The Goodwood Festival of Speed, set to take place 11-13 July 2008 in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, is considered by many to be the world’s largest and most diverse tribute to the history of car culture and motor sport, attracting participants and spectators from around the world. Visitors can expect to see everything from 19th century steam carriages through to current Formula One cars.
Racing motorbikes, classic rally cars and dragsters will feature at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Visitors can look out for a number of motor sport legends, including Emerson Fittipaldi, John Surtees, Stirling Moss and Mario Andretti, who will be mingling with the top drivers of today, such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Petter Solberg and Fernando Alonso.
A highlight of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Hillclimb Competition, with participation by invitation only. This takes place throughout the three-day festival in the grounds of Goodwood House. The start of the almost two kilometer course is in the south of the park near the gate lodge. Participants race along a beautiful tree-lined avenue before turning to pass in front of historical Goodwood House. The trail then climbs a steep and narrow estate road past dense woodland groves, as competitors head toward Goodwood’s horse racing track situated on top of the South Downs. The Hillclimb Competition starts on Friday with free practice sessions with Saturday being the official practice day. Sunday is the timed competition with about 200 vehicles competing. The cars are grouped according to various categories, including Early Cars, Single Seaters, Sports-Racing Cars, Saloon-Based Cars and Motorcycles. With the oldest cars starting first, competitors can participate either in a timed category, or purely as a demonstration run. Competitors complete two runs on Saturday and again on Sunday with each competitor’s fastest time determining the final competition result. When they are not competing, the cars will be parked in four paddocks near Goodwood House for festival-goers to view.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is also a celebration of the role that the United Kingdom has played in providing a competitive and high-profile environment for world-class manufacturers and riders to honor the British Superbike Championship. One of the largest collections of machinery and riders, past and present stars of the British Superbike Championship, will be showcased at the Festival of Speed.
Rally drivers will put their skills, and their cars, to the test on a 2.5 kilometer loose-surfaced track which has been cut into the wooded area near the Hillclimb finish line. Spectators will have unrestricted access to observe these talented drivers demonstrate some daring rally driving techniques, including sideways driving.
Away from the roar of engines, the Cartier Style et Luxe displays some of the most beautiful and innovative automotive designs to come out of this coveted car design competition. The competition consists of about 50 cars divided into 10 classes, representing motoring history. The judges for the competition are not car experts, but noteworthy personalities from the arts. Judging is done on the basis of the beauty and practicality of the vehicle, taking into account proportion, detail, texture and finish. Judging will take place on Saturday and Sunday with a live jazz band adding to the festive atmosphere.
Certainly, all motor sport enthusiasts would not want to miss the exciting Goodwood Festival of Speed. Tickets will not be available at the gate, so book your tickets now!
Auto racing or motorcar racing has quickly become a very popular sport. From the invention of the car in 1769 the idea of a self-propelled vehicle on four wheels has come a long way. It wasn’t long after the first successful petrol-fueled vehicles were made that the thought occurred to motor car owners to try to race them – mostly to compare efficiency and speed and other factors and to determine which car was best overall. But the fun and excitement of such an event quickly caught on and thus the legacy of auto racing was born.
Today auto racing is quite diverse. From go-karts to drag racing, vehicles and tracks can be quite comparatively different. However the excitement which accompanies such racing is contagious. Not only do the drivers enjoy the exhilaration of steering incredibly fast vehicles around a track as fast as they can in order to beat other cars to the finish line, but crowds line roadsides and pack stadium benches to get in on the thrill. Many super-fast vehicles which have become famous for their speed or durability on the track have become coveted as expressions of wealth on the road. Over the years, the racing industry no only experienced a boon, but became a great way for commercial retailers to advertise their products.
Today, the average man in the street may be a racing driver, but many of them certainly seem to wish they were. Home made additions to their vehicles ensure that the car packs a powerful punch and will hopefully out-race any challenger who might be up to the task. Many never get to use these special additions since the law in most countries isn’t too fond of the idea of great masses of steel and plastic hurtling down civilian-lined streets and impressive speeds all in the name of fun. However, for those that do get the opportunity – the euphoric feeling of power and speed at your fingertips is one that is truly memorable. For those who have put hours of hard work into their treasured automobiles and who do not have to opportunity to drive them at their top speed, it is the possibility that this dream may one day come true which keeps hoods shiny and many crowds returning to the auto racing tracks where their hero’s live out their dreams for them.