Any serious petrolhead simply has to add a trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on their bucket list.

Goodwood Festival of Speed July 2018

By —— Bio and Archives--September 4, 2018

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Goodwood Festival of Speed July 2018
Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

Since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has drawn thousands of motorsport and automotive fans from around the world. Quite unlike any other motoring event, the Festival of Speed is spread across thousands of acres of the country manor Goodwood estate under the guidance of the Duke of Richmond. This 3-day festival is the quintessential celebration of all things two and four-wheeled and showcases the past, present, and future of motoring. Auto manufacturers represent their brands with huge mobile structures in which visitors can see and touch their current and future vehicle offerings.


Unprecedented access

Known for a policy of allowing the public close access to vehicles, the event never disappoints. Visitors have unprecedented access to cars and drivers, engaging in snippets of motoring conversation with engineers, executives and drivers are the norm at this event.

One such conversation was with hypercar driver Nicklas Lilja on how he set a new record in the Koenigsegg Agera RS of 277mph in Nevada. He told me how the two runs had to be averaged and due to the wind he actually hit 286mph, but after the return run the average was 277mph a new record for a production car. The term ‘production car’ for Koenigsegg significantly different to the likes of Ferrari or Ford with way fewer examples rolling out of the Swedish factory, it is, however, a major engineering achievement and it was great to be able to chat with the driver behind the wheel.

Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo


Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

The Goodwood Festival of Speed includes a full rally stage set on higher ground north of Goodwood house at the top of the famous hill climb. The rally stage winds through a forest and allows spectators to get close to the action where powerful off-roaders kick up gravel and dust in their tracks. The rally car paddock is situated on a hill above the rally stage and offers an opportunity to those that appreciate the amazing capabilities of rally cars from all decades. Few other cars embody the rally spirit like the 1980’s Audi Quattro and it was thrilling to hear the crackle of the exhaust up close.

Concours d’Elegance

Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

On the south lawn of Goodwood hosts pristine motoring examples for the public to admire. Continuing the theme, there are no barriers between you and the cars but it’s clear that the collective vibe from the public is to admire the cars from a respectable distance.



Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

All around the venue, there are many activities like the Jaguar experience in which trained drivers take passengers on a small drifting track. Elsewhere the public can try offroad sliding around a field at the Porsche Cayenne experience or sign up to be taken on a short but impressive track to showcase the incredible angles and agility of the Landrover offerings. Not limited to motoring, displays engage the public around a food truck area such as aerial BMX stunts.

Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

The centerpiece around which the event is built is the 1.86km (1.16miles) hill climb track. The track starts with a tree-lined straight and after the first turn, there is a section which offers excellent viewing opportunities to spectators at the side of the track as well as in grandstands. The event encourages diversity in the runners up the hill and this year saw all electric entries and even the first FAA-approved rocket jetpack run up the hill.

Photo by Brian Smith @bms_photo

Any serious petrolhead simply has to add a trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on their bucket list. The spectacle will also engage any non-motoring folk you should bring!



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Brian Smith -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Brian Smith (a href=“https://www.bms-photo.com/” rel=“nofollow”>BMS-Photo</a>), has been photographing motorsport and cars for many years. Brian finds creative perspectives to distinguish his content in the diverse field of automotive photography. In motorsport, Brian’s keen eye for composition and timing allow his photos to capture the spirit of motor racing.

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