The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed has some spectacular attractions lined up for 28 June to 1 July, including Lotus taking the central display outside Goodwood House.
This guarantees that the event – which will kick off the UK's National Motorsport Week – will be awash with Lotus racers and road cars, with Goodwood promising more than 50 "significant" examples of the marque on site during the event.
Among the key Lotus anniversaries to be celebrated are:
60 years since the first Lotus company was founded by Colin Chapman in 1952.
50 years of the ground-breaking Lotus Elan.
40 years since the iconic Esprit supercar concept was first revealed by Giugiaro.
35 years since the innovative Lotus 78 ground effects F1 car competed.
20 years since Chris Boardman won a gold medal for Britain in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, riding the Lotus T108 bicycle.
Of course, that is just a small part of an event that last year attracted 180,000 visitors.
The main theme for 2012 is Young Guns – Born to Win, which will celebrate drivers and riders, designers and engineers, whose talent and thirst for speed shocked the establishment, from Bernd Rosemeyer and Mike Hawthorn, to Emerson Fittipaldi and Lewis Hamilton, Mike Hailwood and Valentino Rossi, to Henri Toivonen and Colin McRae.
At least seven current F1 teams will be attending and in action, including the very first Goodwood appearance for double World Champion Sebastian Vettel, along with the Red Bull Racing team and his team-mate Mark Webber.
You are also likely to see familiar F1 faces such as Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Bruno Senna, Sir Jackie Stewart, Martin Brundle, Murray Walker, Sir Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Patrick Head, Ross Brawn, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey. All these have attended the Festival in recent years and many are expected to return in 2012.
Around 50 cars will tackle the demanding forest rally stage, ranging from early 1960s favourites such as the Saab 96 and Mini Cooper 'S', to the ubiquitous Ford Escort, Lancia Stratos and Datsun 240Zs of the 1970s, awesome fire-breathing Group B monsters such as the Audi quattro S1, MG Metro 6R4 and Ford RS200, as well as the high-tech machines of today.
Expected in action in these iconic cars will be rallying legends such 1965 European Champion Rauno Aaltonen and 1983 World Champion Hannu Mikkola, alongside multiple British Champions Russell Brookes and Jimmy McRae. Because there is no clash with the World Rally Championship this year, Goodwood is expecting a hugely enhanced works presence.
Group C and Can-Am will also be celebrated on the hill. Group C cars set to compete in the Top 20 Shoot-Out include the ex-Mark Blundell 1990 Le Mans pole-winning Nissan R90CK, previous ‘Fastest Time of the Day’ victor Justin Law in his Jaguar XJR8/9LM, a Sauber Mercedes C9, a stunning Peugeot 905 and the Spice SE90C that was piloted by an all-female team in the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Joining the Group C racers will be an intriguing array of other timed motor-sport greats as diverse as a Lotus F1 car, a Ferrari 712 Can-Am – Ferrari’s only 7-litre V12 – a Lola T310, the Bastos TWR Rover SD1 touring car, and the extreme works Vauxhall Carlton Thundersaloon.
The radical six-wheeled March 2-4-0 is to make its Festival debut too, also competing against the clock on the hill.
On the static side, the Cartier Style et Luxe is the star attraction. Now in its 18th consecutive year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year the concours d’elegance will focus on just one set of vehicles, all personally owned or used by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Many will come from Sandringham and the Royal Mews, but others will be sourced from overseas governments and private collections, and all will have a genuine use and connection with the Queen. It will be divided into six classes, including Limousines, official Overseas State Visit travel, Working Cars, Personal Family Cars. Aviation, Rail and Horse-drawn vehicles, plus Royal Household Toy Cars.
Expect to see ‘formal’ state limousines, including Her Majesty’s 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V and 1929 Daimler Double Six 30hp Brougham.
Foreign Travel will include cars used for overseas State visits, sent over to Goodwood specifically for the Style et Luxe with official local government permissions. These include the striking Chapron-bodied Citroen SM Decapotable used for the Queen’s State visit to France in 1972, with the release of this car being personally signed-off by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. There will also be a 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan ‘bubble top’.
Working cars are set to include an unique coachbuilt 1956 Ford Zephyr Estate and 1961 Vauxhall Cresta Friary Estate, the latter used to transport Her Majesty’s corgi dogs. Personal cars will include a Rover P5 used extensively by the Queen, plus Prince Philip’s 1961 Alvis TD21.
Two unusual vehicle classes will include a 1920s Royal Midland carriage from The Royal Train, plus a 1950s De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft. A 1928 Citroen C4 presented to the Queen, plus an Austin J40 pedal car and 1966 Aston Martin DB5 007-replica toy car will be included in a class of Royal Household Toy Cars.
Several cars are expected to make their world or UK dynamic debuts on the Supercar Run, including new models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Lotus, Bugatti, Jaguar, and others. Up to 50 of the latest supercars will be in action on the hill.
Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show, which has been held for the past two years, will be held again this year as a one-day extension to the popular Festival of Speed on 28 June.
Tickets and further information for the 2012 Festival of Speed can be found on the Goodwood website or via the Ticket Hotline on +44 (0)1243 755055.
Pictures: Jochen van Cauwenberge, Andy Smerdon, Jeff Bloxham, John Colley, Paul Melbert, Richard Hanley