The folks watching this vintage 1970 McLaren no doubt had a heart-stopping moment when driver Matthew Wurr overcooked it into the big left-hander. Since the short course doesn’t give tires much of a chance to heat up, the car was fitted with soft-compound rain tires for better grip. The downside is the tires can wiggle a bit, which we can definitely see prior to this off-road excursion. Fortunately no damage was done, and Wurr went on to finish the pass.
NASCAR Toyota Tundra - Goldberg
Former professional wrestler and all-around American car fanatic Bill Goldberg has been to Goodwood before, and to his credit, he’s definitely interested in setting a fast time. We don’t think any damage was done to his NASCAR-spec Toyota Tundra on this slight bobble towards the top of the course, but it did leave him wedged between the bales of hay.
Autonomous 1965 Ford Mustang
We must give major credit to the Siemens and Cranfield University team for this creative project because the driverless car did improve significantly in its later runs up the hill. Still, people remember first impressions and people will definitely remember the meandering Mustang in its early passes at Goodwood, randomly steering off course and even bumping the hay bales near the top at one point.
Ford RS 200
This was easily the biggest crash of the event, but not for reasons you would expect. Liam Doran was making a blistering run up the hill when the rear bodywork of his RS200 literally flew off the car under the Bridge. The drastic aero change – not to mention the sudden loss of rear downforce – sent the ‘80’s rally icon spinning. Doran was okay, but the car did suffer quite a bit of damage. It would seem after all these years the Killer Bs still have some sting.
Fans of the British Touring Car Championship will recognize driver Adam Morgan and his BTCC Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The pro driver had a bit of a bobble midway through the course that sent him off-road, but he didn’t seem the least-bit phased by it all. Watching the video we’re not even sure he lifted off the throttle at all. Still, if we were in the crowd of people at the corner with nothing but some hay separating us from a screaming Mercedes BTCC car drifting toward us, we’d be more than a bit nervous.
This one does hurt a little bit, but driver Rod Jolley did drive away so the damage should be easily mended. The vintage racer pays homage to a brief period where F1 and American Indy cars were racing together in the late-1950s, and the crash reminds us how tough these cars are to drive – and the extreme guts it takes just to get behind the wheel.
NASCAR Toyota Tundra - Skinner
Here’s the second NASCAR Toyota incident on this list, though unlike the first this one doesn’t stop the action. In fact, driver and NASCAR veteran Mike Skinner doesn’t even slow that much despite going off the track early in the run. It appears the former Grand Tour racing driver went a bit too hot into the right-hander and got off-camber with the corner. He gets quite sideways in the process, but he drives through it like a boss without any damage done.
Range Rover Sport SVR
And now for something completely different – Terry Grant was figuratively and literally driving his Land Rover on the edge during Goodwood. He was seeking a new record for driving on two wheels and in that mission he was successful. Before he savored victory, however, Grant set the Range Rover on its side near the top of the course. Fortunately he plopped it onto the hay bales, and with a bit of manpower from track officials he was safely back on four wheels with no damage done.
Volkswagen I.D. R
This record-setting electric racer holds the all-time record at Pikes Peak and also set a new EV record at Goodwood with a time of 43.05 seconds. In the process, driver Romain Dumas also demonstrated the I.D. R’s functionality as a lawn mower with a properly butt-clinching high-speed detour through the grass. Dumas kept his cool, and even kept up a good amount of speed as he guided the racer back to the track without further incident.
Racing is a double-edged sword. You don’t ever want to crash, but the only way to win is to push driver and machine to the ragged edge of crashing. If you can ride that very fine line between glory and catastrophe, you'll be a champion. But even champions go too far sometimes.
Fortunately, Goodwood is generally a forgiving place when drivers push too hard. Considering some of the vintage cars that tackle the hill climb, that’s a good thing. Not that crashing a new $500,000 race car isn’t a big deal, but spinning a classic F1 car basically built with unobtainium can easily lead to cardiac arrest for the driver, car owner, and at least 20 percent of the people watching.
Consider that a small warning before embarking on this slideshow, which features some of this year’s spins, close calls, and collisions at the famous hill climb. Thankfully none were catastrophic, but a few could leave you with an irregular heartbeat.