Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate Lotus

Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate Lotus with central feature

Event will take place July 8-11

LOTUS will be celebrated at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with an “interactive and accessible” central feature.

Since the nineties, the festival, which this year will take place from July 8-11, has celebrated a different car maker every year through the medium of sculpture. In 2019 — the last time the Festival of Speed was held, due to the coronavirus pandemic — the central display was dedicated to Aston Martin, as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of its first World Sportscar Championship win.

Lotus was last celebrated in 2012 with a 3D infinity loop sculpture that was designed to signify the “singularity of purpose of a Lotus race car”. This year’s sculpture will take a different direction, taking into consideration the fact that a number of people will only be able to view the feature from home.

Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate Lotus

The feature is traditionally designed by British artist Gerry Judah, who works alongside car makers to design the feature. Some of his standout pieces have included suspending a Ferrari F1 car from a Roman arch in 1997, attaching five Porsche Le Mans cars from huge spikes in the ground in 1998 and constructing a 160 tonne arch over the Goodwood House in 2014, atop which he perched a replica of a 1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 and a 2013 Mercedes F1 car.

The British car maker joins an elite group of marques to have been celebrated twice by Judah. Others include Audi and Porsche.

The Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood Estate and founder of the Festival of Speed, said: “We are delighted that Lotus will star as the Central Feature at this year’s Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.

“Lotus cars raced with great success at Goodwood throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, including setting the ultimate lap record in 1965, and this year’s Central Feature will serve as a fitting landmark to their past, present and future achievements.

“The sculpture looks set to be one of the most dramatic and futuristic yet, bringing in elements of interactivity for modern audiences that align with Lotus’ future-facing attitude and outlook.”

Lotus will also garner attention over the course of the festival as it has chosen the event as the stage to unveil the Emira, its final combustion-engine car. It revealed that the car would be called the Emira last month, and dispelled rumours that it will be a hybrid — there will reportedly be several petrol powertrains available, including a “highly efficient” one that boss Matt Windle said would be based on a “new partnership”.

New Lotus sports car will be called the Emira

The Emira will feature a mid-mounted engine at the centre of a lightweight extruded aluminium structure (a Lotus hallmark), and will borrow design language from the Evija electric hypercar, which is currently in the final stages of its development.

Other announcements regarding this year’s Festival of Speed include a memorial to Sterling Moss, often known as “Mr Goodwood”, who died in April 2020. The Mercedes-Benz 300SLR ‘722’ in which Moss won the Mille Miglia in 1955 will be on display at both the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival in September.

Moss entered 56 races at Goodwood, winning 21 times, but the track was also the location of his career-ending crash in 1962.

A number of F1 teams and racers have also been confirmed to attend the 2021 Festival of Speed. Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren’s driver pairing, will make an appearance, and the Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams teams will all be represented.

The theme for this year’s Festival of Speed is “Maestros — Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders” — a celebration of teams, drivers and marques that have succeeded across several disciplines.