Petrol Head Heaven: The Goodwood Festival of Speed

Every year at the end of June and the beginning of July, the sloping manicured lawns of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England fill with hundreds of thousands of people to partake in the unique event, that is the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The festival began as an annual hill climb, but over the years has expanded to included a rolling motor show, a forest stage rally course, and an impressive temporary automotive manufacturer showcase.

The festival attracts all kinds of people as well. From Formula 1 teams, motor racing legends, to every day enthusiasts and folks who just want a glimpse of the latest in automotive technology. This along with the juxtaposition of turn of the century pre-war cars, with the technology packed formula 1 cars makes the event unique.

1911 Fiat S76 “The Beast of Turin”

Formula 1 traffic jam
The festival was started in 1993 by Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara DL (born 8 January 1955)  who is the Duke of Richmond, and owner of the Goodwood Estate. The festival takes place every year, with careful planning to ensure it falls between the 24 Hours of LeMan and the British Grand Prix.

As automotive sports have progressed more representation has been seen every year at the festival. Mad Mike Whiddett has been the ambassador and has brought drifting into a more prominent position. This year saw many drifting legends showing off for the crowd.

Mad Mike Whiddett putting on a smoke show.
James Deane pushing the limits in his new FD RX-7 competition car.

The hill climb is not all smokes shows though. Many manufacturers take advantage of the rolling motor show to show off new models to the crowd. Many manufacturers even choose Goodwood as the event to publicly launch new models. Porsche revealed the highly anticipated GT2 RS.

The brand new GT2 RS attacking the hill.
An impressive collection of historic racing cars and exclusive exotics all grace the festival with their presence as well. Many of which are driven up the hill climb with gusto.

 

1966 Chapparal-Chevrolet 2E Can-am car
Ferrari’s line the drive in front of the Goodwood House
1938 Auto Union V16 Type C/D

The festival is truly a unique event, and one that every petrol head should have on their bucket list.

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Authors Note: All photographs come courtesy of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Follow them @Festivalofspeed on Facebook, and @fosgoodwood on Instagram.

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