The thrilling victories of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows mark the peaks of the history of motor sport for the Stuttgart-based brand – from its beginnings 120 years ago right through to what is happening on the world’s racetracks today.
This unique continuity of sporting excellence is also reflected in the motto of the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014: under the overarching theme of “Addicted to Winning – The Unbeatable Champions of Motor Sport” the Earl of March and Kinrara will be celebrating the fascination of competitive rivalry and victory on the racetrack, from 26 to 29 June 2014 at Goodwood (Sussex, England).
Mercedes-Benz Classic will have a particularly strong presence at the Festival of Speed: more than a dozen legendary winning vehicles from the company’s own collection, along with numerous brand ambassadors, will be there to bring the marque’s motor sport history to life. Among the highlights will be, as each year, a brand-new “Central Feature”, which has this year been designed by sculptor Gerry Judah to reflect the theme of motor sport history at Mercedes-Benz. The installation has also been incorporated into an update of the racing game “Gran Turismo6”, which will be launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The most magical moments from 120 years of motor sport at Mercedes-Benz include, above all, the outstanding racing victories that have made legends of the Stuttgart brand’s cars and its drivers: the one-two-three victory of the Mercedes Grand-Prix racing cars, 100 years ago in the French Grand Prix of 1914. The birth of the Silver Arrows in 1934. A coup that met with admiration around the world was delivered in the only race in which the Mercedes-Benz W 165 took part, 75 years ago – a sensational double victory for the Silver Arrows in the Tripoli Grand Prix. Double World Champion and record-breaking times in the Mille Miglia in the post-war years. The triumph of the Sauber-Mercedes C 9 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 25 years ago, was ultimately nothing less than an overture to the return of Mercedes-Benz to circuit racing.
Mercedes-Benz Classic will be reminding visitors to the Festival of Speed in June 2014 of these and many other legendary wins, with a display of racing cars spanning various eras from the early days of motor racing and the classic Silver Arrows through to the DTM and Formula 1 races of more recent years. Along with the vehicles, a line-up of famous racing drivers will be on hand at Goodwood as brand ambassadors for Mercedes-Benz Classic. Against the unique backdrop of Goodwood House, built in the 18th century, the crowds will be entertained by witnesses of bygone eras, such as Hans Herrmann and Sir Stirling Moss, as well as by modern-day motor racing idols like Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Outstanding leitmotif for the history of motor sport
“To have been at the forefront of motor sport for 120 years is extraordinary,” said Lord March, founder and organiser of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, commenting on the unique motor sport heritage of Mercedes-Benz. “And we’re proud to honor them with our most spectacular Central Feature ever in 2014.”
The “Central Feature” is a sculpture dominating the festival site at Goodwood House that is created each year by the renowned British sculptor Gerry Judah to reflect a different theme. The artist last put Mercedes-Benz spectacularly centre stage in this way in 2001, when a 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) was to be found floating atop a tilted steel cone illuminated in blue. Judah’s latest work has been inspired by the theme of 120 years of motor sport at Mercedes and will focus the spotlight in stunning style on the Mercedes-Benz W 25 (1934) and MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W04 (2013) racing cars. The artist has thus created a fascinating arc that links the very early days of the Silver Arrows through to their present-day success. The sculpture also promises to be the most challenging installation, architecturally speaking, so far created in the tradition of these artworks.
Exclusive integration of Goodwood Central Feature 2014 into Gran Turismo 6
A true-to-life recreation of this artistic homage to Mercedes-Benz’s racing history will be included in a free update to the hit racing game Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation®3 – available for download simultaneous to the unveiling ceremony at Goodwood. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Polyphony Digital Inc., will be launching an update for Gran Turismo® 6 at Goodwood. The game’s global fan base will be able to download the free update starting June 26th, 23h00 CET – the same time that the Central Display is unveiled at Goodwood. Numerous gaming stations will be available at the Festival of Speed, at which fans of both computer games and motor racing will be able to put their driving skills to the test on the updated Goodwood circuit – for example in the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo. This sports car dream come true was developed by the Mercedes-Benz designers for the PlayStation 3 racing game Gran Turismo 6 in 2013 to mark the 15th birthday of the Gran Turismo series. Festival visitors will also be able to admire a life-size show car of this exclusive design study.
Among the prominent guests attending Goodwood will be Kazunori Yamauchi, the inventor and producer of the Gran Turismo series and President of Polyphony Digital Inc., the development studio for Gran Turismo 6. Kazunori Yamauchi, a passionate racing driver himself, will take part in the festival in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS. This sports car icon of the 1950s is a special variant of the 300 SL Roadster, and one of just two examples in the world produced for participation in the American sportscar championship. In order to achieve victory in these races, the standard-production roadster was modified using every trick in the book to create the SLS.
And so Mercedes-Benz and Gran Turismo have now come full circle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to link the historic 300 SLS racing car to the ultra-modern vision of the future, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo.
The exclusive appearance of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be further enhanced by the presence of the many collectors of classic cars who will be bringing their stunning vehicles to Goodwood. As just one example, the Festival of Speed will see all three of the Mercedes Grand Prix racing cars of 1914 still in existence reunited once again. Mercedes-Benz will also be playing a major part in the Moving Motor Show and in the Supercar Paddock, with a range of current sports cars and vehicles from the performance brand Mercedes-AMG.
At the event affectionately known as “the biggest motorised garden party in the world”, the fascinating partnership between man and machine continues to emphasise the fact that major racing victories are the outcome of the perfect blend of pioneering technology, tremendous sporting ability at the wheel and a sophisticated strategy in the pits. The magical moments recalling 120 years of motor sport history at Mercedes-Benz serve to demonstrate the exceptional continuity of these values.
“The strong presence of our brand ambassadors, coupled with our historically successful racing cars, will doubtless be among the highlights to be seen on the famous Goodwood House hill circuit at this year’s Festival of Speed – and thus among the highlights of the whole 2014 classic car season, in which we continue to celebrate 120 years of motor sport at Mercedes-Benz.” said Michael Bock, Director of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Customer Center. “So the motto of this year’s Festival of Speed seems particularly apt for us.”
“Motorised garden party” as a highlight in the calendar
The Festival of Speed has been delighting motor sport enthusiasts for more than 20 years now, since its inception in 1993. These days Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, can expect to welcome well over 150,000 guests each year onto his extensive estate in the south of England. Mercedes-Benz Classic’s strong presence has become part of this tradition at the Festival of Speed: “Our support at Goodwood is part of a good, long tradition and I am delighted that our even more intensive involvement this June means that we have been able to contribute to a fitting celebration of classic and present-day Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” said Michael Bock.
The course through the Goodwood House estate dates back to the middle of the 20th century and today provides the backdrop to a unique display of motor sporting heritage. “For me it is always magical to see so many of the world’s greatest drivers, riders and machines in action up my 1.16-mile drive”, was Lord March’s take on the historic hill circuit at Goodwood. As well as this classic course, Goodwood offers a 2.5-kilometre rally course for the appropriate vehicles.
This year’s Festival of Speed opens on the Thursday (26 June 2014) with the “Moving Motor Show” of all the latest series-production vehicles. The programme of the festival proper runs from the Friday (27 June) until the Sunday (30 June). At its heart are competitive racing vehicles and sports cars from all eras, which will be performing a symphony of motor sport and speed over this three-day period.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Classic