I'm sure that every single one of you has heard of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. If you haven't, you aren't a true racing fan. I'm pretty sure you'll know this, but the event is star-studded, with several current, former and soon-to-be Formula 1 drivers and several other big (and small) names from motorsport of any era (check out 83-year-old Jack Sears, first ever British Saloon Car (now BTCC) champion) all come together with immaculate cars past and present, both from racing and for the road, to basically put on a huge show for racing fans everywhere.
This is great. Where else can Jenson Button be seen driving the deadly McLaren M8D, or Lewis Hamilton be seen dancing around in a 2011 Mercedes Formula 1 car? The stars were out in force, new and old, as were the awesome machines. I'll use Jack Sears' Ford Galaxie as an example. That thing took Sears to his second BSCC title in 1963 and it looks just as outrageous now as it was then! And, in the road car section, Jaguar's Project 7 car was the star of the show. Not to mention, Bentley (finally) revealed their GT3 car for next year...
But is there something missing? Well, despite the crazy spectacle, the answer is yes. The event is a hillclimb staged in Britain. Britain's hillclimb heritage is only rivalled by France, the inventor of motorsport. Look at Shelsley Walsh, the oldest motorsport venue in the world that's still running. And then there's Bouley Bay, Val des Terres, Barbon Manor, Prescott, the list goes on. But nobody has heard of these events, despite the prestige in them that beats the majority of the current, money-orientated Formula 1 calendar. Indian Grand Prix eh? Not to mention Scott Moran is undoubtedly one of the greatest hillclimbers ever.
With all of this history, and the really rich hillclimb scene in mainland Europe (check out the Les Ursannes hillclimb for something terrifying), it has made a lot of fans out there think: Why not let the real hillclimbers have a shot. It's simple really. The current hill record is held by Nick Heidfeld - 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4/13, used in the 1998 Formula 1 season. That is fast. Seriously fast. But the fastest in Europe or, more likely (due to equipment and circuit nature), Britain, namely Scott Moran, Trevor Willis and co, may be able to take that record down below 40 seconds. Their cars use twin-turbocharged, performance-tuned old CART engines. And with 750bhp in what's basically a hyper-gripped Formula 3000 car with a monstrous rear wing with a sort-of built-in DRS for aero flow (google 'Gould GR61X' for Moran's car) and arguably the best hillclimber of all time driving in Moran's case, Nick Heidfeld's long-standing record can be beaten.
As somebody pointed out, what is GT racing without the GT cars? What is drag racing without the drag cars? So what is hillclimbing without the hillclimb cars? And it would give these little-known companies some media attention, as they build cars that will defeat Adrian Newey's brain up hillclimb courses!
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