Goodwood Moving Motor Show: Climbing the hill

Despite an accident involving a Honda Civic, the first ever Goodwood Moving Motor Show where the public could drive new cars, turned out to be a big success.

People could pre-book test drives and get the chance to drive up the famous Goodwood 3.4 mile hill course – following in the wheeltracks of virtually every famous Grand Prix driver of the last 20 years. Fears that drivers would be limited to a 10 mph processions proved unfounded – as long as you did not overtake the car in front, you were allowed to drive at any sane speed.

We decided to go up the hill in the 340 PS Ford Focus RS 500 – the run-out version of arguably the best hot hatch ever made. To add a bit of spice, experienced Goodwood hand Richard Bremner gave this novice some tips about the right lines through the corners, so if you watch the video, you will be well-prepared for next year's event.
The result was a hoot (for me, if possibly not for him). On the tight track, we probably only hit about 70 mph, but that is plenty when the straw bales are only a foot away from your wing mirror. As the car in front was a Ferrari, there was little danger of being forced to slow down...

The result from the public was extremely positive overall. A lot of people were surprised to discover they could drive at all, let alone on an internationally famous track. It would be a huge shame if the accident this year led to the event being cancelled – it was a low speed accident in the parking hall when a driver lost consciousness (possibly from a heart attack, but that is still unconfirmed).

It was nothing to do with the track itself, which was entirely incident-free. Combined with the long path back from the track, drivers got a 5-6 mile road test on clear roads, which is something you will struggle to get at your local dealer. The public loved it, the manufacturers loved it – let's hope it becomes a regular feature of the motoring calendar.

Click below to watch video.

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