These 5 unforgettable moments sum up our 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed
27 June 2022
by Girardo & Co.
The sun shone throughout, the spectators turned out in their droves and the world’s greatest assembly of cars and drivers descended on the Duke of Richmond’s back garden for another fabulous Goodwood Festival of Speed. From a special Subaru guard of honour and a 950HP baptism of fire to celebrating Ferrari’s 75th anniversary with one of only two 250 GT SWB California Spyder Competiziones, these were Girardo & Co.’s highlights from a truly unforgettable weekend…
Guard of Honour
Girardo & Co.’s Goodwood Festival of Speed kicked off early on Thursday morning when we supported Prodrive with the public unveiling of the P25. The history-steeped motorsport outfit’s new Subaru restomod is a modern-day interpretation of the hallowed 22B and Prodrive has left no stone unturned on its quest to create the ultimate road-going Impreza.
“Prodrive has left no stone unturned on its quest to create the ultimate road-going Subaru Impreza.”
That means carbon-fibre body panels, a 2.5-litre Prodrive-built engine producing over 400HP, a single-paddle sequential (or H-pattern manual!) gearbox, a bespoke active centre diff and performance suspension and braking systems by AP Racing and Bilstein.
Just 25 P25s will be built and we were incredibly proud to have been entrusted by Prodrive with selling them. The first prototype made its dynamic debut at the Festival of Speed, and for the moment when the cover was peeled off and the car introduced by Prodrive’s Richard Thompson, we provided two of our Subaru Impreza WRC cars – ‘W25 SRT’ and ‘S10 SRT’ – to form a Royal Blue guard of honour. What did you think of P25 in the metal? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Twenty twenty-two is a landmark year for Ferrari as the illustrious Italian marque celebrates its 75th anniversary. Naturally, Goodwood marked the occasion at the Festival of Speed in a fashion only the Duke of Richmond and his excellent team could pull off. We’ve rarely seen a selection of Prancing Horses of such breadth and quality – name a great Ferrari Formula 1, GT or sports-racing car and it was more than likely running up the hill at Goodwood last weekend.
“Lightweight alloy bodywork. External fuel-filler cap. Covered headlamps. Velocity stacks. They’re the tell-tale signs of a 1960s competition Ferrari.”
Lightweight alloy bodywork. External fuel-filler cap. Covered headlamps. Velocity stacks. They’re the tell-tale signs of a 1960s competition Ferrari, in this case one of only two factory-built 250 GT SWB California Spyder Competiziones, which we were so honoured to exhibit and Max had the privilege of driving at the Festival of Speed last weekend on behalf of one extremely generous owner. Waiting in the assembly area in the company of so many great Ferraris and racing legends who helped to write the marque’s fabled story was a proper ‘pinch us’ moment.
Marino Franchitti deafening everybody within five square miles with the Ferrari 512 S in which Mario Andretti won the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours. Nigel ‘Il Leone’ Mansell (wearing a period Williams suit, we might add) spinning the rears at the request of Sir Jackie Stewart in the gorgeous Ferrari 640 he raced in the 1990 Formula 1 season. Sally Mason-Styrron casually shooting the breeze in her beautiful Touring-bodied Ferrari 166MM Barchetta – the very first car to ascend the Goodwood hill-climb at the first Festival of Speed back in 1993. It was just fantastic.
To share such a special car in such esteemed company was a privilege we shall not be forgetting in a hurry.
Baptism of Fire
“It’s actually a lot more friendly than you’d think,” said Max rather sheepishly as he climbed out of the 1990 Nissan NPT 90 GTP after driving it for the very first time up the world-famous Goodwood hill-climb on Thursday.
“The expletives Max uttered rather hopelessly afterwards summed up the intensity of the 950HP experience.”
The imposing prototype, which was designed to compete in the IMSA GTP series, the American equivalent of Group C, is powered by a three-litre twin-turbocharged V6 producing in excess of 950HP. And as you can imagine, the Duke of Richmond’s narrow haybale-lined driveway is not the ideal place to get to grips with such a powerful racing car.
Nonetheless, after a couple more runs Max became more comfortable and summoned the courage to push his right foot deeper – the expletives he uttered rather hopelessly afterwards summed up the intensity of the experience. The fastest and most powerful of the legendary IMSA GTP prototypes, this Nissan NPT 90 will be launching for sale soon right here on girardo.com so keep your eyes peeled.
Okay, so Marcus didn’t set the stopwatch alight in the same fashion as Richard Burns during the Festival of Speed back in 1999, when the British World Rally Champion and his Subaru Impreza WRC99 were pitched against the Ford Focus WRC of his then-rival Colin McRae. But he did get ‘S10 SRT’, the very car Burns drove in the aforementioned showdown, sliding around, much to the delight of the crowds lining the sides of the hill-climb.
On the final run of the weekend late on Sunday afternoon, it was a full-on sideways four-wheel cut on the first corner, plumes of dust flying in Marcus’ wake. We make no bones about the fact we love these brazen blue warriors – every drive in an Impreza World Rally car, no matter how short, reminds us why we champion them so much.
New Zealand, Greece, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Goodwood
Reaching the end of a restoration and sharing the car for the first time in its new specification or livery is always a special feeling. But when that car is a Citroën Xsara WRC in which the nine-times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and his codriver Daniel Elena won a staggering six rallies and the stage is arguably the biggest celebration of motorsport on the planet, the experience is heightened to say the least.
“This Citroën Xsara WRC tells a success story of a man, a brand and in many respects a country at the peak of their powers – an era of decisive domination.”
Chassis number 32 tells a success story of a man, a brand and in many respects a country at the peak of their powers – an era of decisive domination. With victories in New Zealand, Greece, France, Spain, Italy and Japan under its belts, it played an instrumental role in Loeb’s second and third drivers’ titles and Citroën’s third and fourth constructors’ championships.
Max did the lion’s share of the driving over the course of the Goodwood weekend, quickly exploring the nimble car’s handling characteristics, more specifically where the grip expired. Despite being explicitly told not to, he didn’t need much persuading to do some donuts on the turning circle at the bottom of the hill… and the stretch outside Goodwood House… and the crossroads by the main assembly area… and, of course, the holding area after the finish line. Boys will be boys.
The only thing that could have sweetened the experience even further was if Loeb himself had been present and climbed back behind the wheel of chassis 32. Apparently he had some off-road event in Kenya to contest? His loss!
Photos courtesy of Robert Cooper for Girardo & Co.
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