The great and the good of the motorsport world gathered on the grounds of Goodwood House in Chichester, West Sussex, this weekend for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The annual live action show where motorsport legends of past and present join forces with the latest supercars to race up the legendary hillclimb course that actually serves as the driveway to Lord March’s house has become a mecca for the car-loving British public. More than 150,000 people pour through the gates of the stately home for the practice day and the three-day event itself.
Along with the British Grand Prix it is one of the mainstays of the motoring calendar and this year Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Valentino Rossi, as well as the likes of Ken Block, joined Sir Jackie Stewart et al for a blast up the hill in current and old F1 machinery.
The cars are really the stars at Goodwood, though, and it’s a unique opportunity for the fans to get up close and personal with Le Mans winning legends, F1 car and classic Grands Prix cars that would otherwise sit in a museum. The manufacturers all support the event and bring out priceless classics, hand them over to a racing driver and pray they come back in the same condition.
Modern day supercars join the classic racers, too, in an increasingly important part of the three-day event that has morphed into a moving motor show. This year the almighty Ferrari FXX, with touring car star James Pickford at the wheel, joined the likes of the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren P1 and the Lotus 3-Eleven, which made its debut at the show.
The forest-stage hosts rally cars from past and present, too, so the whole gamut of motorsport is well catered for and there’s something going on for the whole three days. Occasionally things go wrong, too.
The timed element, as well as huge crowds, means that the drivers really go for it in their own unique way. Andy Green crashed a £300,000 Jaguar at 100mph while Ken Block went off track in his 800bhp Hoonicorn Mustang, with Lord March in the passenger seat. A Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, making its dynamic debut at the show, also smashed through the straw bales.
It’s all part of the Goodwood experience, though, and the reason that the fans and drivers come back every single year to make the Festival of Speed that little bit better each and every time.