The Festival of Speed is an event that car enthusiasts look forward to all year, and this year I was more excited than ever as I made my arrival in style in an ice-cool, pearlescent white Audi quattro 20v. On the run through the Sussex Downs the roads were lashed with rain rather than bathed in sun, but thanks to the quattro’s four-wheel drive grip and glorious-sounding five-cylinder turbocharged engine, the weather didn’t spoil the fun.
I parked my quattro in good company among a fine line-up of rally quattros that helped Audi take four world titles in the 1980s, and arguably made the company what it is today. Strolling down by the side of the Hill towards Goodwood House I encountered another history-maker: a mighty 1936 560PS Silver Arrows Grand Prix car from Audi’s Auto Union ancestor company thundered past me with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason at the wheel.
I had a rest and dined on fish and chips and ice cream, because you can’t watch motorsport while eating salad and sorbet. That’s an unwritten rule, but a rule all the same. Once I’d seen Audi’s 1985 Sport quattro S1 E2 rally car, the 1990 V8 quattro DTM race car and the 2016 S1 EKS rallycross car in action on the Hill, I strolled to Lord March’s front lawn to peruse the stunning machinery in the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance.
Then it was over to the Audi stand, where I got a close look at the all-new Q2 and R8 V10 Spyder models. And so the day passed, as the best days always do, far too quickly. But never mind, I was quite happy to fire up the quattro and enjoy the drive back home.
Written by Angus Frazer; Photographs by Alex Shore.
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