Loeb aims to beat F1 record at Goodwood Festival

Goodwood Festival of Speed

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Sebastien Loeb will try to beat the Goodwood Festival of Speed record time, which is currently held by an F1 car, at this year’s event.

Nick Heidfeld set the current record time of 41.6 seconds in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 in 1999.

Formula One cars have been forbidden from tackling the hill at full speed since Heidfeld set the record 15 years ago.

Leob will try to beat the record in the Peugeot 208 T16 he won last year’s Pikes Peak hillclimb in America with. Its 3.2-litre V6 twin-turbo engine produces around 875bhp.

The nine-times world rally champion lowered the Pikes Peak record by a minute and a half after its surface was changed from gravel to tarmac.

This year’s Festival of Speed will also mark the 50th anniversary of John Surtees’s world championship victory.

Surtees became the first and only driver to win world titles for cars and motorbikes when he clinched the drivers’ title with Ferrari in 1964. A selection of his cars and bikes on display will include the Ferrari 158 he claimed the title in.

Emerson Fittipaldi will also drive a McLaren M23 of the type he won the world championship with 40 years ago.

The central feature in front of Goodwood House will be dedicated to Mercedes. Among their racing cars present will be their pre-war grand prix racers, Sauber-Mercedes C9 and CLK GTR sports cars, saloon and rally cars, and its current F1 team and drivers.

Peugeot 208 T16 pictures

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Images © F1 Fanatic | f1fanatic.co.uk, Peugeot

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Loeb aims to beat F1 record at Goodwood Festival”

  1. Love the look of this car.. if you can say it a car … either way GL to him to beat the record.

  2. Here is a video of the lap from Nick Heidfeld:

  3. Will certainly interesting should he manage it. There’s a playable hillclimb stage on Gran Turismo 6 and the Red Bull X2011 is the final challenge for it, that took several attempts and it certainly done it quick! Unsure what the record on that is, and whether it was done in the X2010, X2011 or X2014.

  4. In all honesty, who would bet against the man.

    Best of luck to him!

  5. Stunning pictures

  6. Why were f1 cars banned here ? I know this is not a jolly park and its cramped . But why suddenly stop it .

    Another place where I would like an f1 car full throttle is the ring . But yeah , I know …it’s unlikely to happen any more.

    1. Whitmarsh spoke out after the attempt saying it should never been done again due to how foolish & dangerous is was letting Heidfeld go full clip in such a confined space with spectators. They set the car up with max areo, used quali tires and warmed them with blankets before hand to land the time.

      Anymore daring attempts were banned the following years because the event organisers/owners agreed with him. After I watched the video I kind of saw why.

      1. But a different car, going as crazy, in the same confined space, aiming to go as fast, is allowed? Huh!!

        1. At least it’s a rally car driven by a rally driver.

          1. @matt90 Yes, rally cars and drivers are invincible and never killed any spectators whatsoever while crashing off the road. Oh wait…

          2. But they are that much more experienced with said conditions.

      2. @kartingjimbo Understandable, the car is shaking like hell

    2. They couldn’t get enough hay bales to contain the F1 cars so they had to cancel.

    3. Watch the video of the run. It looks very sketchy, the car moving about the entire time. That road is far narrower than the Nordschleife and spectators are much less protected.

  7. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    20th March 2014, 12:12

    Looking at the video of Heidfeld’s attempt, he’ll need to be utterly on the ragged edge to beat it. Although Nick isn’t pushing the car into the breaking zones, he is full throttle, in a V10 Formula One car, on the straights. Want a tip Sebastien? Don’t go for the 875bhp 208 T16, perhaps try a DTM or Japanese Super GT car, which won’t see you spin out trying to put 875bhp onto old and uneven tarmac, but equally be quick and straight line and have plenty of the all important downforce to keep you out of the flint wall. Actually, that raises an interesting question. What sub-F1 level car would you chose to tackle the bumpy tarmac (which requires a relatively high ride height) and high speed corners of the Goodwood Festival course? Mine is a M3 DTM, what would you choose?

    1. @william-brierty What are you rumbling about, that peugeot went on to win pikes peak! the barely hillclimb at goodwood is a dangerous place but I can’t see where he should have problems with that car, you can say that it is the perfect car to go there.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th March 2014, 15:48

        @peartree – Pikes Peak is about rear traction and lower ratio acceleration; the 208 T16 was designed around these attributes. But Goodwood is about high speed stability and corner entry speed, so a car with downforce will have a significant advantage over a car designed for the straights. With that in mind, a DTM, LMP or Super GT style chassis would definitely be faster than the 208 T16.

        1. so a car with downforce will have a significant advantage over a car designed for the straights

          Have you seen the wings on it!?

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            22nd March 2014, 12:05

            @matt90 So based on your logic some the F1 cars from the “big wing fad” of the 1960s are some of the most aerodynamically efficient F1 cars ever? You know as well as I that just because a car has a big wing doesn’t mean that that car is therefore going to fly through the corners. The rear wing on the T16 is designed to aid traction out of Pikes Peak’s many hairpins, not to allow it to take massive entry speed, with the immense drag of the wing at high speed causing frontal lift and therefore high speed understeer. This is something borne out in the onboard of Loeb’s record breaking attempt, with the steering inputs suggesting high speed understeer, and his caution on entry relative to exit suggesting a car designed for traction not apex speed. And based on the fact that Goodwood is all about apex speed, I have no doubt that a recent iteration of a DTM chassis would be faster than the T16.

          2. Goodwood is all about apex speed

            Based on what, and how is it more so than Pikes Peak?

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          23rd March 2014, 13:16

          @peartree Why? Pray tell…

    2. IndyCar, they still use ground effects to generate downforce and are (arguably) faster in a straight line than an F1 car as there is less emphasis on cornering.

    3. @william-brierty I guess you did not watch S. Loeb’s run at Pikes Peak which is why you made that silly attempt to discredit it vs. a DTM car…

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th March 2014, 16:01

        @beejis60 – I watched the video last year, and what is immediately apparent is the way the 208 T16 quickly builds speed out of the many hairpins. The rear traction and lower ratio acceleration are defining features of a chassis designed for Pikes Peak, however what is also noticeable is the way Loeb is cautious on corner entry relative to his confidence on the exit. The 208 T16 certainly doesn’t have the downforce of a car like a DTM car, with the later coupe editions being seriously fast racing cars and often faster than their F3 single seater supporting series, something you apparently seem ignorant of. The Goodwood Hill Climb is very much a downforce course, with corner entry speed and high speed stability being paramount to a fast lap, and therefore a DTM or Super GT style chassis would most likely be faster than the 208 T16. What you must remember is that Peugeot designed the T16 for Pikes Peak, not Goodwood.

        1. You’re on the right track with setup, etc. But trying to ascertain downforce based on watching Loeb’s entry at Pikes Peak is flawed. For one, where’s your reference point? How do you know his entry speed was lacking? Not to mention that entry speed is the obvious area to dial it back a bit at Pikes. I’m sure if Loeb fears anything, going off the side of a mountain probably makes the list. The 208 is rumored to make as much downforce as a contemporary F1 car, which is more than a DTM/Super GT machine.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            20th March 2014, 18:02

            That’s not right. Although the 208 T16 features a rear wing from a 2009 908 LMP car, it is designed to aid rear traction in the hairpins because the mountings are so large it simply results in high speed understeer and the front end lift, such as that very apparent from the Pikes Peak onboard video. Based on the immense disparity between downforce distribution between the front and rear of the 208 T16 it is more of “point-and-squirt-mobile” than a car, such as a recent DTM chassis, that has a body entirely designed to generate downforce. Based on what I know about the T16, what I know about DTM and the Goodwood Hillclimb and the balances visible on the Pikes Peak onboard, there is little doubt in my mind that a 2013 spec M3 DTM car would be faster than the T16 around Goodwood.

          2. But point at squirt is quite useful for Goodwood too. You said yourself that is how Heidfeld went so fast. The Peugeot has 4 wheel drive, more power, but more weight. It also will have shorter gearing than the F1 car. You contradictorily said that the Peugeot will struggle to put it’s power down, but that the massive rear wing which you admitted creates huge downforce is solely to help traction.

            I don’t understand how you can possibly form a comparison between DTM and the Peugeot based on that onboard, which is unlike anything DTM has seen. I don’t see how you can possibly decide that the Peugeot understeers more than a DTM car would based on it.

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            21st March 2014, 8:28

            @matt90 – Heidfeld went as fast as he did because he was in a V10 F1 car, but he was still backing off substancially for the corners; hence the fact that Peugeot thinks it can beat it. Yes, the large rear wing on the T16 enables rear traction, but because the mountings are so enormous, and because the front aero package is underdeveloped in comparison, the car is guaranteed to understeer in high speed corners; something clearly perceivable from the amount of steering lock Loeb applies in the high speed. Based on that, the immense downforce of a DTM chassis and the fact that the T16 finished behind a low-riding Jaguar XJR-9 at last year’s hillclimb (before it was disqualified), I would say that because a DTM car has both downforce but also moderate ride-height so not to be upset by the bumps of the track, I can say with confidence that a DTM car would be faster on Goodwood than the T16.

          4. @william-brierty I don’t see how steering lock means understeer. Backing off for a corner means understeer. High steering lock just suggests that is the steering rack set-up Loeb wanted (as a rally driver) or the set-up Peugeot decides was best.

            the T16 finished behind a low-riding Jaguar XJR-9 at last year’s hillclimb (before it was disqualified)

            Can you elaborate please? Googling results didn’t find me anything about it.

            I would say that because a DTM car has both downforce but also moderate ride-height

            You must be watching a very different DTM to me.

    4. @william-brierty the shape of the road suits a rally car, and that 208 got 1bhp by kilo …

  8. Good luck to him, but for all its technology I can’t see the Peugeot beating a full-fat V10 F1 car. If it does, it’ll show just how far motorsport technology has come.

    1. @mazdachris I reckon Peugeot will have run the numbers and if they weren’t certain they could beat it they wouldn’t be doing it.

      Hopefully once they have one of the F1 teams will snap and try to take it back…

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        20th March 2014, 16:09

        @keithcollantine …but presumably not with an F1 car, owing to the fact that they are not allowed on the hill climb at race speed. I suppose McLaren could have a crack at it with GTR version of the P1 they’re working on, Ferrari could try with the 333 SP or an FXX, Sauber could wheel out a C9 Mercedes…although it will all be to no avail because Red Bull have a German kid…and this.

      2. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think you can really be certain where it comes to Goodwood. Even if you do run the numbers; every year in the hillclimb contest you see a really weird spread of cars, with plenty of very high end machines being beaten by stuff you wouldn’t expect. I think a lot of it is down to the driver and how hard they’re able/willing to push.

        I’d love to see Vettel attack it in the RB7..

      3. @keithcollantine Indeed, PSA desperately needs to sell more cars, their finances are devastated (partly due to the iranian market blockade and the german cars).

        I followed the 208 story from the beginning, it’s massively promotional, and like at Pikes Peak, they wouldn’t do it if they weren’t pretty sure to succeed.

        1. Can’t wait to hear Rhys Millen complaining about this run, whenever it happens…

    2. I don’t think so. A Pikes Peak Toyota from 1998 went up 4.5 seconds slower (admittedly that’s over 10%). 16 years of development beating that time wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot.

  9. Not much of a hillclimb. That F1 was all over the place on that terrain.

  10. They should have kept that 208 T16 Pike Peak painted black, it looked evil.

    1. I agree, thoroughly.

  11. After Pikes Peak, Loeb should be able to do this in his sleep.

  12. Why? its not much of a record to beat, hardly anyone has ever gone at it full bolt. now loeb/Peugeot will spends heaps of time and resources getting ready to break a record that was achieved pretty much unprepared.

    1. Plenty of cars have a proper attempt at going fastest each year. There’s even a shoot-out for the best. I also doubt they’ll put a whole lot more time or resources into it than it takes just to run the thing up the hill normally.

    2. Loeb already has the record for the rally stage I think, I guess he just wants the full set :)

  13. Why can’t they put up proper barriers instead of village style haybales??? Maybe then we can see the modern F1 cars take it in full glory…

    1. Because the event is primarily for attendees, and they like to see the track clearly. You don’t see these cars running that close with so little in the way elsewhere. It’s fun to see a few fast times, but compromising the viewing experience for those few runs isn’t worth it.

  14. Today’s F1 cars will never be allowed to run – then it will come to light that the development has gone mega backwards. FIA will block any attempt.
    Good luck Sébastien in grabbing fastest time. F1 is no longer the pinnacle of motorsports. Sad to say.

    1. FIA has nothing to do with it, The folks running the FoS have decided rightfully so that it is very dangerous to run the hill full speed with an open wheel car. the road is about as wide as an F1 car at points and there is very little in terms of safety between the cars and the fans or a brick wall.

  15. Jose Sanchez
    20th March 2014, 19:43

    What an awesome sound the Mercedes v10. Shame on the new power units.
    Bravo for Sebastian loeb. In an era like this, we need héroes ready to break bounderies. Hope some others follow the trend.

  16. Lots of armchair racing in here…

  17. I’d like to see Scott Moran given the chance to run up there in his Gould. TBH Goodwood is pretty wide and open to the hill climb boys, and they just keep getting faster. There is zero doubt that Scott could take the record.

    This is a video of Greame Wight Jr 10 years ago, and there has been plenty of development in hill climbing since then.

    1. Ok, links never seem to work for me. Strange.


  18. Justin Evans
    29th April 2014, 15:08

    I’m reckoning Seb in around 43 seconds, but no record
    Agree with the comment that current hill climbers could take it though (Summers/Moran/Willis etc) .

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