11 July, 2003 – Ford has chosen this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the highlights of the motoring calendar, to mark its centenary, with the company’s biggest birthday celebration outside the US.
Ford has flown in an exciting line-up of its most famous racing cars from around the world for the tenth annual Goodwood Festival of Speed including the three winning GT40s from the 1966 Le Mans 24 hour race, which will draw a dramatic parallel with Ford’s thrilling new GT on its first outing in the UK.
Some of the most famous names in motorsport past and present will be lining up for the hillclimb including Sir Jackie Stewart, Hannu Mikkola, David Pearson, and the latest F1 star Ralph Firman. Edsel B Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, will join in the celebrations by riding up the famous hillclimb course in a Ford Model T100, a newly created copy of the famous Model T.
One of the highlights of the Festival is always the central display outside Goodwood House and this year promises to be the most spectacular yet. Ford will create the tallest structure ever seen in front of the 300-year-old stately home on the Sussex Downs - a massive work of art depicting one of the proudest moments in Ford’s motorsport history, the 1966 GT40 Le Mans 1-2-3 victory.
The Ford Engineering Graduate Group based at Ford’s technical centre at Dunton, Essex, have designed and built Ford’s entry in Goodwood’s popular downhill gravity (soapbox) race.
The majority of competition cars at the Festival have always been Ford-powered, and this year Ford and Goodwood have joined forces to bring some very special racing machinery to the event from the USA, Europe, and further afield.
Ford’s specially constructed infield exhibition site features a fascinating display marking 100 years of Ford with a huge collection of models of landmark vehicles from the company’s first century.
Ford has provided the Festival organisers with a wide range of vehicles to help with event administration including Focus RS models which can be seen on the hill helping the Clerk of the Course’s team keep the event running to schedule.
Ford was one of the original sponsors of the Goodwood Festival of Speed which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
Roger Putnam, Ford of Britain chairman, said: "The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the highlights of the motoring calendar and is a fitting place to celebrate our centenary with a mix of motorsport passion and automotive history."Published 15 July 2003