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Ready, set, go! Advance Steel helps make a big impact at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Vanessa Bertollini
June 29, 2016

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual celebration of historic motor racing vehicles held in West Sussex, England. But the festival doesn’t just have fast cars and famous drivers like Keanu Reeves. One of its major features is a unique steel sculpture in the heart of the festival activities. The sculpture—a landmark for the festival—is a must see attraction every year.

Once again, festival artist Gerry Judah was commissioned to develop the concept design. Celebrating the BMW centennial, this year’s design focused on showcasing 3 vehicles: the BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, and the Gordon Murray-designed Brabham-BMW BT52 Formula One car that finished third in the 1983 championship. The steel sculpture shows the 3 cars launched into the sky in different directions while floating over the festival attendees.

render from advance steelGerry Judah’s Design Concept in Autodesk Advance Steel. Image courtesy of Littlehampton Welding, Ldt.

To bring his exciting concept into reality, Judah relied on his go to team, London-based structural engineers, Diales, and specialist steel fabricators Littlehampton Welding, located in Littlehampton, England.  Littlehampton Welding’s boutique fabrication shop has provided the steel design for Judah for the last 12 years and was hired to do so again.


Like previous years, the pressure was on for the team to deliver a truly unique sculpture for the event. The project faced several challenges from project schedule to client conception to field installation.  Judah’s visually stunning concept would be a challenge to build and erect, especially within the allocated time frame.  The engineers and fabricator had a mere 20 weeks to work on the design and do the fabrication. Due to complexity of the design and fit up requirements, the project required very tight tolerances during fabrication. Given the subtle curvature of every surface, small deviations of even millimeters when fabricating up the plate work would have resulted in misalignment in the field.


Autodesk Advance Steel was critical for use in visualizing the structure with Judah. The Littlehampton Welding fabrication team worked closely with the Diales structural engineers to come up with the steel concept, design and ultimately the fabricated product that was delivered in June to the festival project site.


Screenshot of the sculpture model in Advance Steel. Image courtesy of Littlehampton Welding, Ldt.

The in-house detailing shop produced the 3D model in Advance Steel to then produce the shop drawings and NC files delivered to outside fabricators that delivered the precision-profiled platework to Littlehampton’s shop. To help them maintain strict tolerances, the steel detailing team modeled the frame support system in Advance Steel for the shop to ensure the correct dimensions for assembling and welding up the curved plate work systems.

The erector’s fingers were crossed on the day of erection. Littlehampton extracted survey points from the Advance Steel model and shared them with the survey crew who entered them into the robotic total station to ensure accuracy of erection of the welded steel assemblies.


Simply stunning.


Photo courtesy of Littlehampton Welding, Ldt.


Photo courtesy of Littlehampton Welding, Ldt.


Photo courtesy of Littlehampton Welding, Ldt.

Watch Littlehampton Welding’s video of the project, and check out more news and photos from the Goodwood Festival of Speed here.

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Vanessa Bertollini

Vanessa Bertollini is the industry marketing manager for AEC thought leadership at Autodesk. She has over 10 years of experience implementing strategic marketing initiatives for the AEC industry, and prior to joining Autodesk worked for a national general contractor driving their regional marketing strategy. A San Francisco bay area resident, Vanessa holds a master's degree in sociology and undergraduate degrees in English and Theatre Arts.