Tom Kristensen in motion at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

Audi goes wild in the country

A host of brand new and historic Audi road cars and racing machines assembled in West Sussex for the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Goodwood centerpiece sculpture. Honouring the career of Bernie Ecclestone at the Festival of Speed 2017

Tom Kristensen

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the largest motorsport events in the world and, as usual, Audi was invited to join the party this year. A range of its latest models were on show, alongside a mouth-watering selection of the brand’s most iconic racing and rally cars, which charged up the famous hillclimb course that runs through the leafy grounds of Goodwood House.

Audi endurance racing legend Tom Kristensen was the focus of one of the weekend’s biggest celebrations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Kristensen’s first victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and he went on to win the race a record nine times (seven with Audi). A selection of cars that were crucial to his career were on show in the paddock and in action on the Hill over the weekend, while the man himself demonstrated this year’s Audi RS 5 DTM car, and took a step back in time when he got behind the wheel of his 2000 Le Mans-winning Audi R8 prototype. He was joined on the Hill by several former team-mates, including Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro.

The Audi R8 LMS taking on the hill climb at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

Other Audis in action included the legendary quattro RS 002. Built to Group S rallying regulations (although, sadly, the formula was cancelled before the car could compete), its turbocharged, five-cylinder engine was given full voice by the great Hannu Mikkola, who won the 1983 World Rally Championship at the wheel of an Audi quattro. And, bringing things bang up to date, Festival fans could see the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours-winning Audi R8 LMS, and the new RS 5 Coupé road car, which made its UK public debut at the event.

Away from the action on the Hill, Audi’s fastest ever drop-top, the 610PS R8 Spyder V10 plus, caught the eyes of the Festival faithful with its bright Audi exclusive micrommata green paint. It made its world debut on the Audi stand, where a range of Audi’s latest models, including the RS 3 Saloon, SQ5 and striking Q8 sport concept SUV, were also on show.

A fantastic weekend was crowned by the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus taking a superb victory in Goodwood’s famous supercar shootout. A stunning 51-second run by historic racing ace Chris Ward saw the Audi beat an impressive line-up of the very latest supercars in the world. Written by James Clark.


Find out more about the new Audi RS 5 Coupé

The Audi R8 Coupé V10