Chris Evans and Murray Walker help launch Goodwood Festival of Speed

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Radio presenter and petrolhead Chris Evans was among the famous faces at Goodwood as the 20th Festival of Speed was officially launched.

The press launch included a mini version of the world’s most popular motor sport and car culture event, held each summer in the grounds of Lord March’s stately home near Chichester.

Murray Walker at the launch of the 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed

Murray Walker at the launch of the 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed

A succession of racing machines old and new are roaring up the famous hillclimb course, while rally cars send gravel flying on the forest stage as a prelude to the festival proper.

Lord March was due to outline details of the Festival, which takes place from July 12-14, with the Moving Motor Show being held on July 11.

It will celebrate the best of the first 20 years of the event and stars already confirmed to attend include Hollywood actor Peter Fonda, ex-F1 driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard, rallying legend Hannu Mikkola and Le Mans greats Henri Pescarolo and Emanuele Pirro.

Organisers are also hoping to attract today’s F1 racers, including triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, now with Mercedes.

Among those at Goodwood today for the launch were legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker.

Goodwood has revealed it will honour one of the world’s most versatile and popular sports cars – the Porsche 911 - with a distinctive sculpture displayed prominently outside Goodwood House.

The 911 has featured at every Festival from the first event in 1993, when an unexpectedly high 27,500 enthusiasts turned-up, to the 185,000+ visitors from around the globe that attend nowadays.

More than 820,000 Porsche 911s have been built since 1963, and examples of each of its seven generations over 50 years will be present at the 2013 Festival.

It has also been announced that Bonhams are to sell the most important historic grand prix racing car ever entered into public auction at the Festival.

The iconic 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 was used by five-times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio to win both the 1954 German and Swiss Grands Prix.

Robert Brooks, chairman of Bonhams, said: “My motoring auction career spans five decades and I have been privileged to have handled some of the world’s most desirable and important motor cars. To handle the sale of this legendary W196 grand prix car could well be the pinnacle.’