2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed Begins Tomorrow

England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the most illustrious historic racing events in the world, and this year’s event promises to be quite the spectacle.

To start, Audi’s celebrating its centennial in a bittersweet manner. Former Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is scheduled to drive the hallowed Auto Union Silver Arrow racer in the hill climb, but it will be the car’s last event. Following Goodwood, it will be retired from active duty and placed on display within Audi’s corporate museum.

Alfa Romeo is also celebrating an anniversary, although with 99 years of history, it falls just short of Audi’s milestone. Alfa plans on showcasing the sexy 8C Competizione and Spider, a 1953 6C 3000, and the outrageous 1968 Carabo concept.

Peugeot will attend the event with the #9 908 HDi FAP in tow, fresh from its victory at the 2009 24 Hours of LeMans. Citroen will also demonstrate its wacky GT concept, which is bound to heighten speculation of its eventual production.

Ferrari plans on bringing a host of cars, ranging from a very rare 1956 166 MM Barchetta to last year’s F2008 Formula 1 car. Infiniti, meanwhile, will flaunt its expressive Essence concept, first shown at the 2009 Geneva motor show.

But for any F1 fan, the highlight will likely rest with none other than Lewis Hamilton driving a 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4—the exact car used by the late Ayrton Senna to win his first World Championship title.

The 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed begins July 3 and runs through this Sunday. To keep up with what’s happening at the show, head to the festival’s website at www.goodwood.co.uk.

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