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A celebration of Mazda's motorsport heritage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

A celebration of Mazda's motorsport heritage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood's Moving Motor Show, presented by the AA in association with the Telegraph, kicked off a weekend of high-octane action both on and off the Hillclimb, with a stand-out number of new car debuts.

Yesterday, thousands of car enthusiasts descended on the Goodwood Estate to see 21 brand-new models make their first UK public appearances. The Earl of March opened the event by driving the all-new Mazda MX-5, one of the most eagerly anticipated sports cars of the year, up the iconic 1.16-mile Hillclimb course.

Mazda has chosen the Festival of Speed to reveal three new models to the UK: the MX-5, CX-3 and Mazda2. The Japanese carmaker also celebrates its challenger spirit with the famous Central Feature outside Goodwood House.

Second in height only to the Chichester Cathedral spire at 37-meter high, the Goodwood Festival of Speed centrepiece features two racing cars bursting out of the ground trailing spectacular twisted steel shapes.

Inspired by Mazda's Kodo design philosophy of strength, beauty and tension found in the instantaneous movement of living things and the simplicity that reflects Japanese aesthetics, Gerry Judah's clever interpretation of Kodo is a beautiful and simple form that expresses tension, lightness and movement that belies the complexity of the structure.

Stacked like matchsticks, 418 steel beams  each a different length and angle  turn the sculpture from right to left, allowing the cars to hang over the spectators below. Featuring 120 tonnes of steel that, put end to end, would stretch 1235 metres (the length of the Goodwood Hill Climb track) this is the most complex centrepiece yet.

Gerry Judah said: "Usually, the one thing you never do with steel is to twist it, so this year we had an impossible challenge to find a way of corkscrewing the entire structure, and we succeeded with an elegant and graceful system that shows of the elegance and grace of the cars themselves."

Ikuo Maeda, Mazda Executive Officer, General Manager Design Division. "When we first started talking about the central feature at Goodwood we wanted it to represent our brand through our design philosophy of Kodo. Gerry has faithfully represented our brand in a striking and beautiful structure that is clearly Kodo. There is a lightness and strength to the structure, yet it gives the cars movement and energy, it is a sculpture that we are very proud to represent Mazda."

The central feature celebrates Mazda's motorsport heritage, a history that started in Europe in the late 1960's to prove and promote its rotary engine in the tough environment of endurance racing.

The two cars on top of the sculpture are the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B which took overall victory in the famous 24 hour race in 1991 driven by British driver Johnny Herbert alongside Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot. Mazda remains the only Japanese manufacturer to have won Le Mans 24 Hours and the only rotary engine to have won the famous French endurance race.

Next to the 787B is the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo car. Created for Playstation's Gran Tursimo 6 racing simulation game, the stunning Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo makes the leap from virtual concept car to physical concept with its towering position on the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed Mazda Central Feature.