The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the highlights of the automotive calendar, and this year’s event is one of the most hotly anticipated in years, with crowds flocking to Sussex to make the most of a post-pandemic day out.
Last year’s event was canceled because of Covid-19 restrictions, but this year it’s back to full strength with cars on display, running up the hill climb and tearing up the rally stage. Here are a few highlights from this year’s show, taking place between Thursday, July 8, and Sunday, July 11.
Full capacity crowds
Last month, Goodwood got the go ahead for the Festival of Speed (FoS) to be a pilot event for the Government’s Events Research Programme, which looks at how busy events affect the transmission of Covid-19.
FoS is a sell out, which means that the show will be at full capacity across its four days. As part of its pilot event status, there are strict conditions of entry for attendees, who must have proof of a negative NHS Lateral Flow Device taken within the 48 hours prior to entering the event, proof of full vaccination, or proof of natural immunity. Full details of what is considered proof can be found on the Goodwood website.
The showpiece event for the FoS is the hillclimb, where a wide variety of cars from all different eras head up the driveway of the Estate. It offers a fantastic opportunity to see rare cars driven quickly just feet ahead of you.
Expect to see F1 cars past and present, road legal supercars, drifters shredding tyres and even rally cars making a mess of the lawn.
Electrification is a big aspect of the automotive industry at the moment, and as such, Goodwood has decided to dedicate a whole section of the festival to these machines.
There will be show cars of all different makes and models, giving visitors the chance to see them up close and speak to experts about the benefits of switching to electric.
The Central Feature
Each year, FoS celebrates a legendary car manufacturer or icon of the industry through its Central Feature, which sees a massive statue erected outside Goodwood House.
This year Lotus will be the focal point, with the design of the statue kept a closely guarded secret ahead of the event.
One of the best-kept secrets of the FoS is the rally stage. It’s tucked away in forests right at the top of the hillclimb, and is quite a long walk – or a brief tractor ride – from the rest of the show.
It’s worth taking a look, though, as rally racers from all eras tackle the tough, chalky terrain just inches from trees.
Up close and personal
Whether it’s exotic road cars or high-tech race cars that tickle your fancy, you’ll have unrivalled access at FoS. There are various paddocks throughout the event where visitors can walk around the cars on display, many of which are usually kept locked away in museums or behind dealership doors.
It’s not just the cars that catch the eye, as many manufacturers bring their star drivers to the show. In between racing cars up the hill, many can be seen wandering the festival’s paddocks, geeking out on the displays just like everyone else!