Petrol heads are gearing up for the largest motoring garden party in the world, as Goodwood Festival of Speed returns.
The weekend brings together a mix of cars, stars and motorsport royalty to create the largest car culture event in the world.
From current Formula 1 racers and 200mph supercars, to steam-powered carriages of the 19th century and from 300bhp dragsters to classic rally cars, the Festival of Speed attracts the heroic and the evocative from every era in an exuberant display of style, sound, smell and colour.
The Festival pays homage to the most significant and salient cars in the history of international motorsport, with entry by personal invitation from Lord March.
All cars and motorcycles are painstakingly selected to reflect the major theme of the year and, to ensure their authenticity and provenance, all competing vehicles are presented in their original condition and livery.
The theme for the 2011 is ‘Racing Revolutions – Quantum leaps that shaped motorsport’, celebrating the ceaseless quest for increased power, greater efficiency and more speed.
From motor racing’s pioneering early days, engineering ingenuity has been the irresistible force behind the sport’s inexorable rise, with designers constantly pushing technical boundaries in search of ‘the unfair advantage’.
This year marks 75 years since Auto Union won the European Championship with a ground-breaking rear-engined car, 30 years since the Audi Quattro heralded rallying’s four-wheel-drive age and the McLaren MP4/1 introduced the carbon fibre chassis to F1.
It is 25 years since turbocharged engines ruled the roost in F1 and 20 years since a rotary-engined Mazda took the chequered flag at Le Mans.
It is therefore especially fitting to celebrate the innovations – both giant strides and iterative evolutions, masterstrokes and blind alleys – that have seen the racing automobile develop from crude behemoth to spaceage projectile.
All of these legendary cars are expected to attend, along with other landmark designs, from four-valve Peugeot to single-seater Alfa Romeo Tipo B, four-wheel drive Bugatti Type 53 to gas turbine Lotus 56, transverse gearbox Ferrari 312T to diesel Audi R10 TDi.
Also present will be many of the people – both designers and drivers – who took these innovations from drawing board to chequered flag.
The Festival of Speed will also feature a glittering array of cars and motorcycles from a huge variety of disciplines.
Tackling the famous 1.16 mile Goodwood hillclimb will be everything from early Grand Prix and endurance machines, to off-road and contemporary racers and racing motorcycles.
The event runs from Thursday June 30 to Sunday July 3 at the beautiful Goodwood Estate, near Chichester.
You can buy tickets for individual days or for the whole weekend.
And for full ticket information, plus more details, log onto the website at goodwood.com