Goodwood. For some, the name ‘Goodwood’ is simply a place in West Sussex where, occasionally, some motor cars rumble around a circuit or up a hill, some planes land in a field, or horses run the length of a course whilst being watched by thousands of people in funny hats.
For most, though, Goodwood is a name synonymous with motorsport legends, both cars and drivers, but more recently a place where you can see new cars being thrashed, priceless racers being driven the way they were built to be driven, and current F1 drivers and cars mingling with the heroes of motorsport’s past.
Firstly, let’s start with the anniversaries. This year marks the twentieth Festival of Speed, and as such there was a special ‘Twentieth Anniversary Parade’ to mark the occasion. As well as a celebration of Goodwood, there were a further nine big celebrations, including 50 years of the Porsche 911, 90 years of Le Mans, McLaren’s 50th birthday, 60 years of Lamborghini and 40 years of the World Rally Championship.
There was also a silly number of legendary drivers – not only did Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and a few other current F1 drivers take to the hill, but legends like Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Nelson Piquet.
Le Mans was also well represented, with recent winner Allan McNish driving his Audi R18 e-tron Quattro for the last time before it will be placed in a museum, alongside other Le Mans drivers Anthony Davidson, Bruno Senna and Alex Wurz.
Another special guest was one Nick Heidfeld, who set the Festival hill climb record back in 1999 with his McLaren MP4/13. While he was driving the car again this year, he didn’t go for the record (the best time in the ‘Timed Shoot-Out’ this year was set by Justin Law in a Jaguar XJR8/9 with a time of 45.95 seconds).
The biggest attraction for many, though, is the supercar parade. All the latest supercars took to the hill twice a day. World debuts for the festival included the McLaren P1, Alfa Romeo 4C, Rolls Royce Wraith, Vuhl 05 and the Bertone Jet 2+2.
There were, however, a few incidents. Not only did Derek Bell’s Le Mans winning Porsche 962 lock up into Molecombe, crashing into the hay bales, but a Guigiaro Parcour concept hit the hay, as well as Ayrton Senna’s 1986 Lotus 98T F1 car lost its front end too.
Away from the hill, manufacturers and exhibitors showed off their latest cars and products, and, of course, Goodwood wouldn’t be Goodwood without a central feature outside Goodwood House, which this year celebrated 50 years of the Porsche 911.
While no one knows what’ll be on display next year, what debuts will be made or who’ll be blasting up the hill, it’s fact that every year seems to get better and better. Tickets for next year aren’t on sale yet, but when they are, be sure to snap up a few and come along!
Written by Sean Ward.