Goodwood Festival of Speed - Up the Hill in 48sec with the Alain Prost Viper GTS-R

July 2023

We are back from the 30th Goodwood Festival of Speed and it was a great edition.

It was a very special occasion indeed, celebrating not only 30 years of Goodwood's FOS but also the Le Mans Centenary, McLaren's 60th and Porsche's 75th anniversaries. We will never forget Sebastian Vettel doing donuts with his Williams ex. Mansell car and the ex. Senna McLaren, the ovation received by the Le Mans winning trio and their Ferrari 499P and seeing Mick Schumacher taking the wheel of his father’s last Mercedes F1 was another big moment. On top of it all, we could watch in admiration several Le Mans winning cars and drivers going up the hill. This Festival is truly magic !

We did bring three cars this year : the Jaguar XJR-14, Toyota 92C-V and the Chrysler Viper GTS-R. We will share their individual reports in three separate episodes. 

To begin with, the former Alain Prost Viper GTS-R GT1, constructed for him in 2005 by Exagon Engineering to the maximum FIA specifications, is the only true GT1 Viper built. He competed in the French GT FFSA Championship with it to celebrate his 50th Anniversary.

The car was to race timed and received in house, a special Hill Climb preparation. Hill climbing is quite a special exercice, doing it only once a year at Goodwood we would have loved to have had more practice runs. Unfortunately it was  raining heavily on Friday and we couldn’t really profit from these two runs. With Saturday being cancelled because of a storm ( first time in 30 years at the FOS ), all that was left was the Sunday morning practice before the shootout in the afternoon. With the morning attempt ruined by overtaking ( yes ! ) a 1930s Bentley before the finish line, what would happen in the afternoon was quite uncertain !

To be honest we were fortunate to have run last year with another Viper, the ORECA « PlayStation » car and it clearly helped the driver Florent Moulin to be prepared to push hard. Hill Climbing is a very strange exercise where you need to give 100% on cold tires and brakes and to top it all, Goodwood is a pretty tricky & scary  track …

With a time of 48,29sec we were quite happy with the result even if we know that more practice would have allowed a better time. The car’s performance is amazing, the onboard video clearly shows how poised and secure the Viper is behind the wheel, even pushing hard under these circumstances.

Classified 6th overall and driven by the quickest amateur driver in the middle of an extremely competitive pack, we could hardly complain.

Goodwood FOS is fantastic and we are already looking forward to our next participation.

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