Goodwood Festival Of Speed: The World’s Most Expensive Driveway Party

I’d hazard a guess that anyone with an inkling of octane running through their veins has at the very least heard of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, or been fortunate enough to attend in person.

However, fewer of us would know how it first came to be. Motorsport on the Goodwood Estate ran from 1948 until 1963 at the circuit. In 1992, there was a desire to bring motorsport back to Goodwood, but rather than returning to the circuit (this happened a few years later in 1998) the idea was to run a hillclimb along the roadways within the estate.

Following discussions within the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) of which the Duke of Richmond – whose family has occupied the Goodwood Estate for over 300 years – had recently been appointed president, the decision was made to host the first inaugural Goodwood Festival of Speed the following year. The sheep were moved, hay bales were placed, and a rudimentary start line gantry, commentary box and marques were set up on the section of driveway that passes right by Goodwood House.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 096
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 160

That first year, 25,000 people were welcomed through the gates over the course of the event. The number has grown steadily over the last 29 years, to over 200,000 people now attending every summer.

With far too many motorsport-type events segregating the fans from the entrants and the machines, the Festival of Speed has always sought to remove that. The paddocks are all open and accessible, the hillclimb able to be viewed from dozens of vantage points, and the static displays and huge number of manufacturer and trade stands cater to all interests. With global motor shows in decline, the Festival of Speed is also now seen as one of the key events annually to reveal new models, with the added bonus of the hillclimb as a litmus test against competitors.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 095

The featured marque this year was BMW, marking the 50th anniversary of M – BMW’s ‘Motorsport’ division. Gerry Judah has been responsible for the vision and creation of the Festival of Speed sculptures for a number of years, and this year’s central feature was no different. Using over 56 tonnes of steel, the creation displayed four historic BMW M cars and the 2024 BMW LMDh concept up to 36 meters in the air.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 236

For those willing to take the hike up the hill (or the dusty and bumpy tractor ride), the rally stage is definitely a hidden gem. Not many venture to it, but those that do are rewarded with some of the most interesting cars of the event. The rally stage along with a slew of other features will follow.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 024

Spread across multiple paddocks peppered around the event, cars and bikes from as early as 1903 up to 2023 models were lined up side by side. Ever wondered about the dash layout of a Peugeot 205 T16 Pikes Peak? Or what the underbody of a BMW M1 Procar looks like? The largely unrestricted access provided opportunities to answer these questions.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 038
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 019

The Cartier Style Et Luxe contained some incredibly rare and well kept vehicles. Seeing one McLaren F1 in isolation is a special affair; seeing six of the eight in attendance parked up together totalling an estimated £100 million (!) is something else altogether.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 130

Electric Avenue gave an insight into some of the EV-powered vehicles we can expect to see in production in the coming years, along with a few concepts. EVs featured quite heavily this year both on and off track and, while opinions will ultimately be divided around them, it’s not all doom and gloom for the future.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 142

OEMs brought a myriad of cars to display, primarily new models and concepts.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 241

Some paying homage to the cars of their past equally as well.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 109
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 229

The aftermarket was also well represented, either in terms of retromods or outright modified vehicles. Singer’s Turbo Study and the Nardone Porsche 928 being incredibly well presented.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 136
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 138

Lanzante brought a host modified of McLarens and one their Porsche 930 TAG Turbos, running a 1.5L turbocharged V6 plucked from an era-correct F1 car.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 066

Always a crowd favourite, Travis Pastrana and Vermont SportsCar brought along their latest creation. A Subaru GL wagon in original trim would never generate much excitement, but when you add in a 800hp+ motor, active aero and the underpinnings of a Global RallyCross car, it gets a lot more interesting.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 068
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 234

Drifting has become a staple of the event over the last few years, massively boosting its profile to the general public. While the Festival of Speed course isn’t ideal for sideways shenanigans, the drivers still put on a great show in the Driftkhana.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 050

The hillclimb itself winds its way along 1.16 miles of the estate, and while it may seem relatively easy to drive seeing a topographical view, certain sections can be tricky. From the start line, a short straight allows entrants to build speed before the first corner, with some competitors electing for big, smokey burnouts instead of outright pace.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 128
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 159
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 244

Another long right-hander follows and then its flat-out past the front of the house, ducking left under the pedestrian bridge.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 182

A shallow left-right kink over a crest precedes Molecome, possibly the trickiest corner on the track due to the crest and drivers misjudging the braking point.

Some opt for a tight line, dropping a wheel on the inside into the dirt.

The track then gains a bit of elevation before the sharp right-hander into the longer left of the flint wall.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 075

Rather than hugging the wall, most would err on the side of caution, avoiding the jagged brickwork which has claimed its fair share of composites and metal over the years.

Moments after having to adjust to the darkness of the flint wall and trees which hug either side, drivers are yet again confronted by bright sunlight for a medium speed right-hander, just touching the brakes before turning in. A final dash to the line ensues out of sight of spectators, accelerating down the short straight and long sweeping left-hand corner, before a sprint for the finish.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 223

The Shootout on Sunday was one for the record books, with the McMurtry Spéirling taking top honours and beating the previous record held by the VW I.D. R. A hugely eclectic mix of cars rounded out the Top 10.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 007
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 031
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 185

Silverstone is quite often regarded as the home of British motorsport for its Formula 1 connection, however, the Festival of Speed is a worthy candidate for the title. While F1 is seen as the pinnacle of modern motorsport, the accessibility and viewing opportunities are somewhat lacking, never mind the cost of attendance. Goodwood brings you right into the thick of the action, where you can even brush shoulders with famous drivers both past and present. The variety of cars in attendance unrivalled by any other motoring event in the world.

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 193
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 228

Having spent all four days at Goodwood and walking over 40 miles, I still don’t feel like I saw everything. The first day is always a bit overwhelming as you try to get your bearings. What should be a five-minute walk to the next point of interest, could easily end up taking an hour because of all the distractions along the way. You could take the relaxed approach and just take in whatever you are confronted with, or meticulously plan your day to ensure you get to see specifics. Either way, you’re in for a good time.

If you only make it to one event a year and want to see a bit of everything, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is for you.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore

Festival of Speed 2022 SH 204
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 207
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 212
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 215
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 247
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 222
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 001
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 002
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 009
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 013
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 017
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 027
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 030
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 042
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 045
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 049
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 060
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 064
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 072
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 086
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 101
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 106
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 116
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 120
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 126
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 143
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 151
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 162
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 169
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 180
Festival of Speed 2022 SH 191

Katherine T. Burrows

Next Post

Se acerca el final de la Nissan Titan, que no pudo hacer frente ante la feroz competencia

Tue Jul 5 , 2022
Nissan ingresó al mercado de camionetas grandes en el 2003 con la ambición de vender 100,000 unidades del Titán al año. Pero no resultó ser tan “Titán” el modelo. Nissan nunca llego a vender 100.000 unidades del Titán, ya que el mejor año de ventas para el Titan fue el […]