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Goodwood ultimate meeting od cars and stars

July 16, 2002

CHICHESTER, Great Britain – Seven of the 11 Formula One teams that will be racing in this year’s SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway participated in the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 13-14 in southern England.

Marlboro Ferrari, Mild Seven Renault, Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda, Mild Seven Renault, Panasonic Toyota and West McLaren-Mercedes had their 2002 or 2001 models on hand, while KL Minardi-Asiatech brought its two-seater F1 car. Jenson Button, Ralf Schumacher and Allan McNish, all of whom will race in September at Indianapolis, were among the featured stars at Goodwood last weekend.

The theme of this year’s event was: “On the Limit—A History of Heroes.” The Goodwood Festival of Speed, now in its 10th year, brings together a huge array of racing cars as well as exotic and historic road cars and motorcycles. All are on display on the grounds of the Goodwood estate, owned by the Earl of March, a keen automotive enthusiast who founded the festival. Fans are allowed to get next to the cars on display.

Many of the cars and motorcycles are driven up the hill-climb course – the road that winds through the estate, which gives the fans the chance to see some of the world’s most famous racing cars and motorcycles in action. Stars of the past and present often drive the vehicles.

Among the star drivers on hand this year were no less than seven F1 World Champions: Phil Hill, who in 1961 became the first driver from the United States to win the title; John Surtees, the only person to win World Championships in both motorcycles and F1; Alan Jones, Damon Hill, two-time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi and three-time champs Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart.

Indianapolis 500 winners were on hand, as well. Four-time winner Al Unser drove the Watson-Trevis Offenhauser Bowes Seal Fast Special that A.J. Foyt drove to victory in the 1961 Indianapolis 500, the first of his four victories. Danny Sullivan, who scored the famous “spin and win” victory in the 1985 “500,” drove Michael Andretti’s 1986 Kraco March-Cosworth. And fans at the festival got to see the Deidt-Offenhauser Blue Crown Special that Mauri Rose drove to victory in the 1947 and 1948 “500s,” a Miller that raced in the 1927 “500”and another Miller that took part in six consecutive “500s” between 1932-37.

On the F1 front at this year’s festival: the late Ken Tyrrell was honored; Williams celebrated 25 years of building its F1 cars; Lotus marked 50 years of engineering; and Renault celebrated 100 year of motorsports. Each of these marques was represented by a wide variety of cars from their past and present.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Fittipaldi was reunited with the Lotus-Ford 72, the same model car that he used to earn his first Grand Prix victory – the 1970 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen – and the 1972 World Championship. Jackie Stewart drove the Tyrrell-Ford 002 he used to win the 1971 World Championship. And Alan Jones climbed behind the wheel of the Williams-Ford FW07 he drove while winning the 1980 title.

NASCAR was represented, as well, and the fans got to see Dale Jarrett’s 2001 Ford Taurus, Sterling Marlin’s 2001 Dodge Intrepid and Bobby Hillin Jr’s 1990 Chevy Lumina.

In addition to these categories, the festival featured the Audis that won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the past three years and an astonishing array of sports cars, classic and vintage cars, rally cars, dragsters, exotic and rare cars, formula cars, motorcycles and more from the past 100 years. In addition to the drivers already mentioned, more than two dozen other famous stars, such as Sir Stirling Moss, took part in the festival.

“There are so many beautiful cars here,” Unser said. “I have only seen many of these cars in photographs, and it’s fantastic to see them all here.”

McNish set an unofficial record of 41.565 seconds on the 1.16-mile hill-climb course in the Panasonic Toyota TF102 that fans will see in action at the SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 29.

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