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Audi demonstrated ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in spectacular fashion at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend (July 3-5).

Audi, which formally began life as a car manufacturer on July 16 1909, wheeled out its “stars and cars” as part of its Centenary celebrations.

The German manufacturer has supported the annual motorsport extravaganza for the past 13 years and fittingly was the “featured marque” at this year’s “True Grit – Epic Feats of Endurance” themed event attended by 150,000 spectators over all three days.

Ultra-rare Auto Union Grand Prix cars, all-wheel-drive Audi quattro rally and touring cars, plus its latest diesel-engined Le Mans sportscars – documenting over 70 years of motorsport involvement by the Four Rings brand – were in action up the 1.8-mile hillclimb.

Each and every one of them transformed motorsport forever with many re-writing the history books. Importantly, pioneering technology first featured in motorsport, has been successfully transferred across to Audi’s burgeoning roadcar line-up.

The mouth-watering collection was driven by a star-studded array of champions: Former World Rally Champions Walter Röhrl, Stig Blomqvist and Hannu Mikkola plus Le Mans 24 Hour race legends Allan McNish, who became the first Briton to win the 24 Hour race driving a diesel-engined sportscar last year, Frank Biela, Dindo Capello, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner – who between them can boast a staggering 18 Le Mans 24 Hour race victories, 12 American Le Mans Series titles and seven “national” Touring car championships.

Meanwhile Formula 1 and Le Mans legend, Jacky Ickx, and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, drove an Auto Union Type D Dual Compressor and D Type respectively. Mason had previously driven a Type C and the Type D Dual Compressor “Silver Arrows” for Audi Tradition at Goodwood. The motorsport enthusiast piloted the largely original 1938 Type D in its very last demonstration run before it goes on permanent display at Audi Tradition’s museum in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Röhrl, widely regarded as the greatest ever rally driver, was reacquainted to the Audi Sport quattro S1 the German had swept up the Pikes Peak in the USA in record time, and also the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO he participated in circuit races in the USA in 1989.

He was joined by fellow Audi Sport rally legends Mikkola and Blomqvist. Hannu drove the car in which Audi captured the 1982 World Rally Championship, the Audi quattro A2, while Blomqvist was in the “monster” Audi Sport quattro S1.

In addition to the Audi R8R, R8, R10 TDI and R15 TDI Le Mans sports-prototypes, Biela, McNish, Capello and Werner, plus German Rally Champion Harald Demuth, shared driving duties in the 2007 Audi A4 DTM, 1996 Audi A4 BTCC, Audi V8 quattro DTM, 1988 Audi 200 quattro TransAm and the Audi R8 LMS.

Audi’s centrepiece Progress feature in front of Goodwood House was a fitting backdrop to the action. Designed by Gerry Judah, the structure featured an Auto Union Streamliner sprint record car and an Audi R8 V10.


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