Roll up! Roll up! It’s the Goodwood Festival of Speed next weekend, and if you haven’t bought tickets yet, we have just one question: why?! Goodwood is one of the premier car enthusiasts’ events of the year and this year looks set to be better than ever. Here are eight reasons why you need to be there.
1. F1 drivers misbehaving
Sitting neatly in the gap between the German and Hungarian Grand Prix, Goodwood traditionally brings out most if not all of the current Formula 1 stars. And, unfettered by the FIA’s nannying restrictions on post-race celebrations, they tend to take the opportunity to prove that they enjoy a good tyre-shredding plume of smoke just as much as the next car nut. Where else are you going to see most of the current F1 grid doing burnouts and donuts to please the crowd?!
2. Porsche 911 at 50
Every year’s Festival opens with a theme, and this year it’s the Porsche 911’s 50th birthday celebration. A sculpture to mark the occasion will be given pride of place in front of Goodwood House, and you can expect race, rally and road 911s to feature heavily in displays throughout the weekend. And as a taster, check out this on-board footage from a 911 GT3 Carrera Cup car taking on the hillclimb course.
3. Rally Good Fun
Goodwood’s best known for the hillclimb up Lord March’s driveway, but comparatively few people know that that’s only part of the action. Elsewhere on the estate, the Goodwood rally course will echo to the sounds of historic and current rally cars strutting their stuff on the gravel surface. Expect lurid slides aplenty. Where else can you see rally cars from so many different eras blasting through the forest in quick succession – and how often can you get up this close and personal with real, working Group B rally cars?
4. The Marshall Amps Mustang Funny Car will be there
It has 8,000bhp. And it can do this.
5. Have a go yourself
Fancy having a go in some prime pieces of shiny new metal on the hillclimb course yourself? That’s what the Moving Motor Show is all about. Held the day before the Festival itself kicks off – in other words, July 11th this year – it gives punters like you and us the chance to go and have a blat up the hill behind the wheel of some of the coolest cars on sale today. Some manufacturers even offer passenger rides in serious supercars with pukka racing drivers behind the wheel. Either way, it’s a hell of an experience and we'll be giving tickets away on Monday, so keep your eyes peeled!
6. Oh, and there’ll be some bikes too…
The hill won’t be reserved exclusively for four-wheeled machinery. No, some classic racing bikes, as well as more modern competition machinery, will be screaming past the house. Goodwood says that this year every single major bike racing discipline will be represented, and that no less than 15 world champion racers will be in attendance, as well as a host of other motorcycling legends. So you can expect to see famous names like John Surtees, Giacomo Agostini, James Toseland, Dougie Lampkin, and John McGuinness, and many more.
7. You get to mix with racing drivers
One of Goodwood’s best bits is the unparalleled access it gives showgoers to the racing drivers who come along. Crowds are given the chance to get autographs, and even stop and chat to racing legends past…
…and even the odd motorsport-mad film star!
8. The Hill
Of course, the main event at Goodwood has always been the hillclimb course. And if the mood takes you, you can have a cracking day simply by finding yourself a spot at the edge of the track and letting the sights, smells and sounds of the massive variety of racers and road cars out for a hoon wash over you. Formula 1 racers, WEC prototypes, bonkers GTs, classic single-seaters, NASCARs, touring cars, rally cars, and even go-karts and soapbox racers all have a place in proceedings.