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Up Close And Personal With The Le Mans Cars At #Goodwood #FOS

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Goodwood Festival of Speed

Up Close And Personal With The Le Mans Cars At #Goodwood #FOS

Matt Hubbard
Speedmonkey
July 1, 2014


At the Goodwood Festival of Speed I was in the race paddock as the various Le Mans and sports car prototypes were assembling, ready for their run up the hill.

Porsche 911 GT1-98 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche 911 GT1-98 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro car number 2 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro car number 2 Porsche RS Spyder and Audi R18 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche RS Spyder and Audi R18 McLaren F1 GTR at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedMcLaren F1 GTR Derek Bell and Brendan Hartley at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedDerek Bell and Brendan Hartley Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedMercedes-Benz CLK GTR Porsche 911 GT1-98 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche 911 GT1-98 Porsche 911 GT1-98 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche 911 GT1-98 Anthony Davidson with Derek Bell's helmet in the foreground at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedAnthony Davidson with Derek Bell's helmet in the foreground Porsche 962C at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche 962C Porsche 911 GT1-98 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche 911 GT1-98 Porsche RS Spyder at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche RS Spyder Porsche RS Spyder at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedPorsche RS Spyder Chevrolet Corvette and Sauber Mercedes C9 at 2014 Goodwood Festival of SpeedChevrolet Corvette and Sauber Mercedes C9
I'd just watched the F1 cars barrel up the hill and decided to wander down to the paddocks. I'd unsuccessfully tried to get in to the final holding paddock (where the cars gather before they're sent down to the start line) when the F1 cars were there.

The marshal had said only those media representatives with special F1 tabards could go into the paddock then but that I was welcome to come back later.

So I did, showed my pass and wandered in. The paddock was pretty empty. Only a Sauber-Mercedes C9 and Bentley Continental GT3.

Then they started to trundle in. A Porsche RS Spyder, McLaren F1 GTR, Toyota TS010, Porsche 917-16, Porsche 917K, Porsche 917/30, Lancia Beta Montecarlo and more that I can't remember.

And then, dear lord, the modern Le Mans sports car prototypes. Porsche 919, Toyota TS040, Audi R18 and then a Porsche 962C and a Porsche 911 GT1-98. - See more at: http://www.speedmonkey.co.uk/2014/07/up-close-and-personal-with-le-mans-cars.html#sthash.zfeCjcS6.dpuf

I'd died and gone to petroheaven. There wasn't anywhere else in the world I'd rather have been at that point in time.

Engines rumbled, cars moved clumsily around the small area, mechanics buzzed around, drivers chatted to their crews, TV people, other drivers, marshals.

For half an hour I hung around and watched. I stood next to Derek Bell and heard him give advice to Brendon Hartley about how to deal with the media, I watched Anthony Davidson chat with various people, I soaked up the detail of the awesome prototype machines surrounding me.

And then a buzz ran through the paddock. Drivers jumped in their cockpits and engines were fired up. One by one the cavalcade made their way out towards the track.

Some needed to do three-point turns for a simple 90 degree corner - these things weren't made for manoeuvring in close quarters but for barrelling down the Mulsanne straight at 240mph.

It was an epic experience.

I captured the entire field driving out to the track on video.



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