LOVE SPEED? YOU’LL ADORE THIS
(What's the Festival About?) 26 - 29 June 2014
‘Unique’ is an over-used word these days but one that accurately describes the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
There is simply nothing else on the planet to match it – the setting, the history, the passion and a formula for motor sport enjoyment that has captivated enthusiasts for more than two decades. No wonder this mix of high-speed drama and Sussex garden party ranks today as the world’s pre-eminent celebration of motor sport and automotive culture in all its forms.
The Festival of Speed is one of the world’s must-do motoring events, as much for the motor racing ‘royalty’ who attend as for the thousands of enthusiasts for whom this quintessentially British celebration is an unmissable part of summer.
No other motoring event attracts better cars or bigger names – and the unique Goodwood atmosphere ensures unparalleled access to both. It wouldn’t be the Festival of Speed if visitors weren’t able to get close to the cars and chat to the drivers. The Festival of Speed is where fans and their heroes meet, united in their passion for motor sport and man’s quest for ever greater speed.
With the snaking 1.16-mile hillclimb dissecting the park and passing directly in front of the iconic Goodwood House, the scream of racing engines and smell of burning rubber provide a breathtaking juxtaposition with the pastoral beauty of the South Downs National Park in which the Festival of Speed takes place. The fastest car ever to take on the hillclimb – a Formula 1 McLaren in 1999 – recorded a time of just 41.6 seconds for an average speed of more than 100mph. Not bad for a ‘hillclimb’ that is actually the driveway to the house!
What else is there to see and do?
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Today the Festival of Speed is about far more than the hillclimb and includes a host of other adrenaline-fuelled attractions to enthrall visitors of all ages.
For rally fans, the Forest Rally Stage is worth the price of admission alone. An event within the event, it’s as much entire rally village as special stage, with its own special atmosphere in the paddocks where many of the greatest-ever rally cars are fettled before their flat-out blast around the loose-surface forest track. With miles of footpaths in the forest, finding a favourite spot to watch these historic cars being driven in anger again by the sport’s true heroes is as easy as it is spine-tingling.
On the immaculate lawns at the side of Goodwood House many of the world’s most beautiful cars ever made take pride of place in the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance. Nearby, what is probably the greatest collection of supercars ever assembled – often including some being shown off in public for the first time – make a stunning sight. And sound, too, when they are fired up to take part in the Festival’s Supercar Run, a rare chance to see the very latest exotic road cars driven as their makers intended!
Goodwood Action Sports (GAS) provides the ultimate two-wheeled thrills – both petrol and pedal-powered. A purpose-built arena famous for its gravity-defying jumps is home to four days of thrills, spills and jaw-dropping action by sporting legends from the worlds of Motocross and BMX.
Now well established as an integral part of the Festival, the Moving Motor Show on the Thursday is your chance to inspect the latest models and even have the chance to try them out on the famous hillclimb course (pre-booking essential). Enjoying massive manufacturer support, this exciting and dynamic exhibition has been hailed as the UK’s de facto motor show, but one very far removed from the stuffy halls of old! In addition, all the big manufacturers build their own pavilions, showcasing the latest designs and technologies as well as offering fun things to see and do for people of all ages. Some even offer off-road driving experiences (pre-booking essential).
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There’s more advanced automotive technology on show in the popular FoS-TECH pavilion where visitors can see for themselves the sort of cars we may be driving in the future
Whatever it is that enthuses you – the speed, the drama, the priceless cars, the hero drivers, the celebrities, the supercars, the technology, or maybe just the unique atmosphere and beautiful setting! – you can be sure the Goodwood Festival of Speed will provide it – in large measure and unforgettable style.