As the memories of top hats, ripped tickets and champagne in the boxes and enclosures of Royal Ascot fade, our binoculars focus on horsepower of a very different type; the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Although not technically part of “The Season”, which officially kicks off with the Chelsea Flower Show and ends with Cowes Week, The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who owns Goodwood, has cleverly incorporated this event into the modern season calendar, fitting it neatly between Royal Ascot and the Henley Regatta. This year it is being held from 26th -29th June.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed was founded by Lord March, the heir apparent to the Dukedom, in 1993 in order to bring motor racing back to the Goodwood Estate —the Formula 3 circuit is a location steeped in British motor racing history, with drivers like Sterling Moss cutting their motor racing teeth here. Alas, at the time, he could not gain the appropriate permit, so instead he ran an event in the grounds of his home which included, the now famous, Hillclimb Run. The event has gone from strength to strength and now attracts over 180,000 visitors over 4 days and has earned a place in the hearts and minds of auto enthusiasts the world over.
The paddocks are teeming with the most stunning, rare and precious cars, as they line up in preparation for the Hillbclimb. Unlike most events, at Goodwood, visitors have completely open and unrestricted access to these amazing marvels of modern and classic engineering. However it is the Supercar Paddock which always catches our attention. Here one will find, possibly, the most exotic and extensive display of modern supercars, anywhere in the world. It is horsepower heaven.
Firmly establishing itself as the “must see event” for the latest and fastest supercars from around the world, the Festival of Speed is also the location where many marques unveil their latest concepts, and show them off to their best effect. Last year 25 new supercars made their debut at this event. Unlike a conventional motor show, the Supercar Run gives spectators the opportunity to not only see these magnificent machines on display, but hear their engines and see their power in action. It is a real feast for the senses. This year the Supercar Run is on Saturday afternoon, where spectators can discover which car truly is the fastest on the day.
Another unique feature of this stunning event is the fact that you can literally rub shoulders with the motor racing legends, while they wait to race. This year’s line-up includes over 90 champions of motor sport world, including Formula 1 heroes; Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Damon Hill, Sir Jackie Steward and Sterling Moss to name but a few. Le Mans 24 Hours winners include Emanuele Pirro, Andre Lotterer, Henri Pescarolo and Jackie Oliver will all appear, as will World Rally champions Sebastien Loeb, Bjorn Waldegard and Didier Auriol. It is a very impressive line-up.
Two of H.R. Owen’s marques have a big part to play at this years Festival of Speed. With it being the Maserati centenary they will be showing the largest number of models it has ever assembled at Goodwood. For some examples of the current and recent line up please take a look at our new Maserati and used Maserati.
In addition Bentley will be showcasing the Continental GT3-R alongside its inspiration the Continental GT3 race car and three historic Bentleys.
The Festival of Speed is a very British affair, with all the pomp and ceremony you would expect from an event held in the grounds of one of our best loved aristocrats. Yet unlike Ascot, it is a relaxed occasions, with no wild hat or tail coats, just a stunning event for young and old, who appreciate the amazing elegance, power and skill of those who create or drive the cars we love and admire. For more information about the festival of speed and other Goodwood Events please take a look at the Goodwood Website.