The Goodwood Festival of Speed

If there is one motoring event that you cannot miss to be a part of at least once in your lifetime, it's the Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS). Alexotics has been in attendance once in 2008, and twice in 2009. The festival occurs on the first weekend of July, and takes place right in front of the Goodwood Castle in West Sussex, England. It's basic premise is a hill climb which features historic racers from all types of races and rallies throughout the years. Each class takes it's turn racing up the hill as fast as possible, where up top they wait for  all the members of the class to finish, and then drive back down in group to the paddocks. All the cars race at least twice a day, which makes for a full day of loud noises and burnt rubber. What makes the event so special is it's breath of motorsport offerings, from concept cars, to the rarest and fastest exotics, to
the most expensive and sought after collectables, the Festival of Speed's got it all.

Oh hi there Jesse James. 
There are also plenty of other things to experience and witness aside from watching the cars roar by. For the rally fanboys there's a special forest rally stage at the top of the estate where all legendary rally cars have a blast. Then there's also celebrity spotting. In 2009 I met Lewis Hamilton and Jesse James, and saw many others. For the shopaholics there are hundreds of little shops spread across grass fields where you can by anything from Gulf Livery racing suits to RC car made paintings. If none of that catches your interest, there's always the concept car pavilion, and the European premiers showroom. Still haven't found your fancy? Well then how about you go make yourself useful in the paddocks where they can always use a helping hand to push start some of the older 908 Porsches or Niki Lauda's 1975 Ferrari 312T F1 car. Sunburnt? Not to worry, the Rolls Royce factories are literally a stones throw away where you'll be able to scurry indoors and visit their wonderful museum.

And this is exactly what renders the Festival so unique, it's multitude of offerings and the way it involves the spectators. There's an unspoken code of conduct that everyone follows, and for the rest it's a free for all. There are no ropes, no barriers, and even the most legendary of driver will be able to have a chat with a passing by fan. If this festival were a poster, it'd be the poster of all posters. Some of my best memories come from watching a Pagani Zonda R racer flying flat out up the hill through the gears only meters away from me as I stood in awe of what was occurring in front of me. Jaw dropped, pants wet, and completely intoxicated by the echoing sound of it's absolutely ear smashing fire breathing straight pipes. I cannot wait to return to the grounds of the Goodwood estate this summer, and I hope to see you there.