GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
Dates: 4th - 7th July 2019
Location: Chichester, Sussex
“Motorsport’s ultimate summer garden party”, Goodwood Festival of Speed (FOS) is a heady celebration of all things fast and beautiful in motorsports. Held in the grounds of Goodwood Estate, this splendid three-day event draws massive crowds and regularly attracts over 100,000 people each year. With both famous cars, bikes and their bikers and riders, the glamour couldn’t get much higher. It is scheduled around the Formula One (F1) season to ensure that their loyal supporters can both get as much car action as possible, and see the F1 vehicles participate in the FOS itself.
Started in 1993 by Lord March, it came about as at the time he wasn’t permitted to hold races on the Goodwood Circuit – that came five years later. Unruffled by this technicality, he decided to host the race on his own grounds. A suitable drive was found, and thus was the Hillclimb born. A small number of entrants in the debut year managed to pull in 25,000 people, and it has been growing ever since. The makeup of the Hillclimb means that spectators can get excellent views, separated from the cars by just a few hay bales. The somewhat laid back attitude and open-natured style of the affair makes for a vibrant atmosphere, and explains why this much-loved event is so unique.
The unashamed enthusiasm for the sport held by its founder, Lord March, is no doubt hugely appreciated by fans with like-minded passion. Of the 2016 festival, he said: “This year’s Festival will see the wildest, fastest, craziest, baddest cars and bikes ever to ascend the Goodwood Hill. Not to mention of course the heroes that tames those mighty machines. There be lots of noise, speed, colour and, of course, power. That’s what the Festival of Speed’s all about.”
With a variety of races and displays on offer, it won’t all be over in the flash of an eye. Aside from the Hillclimb, there’s also the Soapbox Challenge, which is for gravity-powered cars and is, of course, a down hill race. The Forest Rally Stage is a demonstration area for the rally cars, and indeed is a full circuit with a separate start and finish line. The Cartier Style et Luze is enormously sophisticated affair – rather like a Concours d’Elegance – but with a little more leeway for entrants – and is usually by invitation only. The Supercar Run for, as you might expect, road-going supercars, is a fantastic opportunity to see industry leaders’ latest models and concept designs. There are also airshows, wacky car races, and feats of daring motor-skills. There’s even a nod to art; with a temporary monument honouring a specific car manufacturer (changed each year) erected on the lawn in front of Goodwood House.
Naturally, there are oodles of delectable culinary offerings, trendy as well as traditional beverage providers and excellent performances from live bands to keep your energy up all weekend long. There’s also a Family Experience area, sponsored by Vauxhall, so if you were worried about bringing your children, rest assured their needs are also catered for.
Being a three-day event, you’re going to be needing accommodation, unless of course you live nearby – but even if you do, why not treat yourself to a heavenly boutique camping experience? Even better than booking yourself into an hotel, with this option you’ll be more than comfortable, right next to the action and enjoy all the fun and excitement of sleeping under the stars.