The 2011 Festival’s chosen theme is Racing Revolutions – Quantum leaps that shaped motorsport, a perfect fit for Porsche given its reputation for race-bred engineering innovation.
Porsche highlights at the Festival
Over 100 years ago, company founder Ferdinand Porsche was working on hybrid automobile technologies and the Semper Vivus (‘always alive’) of 1900 – with its electric wheel hub motors and petrol engine - can claim to be the forerunner of today’s hybrid cars and makes its UK debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Porsche first applied turbocharging to the 917/30 Spyder race car in 1973 and subsequently brought this technology to the street in 1974 on the 911 Turbo. To commemorate this and many other achievements, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart will be bringing the fearsome 1,200 hp Porsche 917/30 to Goodwood, as well as the more recent all-wheel drive turbocharged 961 from 1986. The rare 718 F2 single seater from 1960 will also be demonstrated.
These iconic models will share the spotlight with some contemporary Porsche stars. The Festival sees the debut of the 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 in the Supercar Run alongside the ultimate turbocharged 911, the 620 hp GT2 RS. In the First Glance category, the 550 hp twin-turbo Panamera Turbo S will make its first public appearance.
The Porsche Cayenne will also be in action at the Porsche Experience Centre Goodwood area, alongside a display celebrating 60 years of Porsche in the UK as well as showcasing the current Porsche range line-up.
Porsche Museum cars - ingenuity and racing success celebrated
The name Porsche has been associated with pioneering innovations in automotive engineering since the beginning of the last century. In 1900, Ferdinand Porsche, founding father of the present-day Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, entered unchartered territory. With the first functional, full hybrid car in the world, the Semper Vivus ('always alive'), the principle of the serial hybrid drive had been born.
In a stunning four year project the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart has had the Semper Vivus recreated. This year, 111 years after this ground-breaking innovation by Ferdinand Porsche, the Semper Vivus will again drive into the limelight at Goodwood.
In the Seventies, Porsche began to explore turbocharging as a means to generate horsepower – and this research culminated in the phenomenal 917/30 Spyder in 1973. Powered by a 5.3-litre flat-12 engine developing over 1,000 hp, the 917/30 was so successful in the American Can-Am racing series that the rules were changed at the end of the season to exclude it! Porsche factory driver Mark Donohue used the 917/30 to establish a closed-circuit speed record at the Talladega oval in Alabama – 220.98mph (355.85 km/h).
The 961 of 1986 is the only all-wheel drive Porsche ever to start at Le Mans, and was a racing version of the all-conquering 959 Rallye-Raid car. The 961 acted as a test-bed in the 24 Hours race for a flat -six, twin-turbo engine with water-cooled four-valve cylinder heads, but was fast enough to finish seventh overall and win its class.
Although indelibly associated with sports car racing, Porsche has enjoyed success at the very pinnacle of motorsport in Formula 1. In the early 1960s, Porsche developed its 718 RSK Spyder into a single-seater. Powered by a four cylinder, four camshaft ‘boxer’ engine, the 718 Formula 2 car won the equivalent of the F2 Manufacturers’ World Championship in 1960, driven by top drivers of the day including Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier. The following year, the car performed so well it was successfully used in Formula 1 races.
Latest Porsche supercars in action
The Supercar Run is a prime attraction at the Festival of Speed, showcasing the fastest and most exclusive road-going sports cars. This year’s event will mark the debut of the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which arrives in UK showrooms in July. With a 500 hp 4.0-litre version of the proven Porsche flat -six engine, lower weight and a chassis optimised to an even higher standard, the new GT3 RS 4.0 can lap the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany in 7 min 27 secs.
For many years, Porsche RS models have set the foundation for homologating the racing version of the 911. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 celebrates the unparalleled racing record of Porsche and continues the series of absolute, uncompromised, motor sport-oriented editions of the 911 that are homologated for road use and which can trace their roots back to the classic Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973.
The 911 GT2 RS is the fastest and most powerful road-going sports car ever built in the history of Porsche. With a power-to-weight ratio of 452 hp / tonne, by far the best in class, the GT2 RS marks the summit in the 911 range.
First Glance debut for Panamera Turbo S
The latest addition to the Panamera range of Gran Turismo sporting saloons, the new Turbo S offers a unique combination of performance and efficiency, driving dynamics and comfort. The 4.8-litre, V8 twin-turbocharged engine delivers 550 hp, an increase of ten per cent or 50 hp more than the Panamera Turbo. The increased performance compared with the Panamera Turbo can be attributed to two main enhancements; improved turbochargers with titanium-aluminium turbine wheels and modified engine control management.
Dynamic Cayenne demonstrations at the Porsche Experience Centre Goodwood
The driver-oriented chassis of the Porsche Cayenne has been designed to combine sports car handling on the road with the added versatility of being able to cover ground quickly, regardless of the terrain.
Visitors to the Festival of Speed will 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 Cayenne on a specially designed dynamics course laid out in the Porsche Experience area at Goodwood. The grass-surfaced course around which the 400 hp V8-engined Cayenne S models will power is intended to demonstrate perfectly the outstanding dynamic ability of this immensely versatile Porsche.
At selected times during the Festival, a rally-prepared 911 will also take to the dynamic stage at the Porsche Experience Centre Goodwood, underlining the broad sporting ability of the iconic coupe.
Sixty years celebration
At the 1951 Earl’s Court Motor Show, the first right-hand drive examples of the Porsche 356 made their UK debut. To celebrate the diamond jubilee of Porsche in the UK, a range of iconic Porsche road cars over the decades including an early 911 from the 1960s and the 928 GT from the 1980s will be on display at the Porsche Experience Centre Goodwood.
Look out for Porsche personalities and relax at the Café Le Mans
Porsche enthusiasts visiting Goodwood will be pleased to learn that there are many more examples of the marque, and former factory race drivers, participating in the Festival of Speed. Not least amongst these will be Richard Attwood, former F1 driver and 1970 Le Mans winner, who will be taking time out of his daily schedule as a Porsche Driving Consultant, at the Porsche Experience Centre Silverstone, to soak up the atmosphere and chat with fans.
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 throughout the weekend.
Follow all the Goodwood action on-line
Throughout the Festival of Speed weekend, Porsche Origin will be carrying films direct from Goodwood, along with news and updates of all the action.