One of the benefits of being a GRRC member is two free tickets to attend the first day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
With the COVID pandemic running roughshod over many events in 2020 and 2021, I haven’t managed to use these for the last couple of years. But, as we’ve had a busy year, Matt and I thought we deserved a day out at one of our favourite motoring events. It was fantastic to visit in a purely off-duty capacity.
Thursday used to be a press/preview day. Then the organisers turned it into a ‘Moving Motorshow’ that was more interactive for the public. However, that wasn’t without its problems; a member of the public got run over by another member of the public on a test drive! Now Thursday has a programme of cars running up the hill with professional drivers at the wheel. As always with FoS, it’s a spectacle!
FoS has always been a unique and memorable event. The diversity of cars on display at Goodwood is staggering, particularly given how many are driven up the hill at pace! You can get up close to so many rare and unique things in the paddocks. And you’ll often find yourself standing shoulder to shoulder with celebrities and racing drivers from past and present motorsport.
In this week’s article, Matt and I thought we’d bring you our Festival of Speed round-up, full of our favourite things. Read on to find out more.
Goodwood Festival of Speed Round-Up!
Marking fifty years of the BMW M Division
Each year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates a different theme. This year it was marking fifty years of the BMW M Division. The huge sculpture displayed in front of Goodwood house always represents the theme, and this year, as a BMW fan, I thought it was brilliant.
The 50th anniversary of the BMW M Division meant some stunning BMW M cars were present. BMW also used it as the UK launch for the new M3 Touring model.
The EV Hub was very relevant for our changing world, showcasing the latest electric technology at all levels.
Jaguar Driving Experience
The Jaguar driving experience was fun to watch.
Three F Type convertibles, with professional drivers drifting and smoking their way around a tight course with a passenger on board. It was relentless, V8’s bellowing and tyres becoming molten goo. Brilliant!
Stand Out Cars
The new Lotus Emira is utterly beautiful, a delight to see in the metal for the first time.
Standing next to the start line while an Aston Martin test driver buried the throttle on the forthcoming Valkyrie hypercar was quite startling. A naturally aspirated V12 motor meant it was a proper screamer, like F1 cars of old.
At the other end of the scale, the Citroen Ami EV was hilarious, especially with 6’1” Matt sitting inside it. Designed to be solely an urban vehicle, it can best be described as a wheelie bin on wheels. The panels are all unpainted plastic, and 100% of the vehicle can be recycled (except the battery, of which 85% can currently be recycled). They have a range of about 40 miles and a top speed of 28mph. In France, kids as young as 14 can drive these cars. In the UK, they’ll cost around £8k when they start deliveries.
Stand Out Driving
We only saw a test run, but the McMurty Automotive Fan Car was like something from another planet. It looks like a miniature Batmobile and is powered purely by electricity. It weighs just 1000kg, yet this car’s party piece is that it runs a fan underneath to create downforce, pulling itself onto the road. This isn’t new; old Formula One cars tried this, but the McMurty produces 2000kg of downforce at a standstill, so could hold itself upside down to a flat surface whilst sitting still! It was near silence; it accelerated to 60mph in just 1.5 seconds and on Sunday, went on to break the Goodwood FoS hill climb record, some 7 seconds quicker than any other vehicle managed all weekend.
Are you planning to visit in 2023?
If you’re planning to visit the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2023, we recommend getting there early. Aim to walk through the gates at 07:00 to avoid the traffic and queues. Make sure you plan for the weather, as it can be very exposed (we had pouring rain and baking sunshine on the same day). Definitely get a map as you walk in, and better still, download the Goodwood app to your smartphone so you can look at the layout beforehand and plan what you’d like to see.
The site is massive, so take regular breaks for a drink and snacks. On that note, get saving, because predictably, food and beverages are costly (£6 for a Mr Whippy ice cream!). Despite this and the ticket prices, the Goodwood Festival of Speed still represents excellent value for money. The venue is beautiful, the array of things going on is second to none, and it still has a wonderfully ‘British’ feel. If you’ve never been before, we highly recommend it.