The Earl of March opened the gates for the 20th time for another Festival of Speed. This year’s festival in my mind being the best to date. I could be biased though as this year was in honour of Lotus and its heritage. The display in front of the house, which has to be the largest Garden ornament in the world, was a giant structure with a selection of Lotus finest F1 cars attached to it.
Cathedral paddock had everything from a gorgeous 1930’s straight eight Delage to Bill Blysten’s DTV racers once raced by the late Gerry Marshall.
Wonderful 80’s and 90’s Group C racers lined up alongside Renault Alpines and Maxi turbos with a few Pikes Peak Hill climb cars thrown in for good measure. The main paddock had it’s usual array of F1 machinery including the six wheel Tyrell and Williams machines. Lotus had a large selection of cars, including what must me the oldest surviving Lotus, the Mk2. Amongst the mix were the ill fated turbine cars.
A line of JPS cars looked stunning whilst even the humble Super Seven was there, albeit this one was once in the ownership of F1 driver Piers Courage.
The rally stage was as spectacular as ever with, amongst others, Lancia’s 037 and a Ford RS200 doing battle on the timed stage with the Ford Escorts seemingly well suited to forest stage.
There are not many places in the world where you can watch an F1 car doing what it does best at peak revs whilst above your head a Eurofighter also doing what it does best, streaks across the sky, afterburners glowing.
There were too many cars to choose from to pick any real favourites but pretty much everything from the Delage to the Zakspeed Capri and everything in-between would have happily had a place in my garage.