Mazda’s racing heritage is the centre of attention at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The central feature of the annual motoring event is a spectacular 40-metre high sculpture in front of Goodwood House featuring two Mazda racers bursting into the sky on a twisting track of steel beams.
Inspired by Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion design, the creation of artist Gerry Judah conveys a grace and agility that disguises the complexity of the installation, which is made from 120 tonnes of steel. Each of the 418 steel beams is stacked at a different angle, curling the structure so that the cars at the top actually hang over the spectators below.
“When we first started talking about the central feature atGoodwood, we wanted it to exemplify the brand through our KODO design philosophy,” said Mazda Executive Officer and General Manager Design Division Ikuo Maeda. “Gerry has faithfully expressed our brand in a striking and beautiful structure that is clearly KODO. There is a lightness and strength to the sculpture, yet it gives the cars movement and energy.
Celebrating Mazda’s challenger spirit, the central feature also honours the carmaker’s motorsport heritage, which began in Europe in the late 1960s as Mazda strove to prove and promote its rotary engines in the tough environment of competitive racing. Since then, rotary-powered Mazdas have won 100 IMSA races along with manufacturer and driver titles, two British Touring Car Championship crowns, and endurance races at Daytona, Spa and Le Mans. The most famous victory was the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 with the renowned Mazda 787B – one of the two cars featured on the sculpture. The other is the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo car. Created for Gran Turismo 6, a PlayStation racing simulation game, the LM55 makes the leap at Goodwoodfrom virtual racer to physical concept.