Indy cars thrill at Goodwood!

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The 2011 Festival of Speed kicked off today with a spectacular display of Indy 500 racers.

More than 40 examples of the famous brickyard racers - the largest ever gathering in Europe - lined up in front of Goodwood House to the sound of the Star Spangled banner before taking to the hill at the hands of many of the names that made the Indianapolis 500 America's most famous race. 

 

Parnelli Jones, Bobby Rahal and Eddie Cheever were among the list of legendary Indy hotshoes to take to the hill across the four classes celebrating the Indy's influence on motorsport.

Jones was at the wheel of the gas turbine powered Lotus-Pratt & Whitney 56 STP Special (below) - the four-wheel drive wedge that he nearly clinched the 1967 Indy with - while Cheever braved he Cummins Diesel (second below) - the first oil burner to race at Indy.

 

Other famous Indy cars included the Eagle-Ford T2G (below left) - which Dan Gurney developed to take on Indy 500 - and a Lotus 38 which GP legend Jim Clark drove to victory in the 1965 race. 

Indy star (and massive Clark fan), Dario Franchitti took the monocoque up the hill while wearing a helmet in Clark's livery.

Adding to the single seater action on the hill this year was the Festival of Speed's fantastic Pioneering Giants class - which featured the mighty Fiat S74 Grand Prix car (below), and the Napier-Lion aero-engined Railton (see the August issue of C&SC for a full feature).

There was plenty of entertainment from the Pre-war Grand Prix Cars class too, with C&SC's Editor in Chief, Mick Walsh, in action with Donington Collection's 1935 Austin Seven Twin-Cam - which thumps out a massive 120bhp despite its 750cc capacity.

Other early GP cars to thrill included two twin-supercharged icons: an Auto Union Type D (above), at the hands of saloon car legend, Hans Stuck, and  U16 Bugatti Type 45 (below) - the worlds only 'twin' engined Bugatti.

The Festival also celebrated the Jaguar E-type's golden anniversary with a class dedicated to competition Jaguars, headed by the E2A - the sports racer prototype that gave birth to the model after it was developed to take on the Ford GT40s at Le Mans. Marque hero and former test driver Norman Dewis was on hand to take it up the hill (below).

C&SC will be covering the Festival of Speed all weekend so check back for the latest news.

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