The first day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed saw huge crowds arrive at the Sussex venue on Thursday. Paul Tarsey took an initial walk round the huge site and shared some of the sites and sounds in store for the 300,000 visitors expected this weekend.
Williams Heritage has a strong presence at this year’s Festival of Speed, the Formula One team’s historic arm showcasing the FW08C (above), the FW19, and the historic Brabham BT26, up the famous Goodwood hill and on static display. The FW25 and a ROKiT Williams Racing showcar will also be on the stand.
To celebrate and mark the occasion of Sir Frank Williams’s 50th year as a Team Principal in Formula One, Williams Heritage and ROFGO have collaborated to produce a touching tribute. Using Brabham BT26, chassis 4, a car driven to victory at the 1969 German Grand Prix by Jacky Ickx, bodywork has been recreated in homage to the same dark blue livery of Sir Frank’s first Formula One car, chassis 1. The Cosworth DFV powered car is showcased in 1969 Monaco race specification livery, where it finished 2nd in the hand of Piers Courage.
The FW19 was an evolutionary development of the previous year, fitted with a lighter and lower Renault engine. The FW19 was the car to beat, with Jacques Villeneuve qualifying a full 2.1 seconds quicker than the fastest of the opposition for the season’s opening race in Australia. The FW19 carried the Williams team to a record ninth Constructors’ World Championship to conclude a highly successful nine-year partnership with Renault.
The FW08Cs, driven by Keke Rosberg and France’s Jacques Laffite, featured an aluminium honeycomb chassis and a new six speed gearbox. The car proved to be excellent at medium and slow speed circuits, where a high down-force set-up could be adopted but was less competitive on the faster tracks. Rosberg finished the year in fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship with a superbly-judged victory in the wet/dry Monaco Grand Prix and the team was fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Jonathan Williams commented, “The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a special event which I thoroughly look forward to each year, and this year is no exception. It will be a spectacle for the crowd to see the FW08C, FW19 and the Brabham BT26 take to the hill.
“Away from the Williams Heritage stand, it is great to see the FW14B-08 at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale from a privateer collection. I would like to extend a personal invitation to the new owner of FW14B-08 should they wish to visit our facilities in Oxfordshire. We can assist them with all aspects of running and managing the car, by the same skilled workforce who built and ran it in period.“