Next month's Goodwood Festival of Speed will see an eclectic mix of cars and bikes take to Lord March's Surrey estate – both running, and simply there to be viewed by the fans during the three day festival – which runs July 2-4.
BMW, Vauxhall and Mini are three of the latest marques to publically confirm examples of their machinery for the weekend, the trio's involvement arguably headlined by the British debut of BMW's M3 GT2 'Art Car' that raced at Le Mans.
The Jeff Koons designed car is the seventeenth 'Art Car', following in the tradition that includes David Hockney and Andy Warhol. BMW works driver – veteran of WTCC and ALMS campaigns as well as their troubled Le Mans tilt – Dirk Muller will be given the responsibility of driving the car on Goodwood's iconic hillclimb, as well as being on hand to sign autographs at the unique event.
As well as their most recent racecar part of BMW's history – a 328 Touring model – will also be taking to the hill. The exact same – superleggera (superlight) Touring Coupe – car won the 1940 Mille Miglia driven by Huschke von Hanstein and Walter BÃ¤umer. The car will make the trip to the UK off the back of running in and winning the 2010 version of the legendary Italian event which stretches between Brescia, Mantua and Cremona.
Driving the machine up the hill on all three days will be a man with his own page in BMW's racing history – former BTCC driver Steve Soper.
Mini too will bring some of their racing heritage to Goodwood, celebrating the little's car rallying record with 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner Finn Rauno Aaltonen driving a 1964 Monte Carlo car on Goodwood's forest rally stage on Saturday and Sunday. Mini promise that a handful of lucky people will also be able to climb into the passenger seat beside the 72-year-old, known as the rally professor.
However, the Festival of Speed is as much about the history and future of the car in general as it is motorsport, Mini embracing the future by showing an race version of their Mini E – an electric powered, zero emissions car. The Mini E Race features a 204hp electric engine powered by a over 5,000 lithium ion batteries – the same as the road going version. However, the race version also features lightened bodywork and race spec suspension, brakes and tyres, allowing it to lap the Nordschleife in 9:51 in May.
Mini will also offer visitors a chance to see its current range of road cars up close.
Vauxhall will also use Goodwood to showcase an electric car the Ampera Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), which Vauxhall describe as “groundbreaking” completing a two-week promotional tour with a drive up the hill.
The car will be the third Vauxhall to complete the hill climb, starting with a sneak preview of the new 6.2 litre V8 powered VXR8 – the car appearing as part of First Glance/Supercar group. In stark contrast the other Vauxhall to attempt the drive will be a 1911 C-type Prince Henry – one the earliest of nine surviving cars.