The parking lot
It’s not as stunning as the car park at the Goodwood Revival, but the Festival of Speed attracts a group of high-performance vehicles unlike any other event. In the time it takes to walk from one end to the other, we saw a Porsche 918 Spyder, a LaFerrari, and countless Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. A late 1980s Pontiac Firebird was an odd sight in England.
The Central Feature
Let’s ignore the fact that this year’s statue, officially called the Central Feature, was devoted to a dehydrated smurf named Bernie Ecclestone and just appreciate the stunning design of Goodwood’s central structure. The towering display featured a 1958 Connaught that Bernie raced in two F1 contests and the championship Brabham from his time as that team’s owner. There was also a Lotus, a Ferrari, and a Mercedes to help round out Ecclestone’s five decades as a driver, team owner, and dictator of the world’s top tier of motor racing.
The air show
Goodwood regularly plays host to some impressive airborne hardware, on top of the road-going stuff. This year featured multiple demonstrations from the Royal Air Force’s flight demonstration team, the Red Arrows, as well as a few different appearances by one of the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoons. The modern-day fighter was a showstopper, bringing audiences to a standstill across the Festival as it twisted, twirled, and soared overhead.
It’s almost impossible to see all of Goodwood in one day, which is good, because there’s absolutely no need. The Festival organizers sort each car into a batch and each batch runs at least once per day from Thursday to Sunday. Some, like the vehicles from the Supercar Paddock, even run multiple times per day. Just grab a schedule when you get to the Festival and it’s easy to plan your entire weekend.
2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Forest Rally Stage
2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Forest Rally StageEnlarge Photo
Forest rally stage
The climb up Lord March’s driveway gets all the attention at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but it’s but one of the two main events. The other is the Forest Rally on the Goodwood Estate. The short, twisting course includes hairpin bends, a jump, and some of the greatest rally machines in history. In just an hour at the course, we saw a Lancia Stratos, a vintage Mini Cooper, a Porsche 911, a Ford Fiesta WRC car, a pair of rally legend Colin McRae’s cars—the 555 Subaru Impreza WRX and the Martini Ford Focus RS—going all out through the forest.