Last years sculpture which was a celebration of Bernie Ecclestone
So for those who are unaware, the Festival of Speed is a garden party for automotive related things that takes place it the confines of the Goodwood estate. The estate is owned by an insanely rich man who goes by the name of Lord March. I understand that it isn't for everyone, but that does not mean we can't try and persuade you. There is an abundance of things to do which will be sure to have petrol pumping through your veins by the end of the day.
1. Unrivalled Paddock Access
It's a well-known fact that as a member of the public, trying to get into the Formula 1 paddock is like just strolling into the MI5 headquarters, nigh impossible. The story is a very different one at the Festival of Speed, you can roam freely around the cars of today and yesteryear with ease. Granted the modern F1 stands still have restricted access, but you can still get very close to them and the mechanics are more than happy to have a natter with you about all things F1.
2. The Stars In The Cars
Again, if you're an F1 fanatic you'll be in for a real treat. Names such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Pierre Gasly, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss are all that of those that have braved the Goodwood hill climb. It's not all about F1 though, Valentino Rossi has visited in recent years and for those that like the drifting scene, the Monster team always put on a show and have brought along Ken Block and Vaughn Gittin jr amongst others. Stars of Social media are around too as youtubers Mr JWW and Schmee made appearances last year, you also get a variety of other celebrities, some of which get passenger rides up the hill or even drive themselves. Whoever you like, it's great to see these people let their hair down in a relaxed environment and interact with the crowd, you may even get picture if you're lucky!
3. The Manufacturers Stands
Not interested in wandering round the paddocks and watching cars and bikes go up the hill all day? We've got you covered, when manufacturers have something to promote they usually bring a stand to Goodwood along with the car they are promoting to run up the hill. These stands have all sorts of things on them, from prototypes to race winning cars and just your run of the mill road car line up. Some of the stands are routinely at the vent like Ford and as such have created interesting ways to interact with the crowd. They have been running a jump section on their stand of late where you jump from the stand onto an inflatable soft landing, they've also implemented games inside their stand too. Remember to bring any key fobs you have with you too, as most stands have an extra level which can only be accessed with a key fob from that manufacturer. You Mercedes customers have it good, their stand is near the start of the hill climb so you get a great view from their exclusive level, plus you usually get a free drink with these extra levels.
4. Other Experiences
Still not convinced? Well give us a chance because we've got a few things in the bag left. At Goodwood Audi ran an off road experience where you get to drive one of their 4x4s with expert advice from what they call their 'consultants'. JLR have also done an experience in recent years where you can queue up and have a passenger drift ride in a jaaaaaagggg F-Type. There are various other things around that you can do such as simulator experiences and you can get a tractor to the rally course to watch the rally cars if that tickles your fancy.
5. The Hill Climb Shootout
Each year, an array of cars charge up the hill through the famed Molecomb and Flint Wall corners to battle for Hill Climb superiority. Some drivers end up in the hay and some end up biting their nails as they sit momentarily on the top step until someone dethrones them. This really is enthralling and you end up being filled with admiration for the drivers due to the sheer skill they have to display as some get so close to the wall you could barely fit a cigarette paper between the wall and the car. It's worth noting that the final shootout is on Sunday with qualifying runs on the Saturday.
6. Because There Really Is Something For Everyone
Imagine a show where you've thrown together Jeremy Clarkson, Chris Harris, Rory Reid and Tiff Needell. There is something there for everyone, some will be loved by some, some people can tolerate and some people will absolutely loath depending who you are. That is what Goodwood is like, for each thing you don't like there will be something you do. Pre/post war cars, supercars, world firsts, new releases will all be part and parcel of the event.
So, are you going to Goodwood this year? What are you most looking forward to? If you're on the edge then you best decide quickly because Friday and Sunday tickets are now limited.
Look out for our what's on article before Sunday to see what's going on at this year's Festival of Speed and also our account after we've been at some point. I know it sounds like we're obsessed and you'd be right. It's the only time of the year we really leave the house, we just hibernate for the rest of the year.