Young Guns – Born to Win at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Words Jim Davis | June 13, 2012
Mercedes-Benz will be on hand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the largest motorised garden party in the world
Words Jim Davis June 13, 2012

Mercedes-Benz Classic is going to send several legendary racing cars to take part in the 1.86 kilometre (1.1 mile) Hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as well as a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman-Landaulet for a special exhibition on the occasion of this year’s Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The event is scheduled from June 28 – July 1, 2012 with the slogan “Young Guns – Born to Win”.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed in the south of England regards itself as the largest motorised garden party in the world – a unique summer weekend that brings together an impossibly heady mix of cars, stars and motor sport ‘royalty’ to create the largest car culture event in the world. Held in the immaculate grounds of Goodwood House, this annual hill-climb event is a true celebration of motor sport and all things automotive.

Breathtaking speed, power and style, visionary technology and awareness of history, but also elegance and luxury – these are the strengths of the Mercedes-Benz brand – and it is just these aspects which combine to give the car the fascination it exerts, year after year, on the roughly 150,000 enthusiastic fans visiting the Festival of Speed.

This year Mercedes-Benz Classic is entering legendary original cars in the race. The Mercedes-Benz W 125 which was constructed for the 1937 racing season is a reminder of the early successes of the “Silver Arrows”. As the ancestor of the SL-series, the 300 SL racing car (W 194) from 1952 marks the start of an era. In 2012, Mercedes-Benz Classic is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the SL. There will be two W 194 cars taking part in the Goodwood Hillclimb, including the oldest existing 300 SL with chassis number 2. In addition, a 1997 Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR with about 441 kW (600 hp) will be representing more recent motor sport history.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will also be presenting one other Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing car as a stationary exhibit at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. In addition, a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman-Landaulet will be shown in a special exhibition for the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was driven around in such a car – with a folding top over the back seats – during earlier visits to Germany.

As festival tradition demands, Mercedes-Benz racing cars will be driven on the Hillclimb at Goodwood by famous drivers; planned are Jackie and Paul Stewart, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, and Bernd Schneider.

From “wild young kids” to outstanding world stars

Ever since the early days of car racing now and again there have been successful newcomers in the pit lane and this year’s festival slogan “Young Guns – Born to Win” is in commemoration of their prowess. Time and again there have also been “wild young kids” at Mercedes-Benz who celebrated outstanding successes and turned into world stars almost overnight. In 1990, Michael Schumacher – who later won the Formula One World Championship seven times – was a member of the Mercedes Junior Team along with the others in his age group like Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger and the races they entered included the Le Mans race. Lewis Hamilton made his debut in the Formula One in 2007 and was runner-up in the world championships in the cockpit of the McLaren-Mercedes at first go. In the following year, the Briton was at that time the youngest Formula One World Champion ever.

The skill of the drivers plays an important role in the brand’s successful motor sport history. The numerous racing successes at Mercedes-Benz are, to a great extent, due to the untiring efforts of the engineers to find new solutions for the races. Only drivers with superior technology at their disposal will cross the finishing line as winners.

From art to the premier league in motor sport

The Festival of Speed was first held in 1993 and was invented by Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara. The active and enthusiastic car racing fan and host at Goodwood is addressed as Lord March. The foundation stone for the festival was already laid by his grandfather, the then Earl of March and 9th Duke of Richmond. He was very well known in England as car designer, engineer and racing driver Freddie March. He organised the first private Hillclimb in the park of Goodwood House in 1936. His grandson revived this tradition more than 50 years later.

From its early beginnings in 1993, a festival has developed which is regarded as one of the absolute cultural highlights in the international automotive calendar. For three whole days, racing cars and sports cars from all eras play their symphony of speed along the route – and that also includes the premier league in motor sport. Some of the current Formula One teams have announced their participation at Goodwood for the 2012 festival. Since 2007, a 2.5 kilometre rally route for rally cars has supplemented the Hillclimb.

Strollers and automotive fascination

The Festival of Speed is not only a fascinating experience as a motor sport event; it is also an elegant promenade along automotive cultural highlights. From the pits, open to all visitors, to the car shows in the park grounds up to the automotive works of art which the British sculptor Gerry Judah creates anew every year. His temporary sculptures placed directly in front of Goodwood House always focus on one brand and its special vehicles. At the Festival of Speed in 2001 the theme was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012: The cars

Mercedes-Benz W 125, 1937

In 1937, Daimler-Benz introduced a completely new racing car. The W 125 was built according to the ideas of its constructor Rudolf Uhlenhaut, technical manager of the newly set-up racing department since mid 1936. The backbone of the car was a sturdy nickel-chrome-molybdenum steel frame with four cross members. The torsional strength of the vehicle without its engine increased to three times that of its predecessor, the W 25.

The W 125 was the first racing car from Daimler-Benz where the compressor was installed after the carburettor which meant that the final mixture was compressed. The “Silver Arrow” was fitted out differently depending on the racing circuit: tank capacity, carburettor, supercharger, tyres and rim size, tyre profile, and its overall dimensions varied from race to race.

The car’s premiere was on 9 May 1937 at the Tripoli Grand Prix. The whole season was extremely successful – Rudolf Caracciola, Hermann Lang, and Manfred von Brauchitsch drove from one prestigious victory to the next.

  • Construction year: 1937
  • Cylinders: R8
  • Cubic capacity: 5660 cc
  • Output: 441 kW (600 hp)
  • Top speed: over 300 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 194), 1952

On 15 June 1951, the starting signal was given at Daimler-Benz for the construction of a three-litre sports car with an aluminium body. By March 1952, a prototype of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – originally designed purely for racing – was presented to the press. It was the forerunner of the legendary 300 SL (W 198) which was presented in 1954 as the “gull wing” coupé.

The complex tubular frame construction of the 300 SL racing car did not originally allow the installation of conventional doors. Because of this, experimental engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut envisaged winged doors which, in the first prototypes, were only small entry hatches reaching down to the bottom edge of the side windows.

During its first ever race, the Mille Miglia in 1952, the 300 SL racing car achieved a noteworthy second place and a second vehicle came in fourth. In the same year, it celebrated a triple victory at the Bern Grand Prix for sports cars, a double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a triple victory at the Great Jubilee Prize at the Nürburgring for sports cars as well as another double victory at the more than 3,000 kilometre long Carrera Panamericana in Mexico.

  • Construction year: 1952
  • Cylinders: R6
  • Cubic capacity: 2995cc
  • Output: 125 kW (170 hp)
  • Top speed: about 240 km/h

Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, 1997

The Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR is a racing touring car which was developed especially by Daimler-Benz in cooperation with AMG for the FIA GT Championships founded in 1997. The CLK-GTR is fitted with state-of-the-art racing technology and a centrally located engine. The 12-cylinder, 6-litre engine has an output of 441 kW (600 hp). According to the FIA regulations, apart from engine, ignition and injection control, the racing cars are not allowed to have any electronic assistants such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), acceleration slip control (ASR) or an active suspension.

As a production line racing car in a batch of 25 licensed for road use, the CLK-GTR could also be purchased by interested customers with no racing ambitions. However, at the time the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR cost 3,074,000 German marks (roughly 1,571,711 Euros) and was the most expensive production run car in the world.

  • Construction year: 1997
  • Cylinders: V12
  • Cubic capacity: 5986 cc
  • Output: 441 kW (600 hp)
  • Top speed: 345 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100), 1963 to 1981

During her earlier visits to Germany and in accordance with her social standing, Queen Elizabeth II was driven around the country in a Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100). This model – which had its premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in September 1963 – was a prestige vehicle par excellence. With its 6300 cc V8 injection engine giving a top performance of 184 kW (250 hp), automatic transmission and other special features, it is a state-of-the-art top-line model. The 600 model was available as a saloon, a Pullman saloon or as a Pullman landaulet. Even the standard fittings are luxurious: pneumatic suspension, power steering, electronic heating and ventilation system as well as hydraulically adjustable seats and backrests in the entire vehicle. Almost every special request made by the prominent customers is fulfilled, be it inside by fitting one or several minibars or a television, or outside by giving it an absolutely individual colour scheme: for the 600 model series, almost everything was available. This point, together with the total number of units manufactured, ensures that the vehicles remained absolutely exclusive: in the 18 years of the production run between 1963 and 1981, only 2677 cars were built.

  • Production period: 1963 to 1981
  • Cylinders: V8
  • Cubic capacity: 6332 cc (for tax reasons 6289 cc)
  • Output: 184 kW (250 hp)
  • Top speed: 205 km/h

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012: Driver portraits

Jackie Stewart- Date of birth: 11 June 1939

The racing career of the triple Formula One World Champion John Young “Jackie” Stewart started in 1964 and from the very beginning he was extremely successful. After only one year he was already driving in the Formula One and then in 1969 came his first great triumph: he won the Formula One Championship driving for the Matra International team. In 1971, he won the cup a second time, and this was followed in 1973 for the third time, in both cases for the Elf Team Tyrrell. For over 14 years he held the record for the greatest number of Formula One victories with 27 wins and this was only broken in 1987 by Alain Prost. Time and again, Stewart also drove successfully in other racing series. He retired from active racing in 1973. Because of the frequent fatal accidents at that time, it is not surprising that Jackie Stewart was also one of the first to work hard for more safety in motor racing. In 1996, he founded the Team Stewart Grand Prix together with his son Paul Stewart; the team took part in Formula One racing from 1997 to 1999. At the end of 1999, the team was taken over by Ford and was run during the 2000 season under the name Jaguar Racing, and it continued finally from 2005 onwards under the name Red Bull Racing. In 1971, Jackie Stewart was honoured with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to his country.

Paul Stewart- Date of birth: 29 October 1965

Former Formula driver Paul Stewart, son of the triple Formula One champion Jackie Stewart, gained his early motor sport successes in the Formula Ford 2000. In 1988, he founded the Team Paul Stewart Racing and followed up his early successes by winning the British Formula Three championships in 1989 and 1990 and the Formula 3000 from 1991 to 1993. During this time, he was teammate to Marco Apicella in 1991, David Coulthard in 1992 and Gil de Ferran in 1993. After that, despite his great successes, he said farewell to his active career in motor sport and from 1994 on busied himself as manager of his team. Between 1992 and 1994 as well as 1996 to 2000, the team won eight Formula Three championships. In 1996, together with his father Jackie Stewart, he founded the Team Stewart Grand Prix which took part in the Formula One from 1997 to 1999. At the end of 1999, Ford took over the team which then continued in the 2000 season under the name Jaguar Racing, and then finally continued from 2005 on under the name Red Bull Racing .

Klaus Ludwig- Date of birth: 5 October 1949

Known to his fans as “King Ludwig”, Klaus Ludwig won the DTM championship three times. He was born in Bonn in 1949 and his career in motor sport began at the beginning of the 1970s with slalom racing, orientation racing and touring car racing. Among his first great successes were the titles won in the German Motor Racing Championships (DRM) in 1979 and 1981 as well as victories in the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1979, 1984 and 1985. Ludwig came to the German Touring Championship (DTM) in 1985 where he originally started as a works driver for Ford, winning his first title in 1988. In 1989, he changed over to the AMG-Mercedes team and in the following years until 1994 he won two championship titles (1992 and 1994, runner-up in 1991) and a total of 19 races. In 1995 and 1996, he drove in the International Touring Car Championships (ITC) for Opel’s Team Rosberg. Afterwards, he returned to AMG-Mercedes and won the driver and team trophy at the International FIA GT Championships in 1998 together with Ricardo Zonta. Officially he finished his career as a racing driver after this success, but in 2000 Ludwig returned for the start of the new German Touring Masters (DTM), finishing both the season and his racing driver career by coming in third in the overall placings with a Mercedes-Benz CLK.

Jochen Mass- Date of birth: 30 September 1946

Jochen Mass was originally a seaman, but then in 1968 he started his very varied career in motor racing, taking part in touring car races for Alfa Romeo and driving for the Ford works team from 1970 to 1975. During this period he won the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps in 1972. Parallel to this, he took part in the Formula Two (1973) and in 105 Formula One Grand Prix races (1973/74 with Surtees; 1975 to 1977 with McLaren; 1978 with ATS; 1979/80 with Arrows; 1982 with March). Following his German Sports Car Championship (DSM) title in 1985 and his experience as a works driver for Porsche until 1987, he joined the Sauber-Mercedes works team. He drove for this team in Group C until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass then won the 1989 24 hours of Le Mans in the team with Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens and was runner-up in the world championship of the same year. Three years later, in 1992, Mass joined the DTM team management. Right up to the present day, Jochen Mass drives regularly for Mercedes-Benz at historical events.

Bernd Schneider-Date of birth: 20 July 1964

Five-times DTM champion Bernd Schneider was born in 1964 in St. Ingbert, Saarland, and his first racing successes were in karting and the Formula Three. Schneider also took part in the Formula One, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA GT Championships, winning this title in 1997. But the DTM became the stage on which he celebrated his greatest triumphs. From 1992 on, Schneider drove for the AMG-Mercedes team and won the German Touring Car championship for the team in 1995 after being third in the overall placings in 1992 and 1993. After the DTM was revived as the German Touring Car Masters in 2000, Schneider won in the years 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006, and he was also runner-up in the championships in 2002. Bernd Schneider has remained closely connected to the brand Mercedes-Benz right up to the present day as a test driver and ambassador for the brand with the star.