Holly and Nick Mason entertain Goodwood crowd
Written by Matt   
Friday, 11 July 2008

fos2008: nick mason Nick Mason [click thumbnail, right] and his racing driver daughter Holly helped entertain the huge crowds that braved the very uncertain weather to attend the first day of the three-day Goodwood Festival of Speed today (Friday).

Their trio of thrilling cars - one of which an old favourite, one new and unfamiliar to most, and one a faithful recreation of an early classic Grand Prix car which has made headlines across the world in the last week or so - took the mind off the occasional rain in the air and big black stormy clouds.

Read on for more details of these, along with pictures of Nick and Holly in each of the cars...

The Goodwood Festival Of Speed is a must-attend annual celebration of motor racing held in Sussex on an Earl's estate. Gathering cars (and bikes), drivers, and enthusiasts from all over the world, the event celebrates motor racing from the very early days, through to the very latest F1 cars. It is held in the grounds of Lord March's estate, near Chichester, Sussex, in the south of England, and has static displays, demonstration runs, and timed runs, up the hill past Goodwood House.

Nick Mason is a regular each year, having driven a range of classic cars from his and other's collections. For this year's event, he is driving two cars, the first of which is the maiden drive of an authentic reconstruction of a classic, Grand Prix winning racing car from 1939, which was clearly exciting many of the petrolheads in the almost 100,000-strong Friday crowd - traditionally the quietest of the three days!

The car is a reconstruction of the original Auto Union "Silver Arrow" Type D Dual Compressor from 1939, which won two GP races at the hands of legendary drivers HP Muller and Tazio Nuvolari. Construction of the reconstruction took a painstaking four years.

After he did a demonstration run up the hill, Nick commented that it was "fairly good for an old banger!"

fos_2008_nick_1 fos_2008_nick_2 fos_2008_nick_3

The other car Nick drove this year is one of his own - the glorious Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. One of only 500 ever made, it is a lovely looking vehicle, as you can see from the picture above, which shows Nick putting in a timed run up the hill. If he looks to be concentrating, that's because that part of the track is very narrow, and has an old flint wall on one side to focus the mind.

Of the Alfa, Nick remarked that it is "one of the best looking cars to come out of Italy for a long time". Having seen the car in the flesh it is very hard to argue with this.

The final car to be driven, this time by his daughter, was the 1979, 2-litre, 4-cylinder Lola-Cosworth T297, which has been raced five times at the historic Le Mans, never finishing below 3rd in class. Pink Floyd fans took particular not of this car as it went through its paces as it has a striking Wall paint job, with sponsors names including EMI Electrola and Harvest Records!

fos_2008_holly_1 fos_2008_holly_2 fos_2008_holly_3

Full details, news and pictures of the Festival can be found at www.Goodwood.co.uk/fos, where you can also purchase tickets for the event. Entrance is by advance ticket only, and there is plenty of free parking to be found at the venue, reached easily from the main A27 coast road in Sussex.