Glorious Goodwood: Countless Celebrations
The 30th edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, presented by Mastercard, was marked by several major milestones. Among them were the 75th anniversary of motorsport at Goodwood and the festival itself, which started in 1993 with The Duke of Richmond in his Jaguar D-Type.
Porsche celebrated its own 75-year milestone, with the marque showcasing iconic models and being the first manufacturer to create the Central Feature for the fourth time in the festival’s history. A variety of other significant anniversaries, including the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 75 years of Lotus and NASCAR, and 50 years of WRC, were also celebrated.
Motorsport Icons and Legends
Renowned figures from across the world of motorsport were present at the event. Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel made an appearance, encouraging the adoption of sustainable fuel through his “Race Without Trace” campaign. Other prominent attendees included Ferrari Le Mans winners, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi, and Miguel Molina, along with MotoGP teams and riders.
A collection of 240 spectacular vehicles were auctioned off, with the highlights including a 2007 Koenigsegg CCGT GT1 Competition Coupé, a James Bond classic 1964 Aston Martin DB5, and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercar.
Hoonigan Were In Town
Renowned rally driver and action sports star Travis Pastrana brought an extra level of excitement to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The daring driver attacked the famous Goodwood hillclimb flat out in his mind-blowing 860HP Subaru GL Wagon, a spectacle that quickly became a highlight of the event.
This car, which has already proven its mettle in the Gymkhana series, demonstrated raw power and agility as it roared up the hill. Pastrana, known for his fearlessness and driving prowess, delivered a gripping performance that left spectators in awe.
From executing a series of jaw-dropping maneuvers to reaching breakneck speeds, Pastrana’s daring run was a testament to his racing spirit. It was a vivid reminder of why he’s considered one of the most versatile and successful figures in the world of motorsport.
The deafening roar of the Subaru’s engine, coupled with the skillful execution of Pastrana’s flat-out run, were hallmarks of a truly exhilarating hill climb. It was a standout moment that added to the rich tapestry of thrilling motorsport action experienced throughout the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Goodwood once again hosted the Future Lab exhibition, showcasing cutting-edge technology with a focus on ‘Technology for a Better World.’ The exhibition was attended by industry experts and featured themes such as ‘Beyond Earth, For Earth’ and ‘Powering the Future.’
Dynamic Debuts Galore
The event provided attendees the opportunity to witness automotive world exclusives, debuts, and reveals. Some of the prominent unveils included the AIM EV Sport 01, Bentley Speed Six Continuation, Eccentric Diablo, and among others.
A major feature of the festival was Electric Avenue presented by bp pulse. The exhibition encouraged visitors to understand the realities of owning and living with an EV.
The Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance saw the display of stunning classic vehicles, with the 1937 Bentley 4 ¼ litre Rothschild Sedanca Coupe by Gurney Nutting taking the ‘Best in Show’ title.
Catching Up with Czinger
During the event, I had the pleasure of catching up with Lukas Czinger, Co-founder and COO of the groundbreaking automaker, Czinger. We discussed the development of their latest car, which was on display – the V Max version of the 21C, presented in an eye-catching new hue, “Golden State of Mind”.
He explained the colour is a tribute to their California roots, mirroring the vibrant orange of the state’s poppy flower. This hypercar variant showcases Czinger’s commitment to sustainable, innovative design and manufacturing, with a focus on maximum speed, agility, and an impressive 1250hp output. As the company prepares for its first customer deliveries later this year, the anticipation for Czinger’s automotive revolution continues to grow.
Sky High Spectacle: The Red Arrows
One of the most breathtaking moments at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed was undoubtedly the spectacular air display by the Red Arrows, the aerobatic team of the British Royal Air Force. Known for their precision and panache, the Red Arrows painted the Goodwood sky with their signature plumes of red, white and blue smoke.
The crowd was held captive, eyes skyward, as the team executed a series of high-speed passes, loop-the-loops, and synchronised manoeuvres. The aerial ballet seemed to defy the laws of physics, each manoeuvre more astounding than the last, punctuated by the roaring engines of the Hawk T1 jets.
Adding a touch of educational flair to their visit, the team also hosted a Q&A session on the ground. This allowed festival attendees, including budding engineers and pilots, to learn more about the team’s rigorous training, the mechanics behind their aircraft and the science that underpins their extraordinary displays. Their combination of awe-inspiring stunts, dedication to precision, and openness to sharing their knowledge made their appearance one of the unforgettable highlights of the festival.
The Best Festival of Speed Runs 2023
This year, the festival supported the Greenpower Education Trust, a charity with a proven record in kickstarting engineering careers and sparking enthusiasm for STEM subjects through motorsport.
Heart-Pounding Hill Climb
Perhaps the most exhilarating part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the renowned Hill Climb. This 1.16-mile sprint up the Goodwood Estate’s driveway is more than a mere stretch of tarmac; it’s a pulsating artery of the festival, constantly alive with the roar of engines, squeal of tires and the cheers of motorsport enthusiasts.
From the sharp crack of the starting light to the final bellow across the finish line, the Hill Climb offers a symphony of sounds that is music to the ears of petrolheads. Whether it’s the growl of vintage classics, the thunderous roars of modern supercars, or the futuristic hum of electric vehicles, the Hill Climb’s auditory experience is unparalleled.
Seeing the drivers tackle the nine demanding corners is a spectacle in itself. The infamous Molecomb corner, known for its tricky entry and deceptive tightening radius, often commands the most attention as drivers strive to carry as much speed as possible without overshooting.
Perhaps the most engaging aspect of the Hill Climb is the sheer variety of vehicles that take on the challenge. The mix of past and present, combustion and electric, and road and race cars ensures that each run up the Hill Climb provides a unique spectacle.
From early morning till late afternoon, the Hill Climb was a hive of activity. The constant stream of cars, bikes and even trucks tackling the course made for an unforgettable spectacle, embodying the spirit of the Goodwood Festival of Speed: celebrating the past, present and future of motoring, all in one place.
After a brief cancellation due to severe weather conditions, the festival resumed with great fanfare. Be sure to register for ticket alerts for another spectacular year of motorsport at Goodwood.
The 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed proved to be a grand celebration of motorsport milestones, and the experience was nothing short of thrilling for those in attendance. Here’s to many more memorable years ahead!
The Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard will take place from Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 July 2024. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday 6 November 2023.