When Race Cars Drive through the Front Yard

How Goodwood Festival of Speed Celebrated 25 Years

When Race Cars Drive through the Front Yard

Escape

Imagine the beautiful silent countryside of southern England. Birds chirping, sheep bleating in the distance, perfectly maintained green grass, and historic country residences … promptly interrupted by the noise of eight (!) upcoming McLaren making their way towards the little town of Chichester. This is just the beginning of a noisy and exciting weekend.

The Duke of Richmond, Charles Henry Gordon Lennox, poses for a black and white portrait. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
The host of the Goodwood Festival of Speed Duke of Richmond is better known as "Lord March". (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)


Twice a year Charles Henry Gordon Lennox, better known as Lord March, The Duke of Richmond, invites the motoring and motorsport extravaganza to his Goodwood country house in Westhampnett near Chichester. The result is a motorsport event unlike any other in the world. This year marks the silver jubilee of the Festival of Speed (FOS), highlighting the most special moments from the past 25 years.


Prominent drivers like Sir Jackie Stewart, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, Richard "The King" Petty, Vaughn Gittin Jr. amongst others piloting these rare machines. Undoubtedly the wildest mix and celebration of cars …


The main attraction of the Festival of Speed is undoubtedly the hill climb past the Goodwood house. All different types of cars from pre-war models and '60s and '70s Formula 1 racers, to drift cars and modern electric hyper cars, try to burn down the best time on the 1.86 km (1.16 miles) track.

A Mustang RTR is oversteered by Vaughn Gittin Jr. showcasing drifting at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
The Ford Mustang RTR oversteered by Vaughn Gittin Jr. showcasing drifting at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
Sir Jackie Stewart is sitting in a 60s Lotus Formula 1 Grand Prix race car wearing a helmet and goggles. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
Sir Jackie Stewart is sitting in a 60s Lotus Formula 1 Grand Prix race car wearing a helmet and goggles. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)

 

"The narrowest, bumpiest, least grippy course I've ever driven, and I absolutely love it", says ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Not all the cars are timed, and it's not a serious race by any means, but the audience gets the chance to see, hear, smell, and even touch some very rare examples of brilliant engineering.

Former Formula 1 driver Jenson Button posing with sunglasses at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
Jenson Button, who ended his Formula 1 career at the end of season 2016, was the darling of the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)

 

Prominent drivers like Sir Jackie Stewart, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Klaus Ludwig, Jochen Mass, Richard "The King" Petty, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. amongst others pilot these rare machines. Undoubtedly the wildest mix and celebration of cars and motorcycles worldwide! Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s Ford Mustang RTR was also featured in our book The Drive – Custom Cars and Their Builders.

 

Former Formula 1 race driver Mark Webber is driving an early Porsche 356 convertible in front of the Goodwood residence. (Photo: Alex Winter – The White Wall)
Former Formula 1 race driver Mark Webber is driving an early Porsche 356 Gmünd convertible in front of the Goodwood residence. (Photo: Alex Winter – The White Wall)

 

This year also marks the 70th birthday of Porsche, and all of the brand's important models are either driven or displayed throughout the four days of the event. Porsche's anniversary also inspires this year's Central Feature (the annual sculpture built each year for the FOS). Artist Gerry Judah has mounted six real Porsches onto a 52-m (170-foot) high, white, pronged mast. Martini also celebrates its 50th anniversary, proudly presenting its legendary livery throughout Lancia's Rally cars and Martini Porsches.

 

Martini Lancia Delta S4 world famous group B rallye car cornering at the speed track of Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
Martini Lancia Delta S4 world famous group B rallye car cornering at the speed track of Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
52 meters in the air, six legendary Porsche cars are hung up on a sculpture by artist Gerry Judah at Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
The annual main feature is a sculpture designed by artist Gerry Judah. It's put up on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Porsche. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)

 

Lord March is not just a traditionalist, and new technologies play a growing role in the program. In fact, the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak, an all electric car, sets the fastest time of the weekend. Another first sight, the completely autonomous, driverless racecar "Robocar", makes its debut up the hill, followed by rapturous applause from spectators realizing how much effort the Roborace-Team has put into the development of the autonomous car.

 


Multimillion dollar cars are actually used and driven …

 


The best thing about Goodwood is undoubtedly that it's a fan event. All the cars can be visited in the main paddock and it's easy to meet your favorite driver or ask the mechanics how they maintain these delicate machines as you can see in our book Gentlemen, Start Your Engines – The Bonhams Guide to Classic Cars.

 

Former Formula 1 driver Jochen Mass is piloting a Mercedes Benz W 125 from 1937 between hay bales on the race track of Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
Former Formula 1 driver Jochen Mass is piloting a Mercedes Benz W 125 from 1937 between hay bales on the race track of Goodwood Festival of Speed. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)

 

Cars are constantly being prepared for the hill climb, worked on, or pushed to the prestart. Multimillion dollar cars are actually used and driven and manufacturers use the event to present their latest models in this special scenery.

Whatever you're into, Goodwood won't disappoint. Don't be surprised if a man with a jetpack flies over your head. This all could just happen on England's beautiful countryside.

 

On every of the four days during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a man with a jet pack flew over the race track. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)
On every of the four days during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a man with a jet pack flew over the race track. (Photo: Alex Lawrence – The White Wall 2018)

Newsletter

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By continuing to browse this website, you consent to their use. For more information, click here.
×