Porsche Boxster Bergspyder (981)
Porsche surprised everyone at the opening of the Gaisberg Race earlier this summer with a fully functional feasibility study never shown before. In 2015, Style Porsche designer Grant Larson and his team were given permission to experiment with a Boxster to see how light they could actually make a road-going car. First of all, the second seat was removed, followed by the roof and the windscreen. Larson then made the engine visible in a Boxster for the first time. The car is fully roadworthy and its flat-six engine develops 393 PS and 446 Nm. This car will be displayed on the Porsche Club GB stand at Goodwood.
A World Premiere hosted at Goodwood
The theme of this year’s Festival of Speed is ‘Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers’. The Porsche tradition of success in the Le Mans 24 Hours fits this perfectly, as the 19 wins for the Stuttgart marque is the most of any manufacturer. This record of success will be celebrated at the Festival of Speed not just with the participation of the first Le Mans winner from Porsche, the 917. This year’s event also sees the World Premiere of the new 2019 911 RSR, the successor to the car with which Porsche has won the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2019. In support, Porsche factory drivers Jörg Bergmeister (D) and Gianmaria Bruni (I) will be attending Goodwood over the weekend.
Representing further tiers on the Porsche Motorsport pyramid will be the 911 GT3 R which is joined by the 911 GT3 Cup race car from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Characterised by a very close relationship to the 911 GT3, the GT3 Cup race car shares its 4.0-litre flat-six engine with the street car. It will be driven at Goodwood by 2018/2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior race driver, 18-year old Dan Harper (Hillsborough, Northern Ireland).
Latest Porsche sports cars in action
The Supercar Run is a prime attraction at the Festival of Speed, showcasing the fastest and most exclusive road-going sports cars.
World Premiere: 718 Cayman GT4
The highlight here is the new 718 Cayman GT4, designed to appeal to sports car enthusiasts who delight in an undiluted driving experience, revel in a high level of dynamic agility and an intimate relationship with the road.
For the first time, the open-roof 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4 coupé share a technical base. While the GT4 represents the entry-level GT street car from Porsche with a breadth of ability suited to the track, the Spyder lends itself particularly to road-based driving thrills. Both models combine highly efficient aerodynamics, a thoroughbred GT chassis and a very emotive 420 PS, normally-aspirated flat-six 4.0-litre engine driving through a six-speed manual gearbox.
UK dynamic debut: 935
The track to road technology transfer principle at Porsche sees developments proven on the race circuit brought to the street for everyday enjoyment. In the case of the Porsche 935 that also makes it Goodwood debut this year, the engineers and designers had greater freedom in the development as the car is not road-homologated.
Although based on the street-legal 911 GT2 RS with an identical 3.8-litre flat-six twin-turbocharged engine, powering the rear wheels via a 7-speed PDK transmission, the details of the exterior are a salute to the winning vehicles from Porsche Motorsport history. Not least the 935 from 1976 and the legendary 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’, whose influence is echoed in the aerodynamic wheel trims and familiar white, red and blue livery. Further nods to motorsport iconography include the laminated wood design of the gear shift lever, reminiscent of that in the 917 and 909 Bergspyder.
UK debut: 911 Speedster
A further highlight is the 911 Speedster. Built in a limited series of 1,948 examples, this car essentially forges a link between pure-bred race cars like the 909 Bergspyder and the Porsche cars of today. With its pure dynamic focus and open top design, the 911 Speedster reflects not just the brand essence of Porsche with precise clarity, but also underlines the passion and enthusiasm for sports car driving that defines the company.
UK dynamic debut: Porsche Taycan – Soul, Electrified
Visitors will also be able to catch a glimpse of the future of Porsche sports cars in the First Glance category, with the dynamic UK premiere of a still-camouflaged prototype of the forthcoming all-electric Taycan, ahead of its launch in September this year. Living up to its sporting spirit of ‘E-Performance’, the technological trailblazer has been designed to deliver outstanding driving performance with trendsetting day-to-day practicality.
The four-door has two permanently excited synchronous electric motors with a system power output of over 600 PS (440 kW). The car will thus achieve both acceleration of 0-100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under 12 seconds.
Mark Webber (AUS) will drive the Taycan on Saturday at the Festival of Speed as part of a Triple Demo Run, which kicked off in China with the prototype turning its first official demo laps around the handling circuit of the Porsche Experience Centre in Shanghai on 28 June. After its Goodwood visit, the car travels to New York City for the season finale of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on 13-14 July.
UK dynamic debut: Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The inclusiveness of the latest Porsche models is underlined with the debut of the latest Cayenne Coupe in the First Glance category. This distinctive addition to the four-door, four-wheel drive Cayenne family offers a sports car experience for five – powered by a 340PS turbocharged V6.
Dynamic proportions lend the new Cayenne Coupé a distinctly purposeful elegance and helps position it as the most sporting model in the market segment. That effect is supported by a roof spoiler, which accentuates the distinctive silhouette. The front windscreen and A-pillar are shallower than in the Cayenne, courtesy of a roof that has been lowered by around 20 mm. Redesigned rear doors and wheel arches broaden the shoulders of the car by 18 mm, contributing to an overall muscular stance.
Dynamic Macan and Cayenne demonstrations at the Porsche Experience Centre Goodwood
With a sporting, driver-oriented chassis, the Porsche Cayenne has been designed to combine sports car handling with the added versatility of being able to cover ground quickly, whatever the terrain.
The new Macan builds on its exceptional status as the sports car in the compact SUV segment. The compact SUV has been a great success since its launch in 2014, and the latest model brings further enhancements in terms of its design, comfort, connectivity and driving dynamics. Unusually for the SUV segment, the Macan features mixed tyres with different tread widths on the front and rear axles. As with two door Porsche models, this arrangement enables the driver to take full advantage of the intelligent, all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system.
Visitors to the Festival of Speed will be able to experience the power of these versatile Porsche sports cars personally courtesy of Driving Consultants from the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, who will be demonstrating the performance and handling of the Macan and Cayenne on a specially-designed dynamics course laid out around the Porsche Experience Centre at Goodwood.
Porsche at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Porsche has featured at every single Goodwood Festival, from the first event in 1993 – when an unexpectedly high 27,500 enthusiasts turned up – to the 200,000 visitors that attended the world’s greatest celebration of car culture last year.
Whether in action in road or race form on the testing 1.16 mile Goodwood Hill, sliding sideways around the gravel Forest Rally Stage, sitting serenely on the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours Lawn, or as part of the regular demonstration and displays, Porsche has played a key role in helping put the Festival of Speed on the map over the past quarter century.
‘Colours of Speed – 50 years of the Porsche 917’ – special exhibition and numerous activities
In a special exhibition at the Porsche Museum, the company is now showcasing the numerous stories and milestones via which the Porsche 917 has cemented its place in motorsport folklore.
The Porsche Museum is honouring the 50th anniversary of the racing icon until 15 September with a comprehensive special exhibition entitled “50 Years of the Porsche 917 – Colours of Speed”. A total of 14 exhibits – including ten 917 models alone with a total of 7,490 PS – will be on show.