The racing world is still recovering from the pounding speed hangover left by this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Its pain is your gain, as this year's festival was filled to its artistic arch with ultra-fast supercars, racing personalities, legendary vintage cars, dirt-spewing rally cars and futuristic virtual concept cars.
Not to be outdone by Porsche and its rocketing 911s from the 2013 Festival of Speed, this year's sponsor Mercedes-Benz decorated the 2014 event with an arch that could have made St. Louis jealous. The span stretched its way over the Goodwood House, carrying with it Mercedes' first and latest eight-cylinder Silver Arrows Grand Prix race cars. A replica of the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W 25 Silver Arrow and a 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W04 held still above the lawn as if making their own individual leaps over the manor.
"It is a tremendous opportunity to be asked by Mercedes-Benz to create a sculpture to celebrate their 120 years of motor racing," said artist Gerry Judah. "For this we have pushed the limits of what is possible with size and complexity in engineering, with a 160- tonne steel arch connecting two of their great historic cars over the top of Goodwood House."
The virtual/reality theme continued to the Hillclimb, where gamer-turned-driver Jann Mardenborough set a supercar Hillclimb record of 49.27 seconds. Behind the wheel of a Nissan GTR-NISMO "Time Attack," Mardenborough narrowly beat out Anthony Reid and his Noble M600 in the Michelin Supercar run.
Mardenborough developed his racing chops playing Gran Turismo, eventually taking home a win in the 2011 GT Academy, sponsored by Nissan and Sony. That competition boosted him into the world of professional race car driving, where he's raced for Nissan in a number of events, including this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
It's worth noting that Gregory Gilvert drove the same car to a first-place 45.86-second time at last year's Goodwood event, tying with none other than Nick Heidfeld.
The most special part about the Festival of Speed is the sheer amount of incredible automotive hardware on hand – from exotic sports cars, to race cars, to motorcycles and beyond. Our photo gallery gives you as full a tour as you'll get without attending in person.
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