If you are a regular at the Goodwood Revival but have not experienced the Festival of Speed, don’t assume they are alike just because they take place at Goodwood. For starters, the Festival of Speed is based within a difference area of the Estate. The House forms the backdrop, with the Hillclimb track in front and the woodland rally course a tractor ride up the hill. You only fully appreciate how big the Goodwood Estate is when you look at a map to try and get your bearings and realise how far you are actually from the historical motor circuit!
As the Revival is about nostalgia, the Festival of Speed is a showcase of the new. And what a showcase it is! All the main manufactures have a presence at the event and use the occasion to premier concepts and new vehicles
There is a nostalgic element too. The theme of this year’s event was Speed Kings, a celebration of motorsports record breakers. The pits displayed historic race cars from the golden days of F1 and Le Mans, as well as vintage motorcycles and historic speedsters. We even got to see the land speed racing legend, Babs, who we met earlier in the year at the London Classic Car Show.
Being the weekend before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the F1 teams made an impressive appearance. It’s a great opportunity to see the cars up close and talk to the engineers about the setup.
Automotive manufacturer, Citroen, celebrates their centenary in 2019. With various events taking place around the country throughout the year, including the Citroen Centenary which took place in Coventry back in May and involved our friends at the Traction Owners Club. The group used the Festival of Speed to premier two concept cars, the Ami One and the 19_19.
Another historic marque celebrating an anniversary this year is Aston Martin. 2019 marks 70 years since Aston Martin first raced at Goodwood and on honour of the 70-year heritage, there was a display of past, present and future cars. With the star of the show being an Aston Martin DBR1 elevated on 31-metre-high circular sculpture built in front of Goodwood House.
Electric vehicles were of course the talk of the show. Every manufacturer displaying their latest, most high tech EV.
We attended on the Thursday, which is mostly a testing day for the cars trialing the hillclimb with drivers preparing for timed runs later that weekend. The news followed on Sunday that a new hillclimb record was made by an all-electric Volkswagen ID R prototype racer in a time of 39.9 seconds, beating the existing record held for 20 years by Nick Heidfeld who reached the summit in 41.6 seconds in a McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 car back in 1999.
So, the question you are asking is what car would we want to take home? Well, it would be a very tough choice between the new 4-litre twin turbocharged McLaren GT which was unveiled at the show; the new P72 V12 De Tomaso of which only two are being made; or something more classical like the 1929 Bentley Sunshine Coupe that sat proud by the Goodwood cricket pitch.
If you went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we would love to hear from you.