Goodwood’s Shootout: It’s All Uphill From Here
Race You To The Top

The main event at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the hillclimb sprint, a very narrow and short 1.16-mile ascent that climbs just 92.7 metres around nine bends.

A huge roster of cars from all eras and disciplines complete a continuous series of runs over the three main event days at Goodwood, almost all of which are done in the name of entertaining the crowd via the mediums of speed, noise and smoke. None of it is terribly serious stuff.

That is up until a point: the Festival of Speed Shootout.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-9872

With the stopwatch running, race drivers can’t help but be competitive. Qualifying takes place on the Saturday, with the top cars from each class going through to Sunday’s big finale.

But before the main event at this year’s Festival of Speed was even underway, records were being set. Volkswagen’s I.D R Pikes Peak whizzed up the hill in a staggering 43.05 seconds, with Romain Dumas behind the wheel, becoming the fastest electric vehicle to complete the climb, and the third fastest time in history.

Using the formula of slowest qualifying cars first, the shootout is like a moving timeline. Initial contenders to tackle the timed sprint were in pre-war single seaters, with times quickly tumbling from the mid-70 seconds as you witness the progression in technology pass before you.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3086

The faster they go, the harder they fall. Molecomb corner is usually the place to stand to see crashes, as the off-camber crest often catches those attacking the hill off-guard. This year, however, no one bit the hay during the shootout. Mark Longmore came the closest on a heavily spirited attack in the 1970 McLaren-Chevrolet M10B, testing its limited lock to keep him out of the hay bales.

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Several other drivers took the ‘Initial D’ line, dropping the inside front wheel off the tarmac and into the dirt to pull the car around. Celebrating 60 years of the British Touring Car Championship, this year’s shootout featured several modern BTCC cars, competing in their own sub-shootout. Goodwood track tester Andrew Jordan showed his familiarity of the course by blitzing to the top in 52.58 seconds in a BMW125i M Sport.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2296

At this point things get serious as the times tumble into the 50-seconds-and-below zone. A particular highlight was Billy Monger, the 19-year-old racer who lost both of his legs in an accident at Donington last year, returning to the race track in a specially converted Carlin F3. Billy showed no fear, taking the benchmark down to a 48.31, to rapturous applause from the crowd.

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Last year’s winner Justin Law, in the Jaguar XJR-12D, looked fast over the line, but could only manage a 46.66-second run.

Racing legend Rod Millen took to Goodwood once again in his 880hp Pikes Peak Toyota Celica, running a respectable 48.50 seconds, ending up in ninth place overall.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3115

With only a few runners left to go, everyone was looking at the EVs to set the standard. Qualifying taught us that the VW I.D R and the NIO EP9 were always going to be fastest up the hill, however, good old internal combustion still had a trick up its sleeve.

Georg Plasa’s Judd V8-powered E36 hill climb car, preserved and operated by KW Suspensions, set a blistering 46.43-second time with Joerg Weidinger behind the wheel, using every inch of the narrow track, and a bit more.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-9809

Let’s just take that in… A car that was built over 10 years ago and that hasn’t turned a wheel in anger since Plasa’s death in 2011 was the fastest non-EV entrant in its very first outing. That’s impressive.

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The rumble of the Judd engine screaming past was followed by the eerie high-pitched whine of the future as the NIO and I.D R followed. The NIO first, setting a composed 44.32. That’s not to play this down; it’s a ridiculously fast time, as a testament to the future of electric power in motorsport.

The I.D R had high expectations set upon it – people were talking of it beating Nick Heidfeld’s 41.60-second pass, set in 1999 in a McLaren MP4/13.

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With Dumas behind the wheel all the pieces were in place, and the I.D R destroyed the competition with a 43.86-second run, not quite beating the record that he set on Saturday, but taking the victory at the 2018 Festival of Speed.

In case you missed it live, catch up on the full and electrifying – pun fully intended –shootout above.

Goodwood FOS 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2788

You may notice that Porsche’s 919 Evo didn’t compete in the shootout, and it does beg the question as to how it would stack up against the I.D R. I suspect that Volkswagen AG internal politics sadly stopped that from happening.

Maybe one day it’s a fight we’ll get to see.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters

The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor
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YES! E36 love, can't get enough. Jordan, any chance you know what V8 it was running? many hp? tire/wheel combo? or any more specs?



There’s a link to Paddy’s feature in the article.


Thanks guys! I seem to have missed out on that article, I'll dig right into it!


It's a Judd V8, although I don't know which one/the specs.


Whats car is that with sticker "Mega Bertha"? Some Opel/Vauxhaul monza based on? Or what?


Google Dealer Team Vauxhall and Bill Blydenstein. Well worth a read on the Berthas!


It’s a spaceframe chassis but based on a Mk1 Vauxhall Cavalier coupe. It was originally destined to be raced by Vauxhall in the Super Saloon championship but the project was canned soon after. Thankfully someone bought it and finished it.

The poor French Carguy

It's an utter shame that VAG decided that the 919 Evo wouldn't compete to give the spotlight to the I.DR. But I guess that after the Dieselgate, VW needed something to improve its image. Still, a shame. The I.DR is a fast machine, I just find it boring to watch, the "woosh" sounding electric... Not my thing. Electric power is the future of automotive for sure, I just wish they would keep it for everyday cars and keep the gas powered machines for racing, just for entertaining purpose. Races without raging motors, quite underwhelming...

On a side note, I wonder what would be the time of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak if it hadn't run the ridiculously short gear ratio that made it top out at 240km/h... It was less than a second slower than the I.DR, mainly because of that...


It sounds surprisingly like an electric radio-controlled car to me.


I was a little gutted the 919 evo didn't run as well. Seems odd you don't want to show off a car that not long ago you broke the ring time with and break more records. A little competition is healthy.

Jordan Butters

It’s worth noting that the Georg Plasa E36 was only 0.2 seconds off the pace of RCM’s Gobstopper II winning time from 2016, with 300 less horsepower!


I really hope Justin Law comes back next year with a vengeance in an XJR 14 or 16 with the high-downforce IMSA trim. This VW had to be one of the most well prepped factory efforts for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Don't let it fool you, we're far from having thrown our best internal combustion efforts at the hill. I'd love to see what a well prepped CART or IMSA GTP prototype can do now that we've set the bar. Before anyone mentions the Penske-Illmor, that car disappointed me horribly; grooved tires and it appeared to be struggling with the camber in the road. Someone from Penske please reach out and send them your old Long Beach setup!


I’m looking forward to seeing what Gobstopper III can do (if they actually get invited to drive).


Wow. So awesome for the BMW to beat out such insane heavyweights. Congrats.


>I suspect that Volkswagen AG internal politics sadly stopped that from happening.

At the level of the Porsche and VW racing teams, that's probably true. At the group level, it's strategy.

Bradley Johnson

"I suspect that Volkswagen AG internal politics sadly stopped that from happening."

That or Porsche ran a simulator an found that the VW ID is quicker perhaps anyways an thus not to downplay their own cars efforts leave VW to take the glory at Goodwood.




EV right after a JUDD engine how much boring was it?
Small request: no photos for that BMW 125? (plus it's the BTCC class winning car so there must be some)

Erik Gattermeier

Thank you Speedhunters for such great coverage on Georg Plasa's BMW E36. The car is closer to being 20 years old, it won the German Hillclimb championship way back in 1999 using a BMW S14 4 cylinder engine. Georg's last competitive outing in the car was in 2009 at the Mickhausen hillclimb in Germany. Just goes to show how good that race car is, despite the age it is still very fast.