A week on from the Festival of Speed and I have had the time to reflect on my experience at Goodwood. By now the magazines and websites have published their glowing reports of how it was the greatest event on the planet, offered unrivalled access and gave (journalists at least) the chance to drive iconic cars. Press accredited access is one thing, but what was it like for the regular punter.
This was the first time I’d attended the FoS since 2002, the first time I’d camped there and the first time I’d been free from parental influence. As such, it was the first FoS where I’d truly been conscious of the costs and efforts needed to attend. When you live in North-East England, travelling to West Sussex is not the work of a couple of hours. This was why ESM travelled down on the Wednesday night, stayed in a cheap hotel and got to Goodwood on Thursday lunchtime. Luckily ESM’s mate Dave has a Seat Leon FR TDi which meant the trip and fuel costs weren’t too horrendous. Plus I very much doubt we would have fitted all the assorted detritus into the boot of the Polo!
Trying to work out who the FoS is aimed at isn’t particularly easy. On one hand you have the Veuve Clicquot champagne bar, exclusive restaurants and cafes, the Cartier Style et Luxe exhibit and a drivers paddock sponsored by an investment firm. Along with this you have big stands from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley and corporate hospitality seemingly packed despite costing around £500 a head for the cheapest seats. Blink, and at times it was hard to believe we’re in one of the worst economic situations the modern world has ever faced. Goodwood is about big money; the kind of money that gets richer during a recession. Where else would you see stands selling helicopters, private jets and bespoke carbon-fibre furniture. Continue reading →
Now that my hearing has started to recover, the sunburn has begun to fade and the numerous pictures and videos have been uploaded, I can now begin to make sense of the previous four days.
For the uninitiated, the Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS) is an annual event which first began back in 1993. The idea is simple; legendary and iconic cars and bikes from the world of motorsport are invited to be hammered up the Earl of March’s drive, at his house in West Sussex, by the greatest riders and drivers from history. In addition, between runs up the hill the cars/bikes are displayed in simple awning-style paddocks with spectators able to get right up alongside them. The additional Moving Motor Show event has in recent years fundamentally replaced the traditional British motor show, with stands from leading manufacturers and new cars being unveiled. Have a look at this if you still happen to be in any doubt as to what the long weekend entails.
The event felt bigger than ever this year, with a sprawling exhibitor’s area, numerous special paddocks, off-road displays and the more recent rally-stage taking up huge acres of the Goodwood estate. Trying to fit all this into even four days is a challenge, given the vast array of distractions both on and off the track. As a result, and for this week’s first FoS themed post, I’ve picked out my top five moments from the weekend.