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Audi at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Audi's automotive art at Goodwood House (copyright image)

Audi's automotive art at Goodwood House

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3rd July, 2009

Every year since 1997, Lord March has surprised visitors with ever more vast and spectacular centrepieces for England's Festival of Speed at his home, Goodwood House in West Sussex. For 2009, the latest sculptural ‘monument’ was unveiled for the start of the three day Festival (3rd to 5th July), which is likely to entertain a record number of 130,000 visitors.

The Festival’s work of art is the focus of Audi's global centenary celebrations - a 35 metre high automotive ‘monument'. The Audi ‘central feature' art installation is one of the most ambitious and stunning sculptures ever constructed for Lord March’s unique and world leading annual Festival, representing the unique style of one of the world's most progressive automotive brands.

The jaw-dropping 2009 Festival of Speed Central Feature actually marks the second occasion that Audi has chosen to celebrate a significant anniversary at Goodwood. In 1999, Audi was honoured with one of the most striking and memorable Goodwood central features to date for its 90th anniversary.  The famous Avus race track banking was recalled in an astonishing installation that also included the Auto Union Streamliner and an Audi Avus quattro concept car perched high on the banking.

Designed by the award-winning Gerry Judah, Lord March’s evergreen creative collaborator, the sculpture features two Audi cars this year – the legendary 1937 Auto Union streamliner as well as the just launched R8 V10 sports car suspended in the air, at either end of a dramatic ‘swoosh’ of tyre tracks, as if they are driving off into the sky. The sculpture is the latest in a grand tradition of central displays at the Festival. Each year Judah honours the featured marque with its own central display but this year’s is something very special.

“I wanted to design something iconic because this year is Audi’s 100th anniversary,” explains Judah. “The sculpture had to have a celebratory theme and it also had to encompass the qualities of the Audi brand: sporty, prestigious and progressive.”

 “I drew about 20 ideas and some had elaborate bridges with vaulted arches but somehow they didn’t have quite the right style. I then had a flash of inspiration and designed this ‘swoosh’ with a car at either end to represent Audi’s 100-year history.”

“It’s made entirely of steel and although the design looks simple, it’s actually extremely complex, because the structure has to be rigid and completely balanced without the need for hundreds of supporting props.”

The total weight of the structure is 40 tonnes – the equivalent of 40 small family cars. It took two 100 tonne cranes to erect the structure and four weeks for 12 men to fabricate, build and install the structure.

As well as the Audi sculpture, the Festival will showcase Audi’s most important cars and drivers from its illustrious century – from the days of the Grand Prix Auto Union ‘Silver Arrows’ of the thirties, through the ‘quattro years’ of the Eighties, right up to the present day.

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Ten years on from its Goodwood debut, the Audi marque has progressed to become an even more significant player in the global premium car market, combining an enviable image for innovation and quality, and exhibiting consistent worldwide sales growth breaking the million global the widest and most comprehensive product programmes in the premium car sector, ranging from the A3, right through to the R8.

The Festival is famously held on the hill climb course and the grounds of Goodwood House on Lord March’s 12,000-acre West Sussex estate.

100 years of Audi:  1909 – 2009


First car to bear the Audi name:  the Audi Type A (2.6 litre)


The Auto Union B-type wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza


The Type C Stromlinenwagen first to break the 400 km/h land speed record on the Autobahn


First to perform systematic crash tests bringing added safety and reassurance for drivers


First to introduce a permanent four-wheel drive rally car – the Audi Quattro with its turbocharged five-cylinder engine


First Audi with TDI – the Audi 100 shows the world the remarkable power and economy with TDI


First to use the Aluminium Space Frame – tough and corrosion resistant, this provided the body shell for the Audi A8, making it far lighter than traditional designs


First to win Le Mans with a diesel-powered car


First appearance of the Audi R8 V10 – the new 10 cylinder performance car which is capable of 0-100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds


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More Audi News ..... here
More "Goodwood" News ..... here
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