Goodwood Festival of Speed crashes: Multimillion-dollar cars wiped out

Big-dollar classic cars – and priceless prototypes – met their maker at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. Here’s all the crash action as it happened.

A number of priceless classic cars – and a one-off electric concept vehicle – driven by their wealthy owners and/or professional racers, crashed in embarrassing fashion during last weekend’s 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed – an automotive festival held on a 4900-acre private property owned by a Lord – attracts enthusiasts because of its mix of brand-new manufacturer prototypes and super-rare multimillion-dollar classic cars.

This year – the 30th running of the annual event – attracted a number of new-car debuts at static displays. Fans were also treated to the famous 1.86km hillclimb.

While the hillclimb event is not a competition, at least four rare and exotic cars were driven beyond their (or the driver’s) limits, embarrassingly ending up in the hay bales in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 spectators.

Among those to crash in this event were expensive race cars such as the McLaren F1 GTR (of which, an example fetched $AU29 million at auction in 2019) and the rare Hyundai RN22e electric concept track car.

It has long been rumoured – though not substantiated – that anyone who crashes a car is not invited back to the event.

Here are some of the biggest crashes from this year’s event, which finished last weekend.

Hyundai RN22e

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing mishaps this year was the destruction of the special Hyundai RN22e concept car – a “rolling laboratory” powered by an electric motor.

It crashed about 30 seconds into its run. The footage shows the priceless Hyundai crashing after going too fast in an infamous tight left turn, smashing spectacularly into a series of hay bales designed to protect spectators.

Shortly after the crash the driver and passenger emerge from the vehicle – apparently unscathed despite the heavy hit.

It’s a different story for the Hyundai RN22e – believed to be one of only two in existence. It looks like it will take some serious work to bring this priceless prototype back to life.

Adrian Newey-designed Leyton House Judd CG901 F1 car

Following cancelled proceedings on Saturday due to high winds, Sunday’s packed timetable saw the destruction of several race cars.

One of famed Formula One engineer Adrian Newey’s first racing machine, the Leyton House-liveried Judd CG901, spun out of control in the lead-up to the same sharp left turn.

It appears the rear brakes locked up before the car spun out of control into the hay bale barriers. As a result, the entire rear axle appears bent out of shape and a wheel is lost. The bodywork and aerodynamics also appear to be severely damaged.

While this Judd CG901 was one of Newey’s first F1 car designs, and is widely regarded as one of the most attractive F1 designs, the British engineer has gone on to be the brains behind much of reigning champions Red Bull’s success over the last decade.

BMW M1 Procar

The same corner also saw the pilot of a rare BMW M1 Procar come unstuck. Designed to compete in its own one-make championship, the BMW M1 Procar (from 1979-1986) went on to become a support category in Formula One and also featured at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The black and red BMW M1 Procar appears to be carrying too much speed towards the corner before the brakes lock up and the car skids straight instead of negotiating the bend. About 50 examples of the M1 Procar were built and the last time one sold at auction, in 2020, it fetched $US913,000 ($AU1.34 million).

Porsche 911 GT1-98

A rare Porsche 911 GT1 lost control as it was powering up the hill further down the track than the previous two crashes listed above.

It’s all over within a second or two, but the Porsche loses grip as its driver applies power, with the car skidding sideways and into the hay bales lining the track.

In the process, the car sideswipes the barriers and loses its rear wing, and the driver carries on as if nothing happened.

McLaren F1 GTR

One of the most eye-watering crashes of the weekend involved a 1996 McLaren F1 GTR heading straight into the hay bales surrounding the notorious sharp left turn.

Much like the BMW M1 Procar, the driver appears to carry too much speed into the tricky corner before locking the brakes. Once it hits the grass verge the driver can only do so much, as the car sideswipes into the barriers and noses into the hay bales.

The footage shows the damage appears to be cosmetic only. With the last McLaren F1 GTR trading openly for $US19,805,000 ($AU29 million) in 2019 it’s expected the car will be repaired.

The post Goodwood Festival of Speed crashes: Multimillion-dollar cars wiped out appeared first on Drive.

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