Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood Festival of Speed
Location Goodwood House, West Sussex, England
Time zone BST
Owner Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara
Opened 1993
Major events Goodwood Festival of Speed
Length 1.86 km (1.16 mi)
Turns 9
Lap record 0:41.6 (Nick Heidfeld, McLaren, 1999)
Forest Rally Stage
Length 2.5 km (1.5 mi)
Modern F1 car echoing in the grounds of Goodwood House.

1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 starting the hillclimb.

A Spyker C8 Aileron pulling away from the start of the hillclimb in 2009.

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles held in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England in late June or early July; the event is scheduled to avoid clashing with the Formula One season, enabling fans to see F1 machines as well as cars and motorbikes from motor racing history climb the hill.

In the early years of the Festival, tens of thousands attended over the weekend; it currently attracts crowds of around 100,000 on each of the three days it is now held. A record crowd of 158,000 attended in 2003, before an advance-ticket-only admission policy came into force; attendance is now capped at 150,000.[1]



The Goodwood Festival of Speed was founded in 1993 by Lord March in order to bring motor racing back to the Goodwood estate — a location steeped in British motor racing history. Shortly after taking over the estate in the early 1990s, Lord March (as he is formally known) wanted to bring back motor racing to Goodwood Circuit, but did not have the necessary permit to host a race there. Therefore, he instead hosted it on his own grounds. With a small selection of entrants made up of invited historic vehicles, the first event that took place on Sunday 13 June proved to be a success, taking in a crowd of 25,000 despite a date clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. After the first event's date clash, Lord March would ensure that the event would never be allowed to clash with either Le Mans or Formula One races. In 1994, Saturday was added, making it a weekend event. In 1996, Friday was added, making it a three-day event. In 2010, the Moving Motor Show was added on the Thursday.

Features and attractions

1970 Porsche 917 going up the hill at the 2006 Festival of Speed

The hill climb

Sébastien Buemi demonstrating a Red Bull RB1 Formula One car at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Thanks to the event's classification as a hill climb, its location and desire to reflect the style and history of motor sport, visitors are afforded close views of the action - separated only by a few metres and reinforced straw bales from the track. Visitors are free to walk around several paddocks where the cars and drivers can be seen at close quarters. The atmosphere of the Festival of Speed, when compared to the separation of fans from drivers and machines common to most top end motor sport events, encourages participation by the fans.

The track has an elevation change of 92.7 metres, for an average gradient of 4.9%. The record time for the hillclimb was set in 1999 when Nick Heidfeld drove a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car up the hill in 41.6 seconds (100.385 mph (161.554 km/h)). For safety reasons Formula One cars are no longer allowed to do official timed runs, and will often focus on demonstrations that are spectacular rather than fast. In 2006 Heikki Kovalainen completed the course in a Renault R25 F1 car and was unofficially timed below 40 seconds.[2]

In 2016, to commemorate the 40 year anniversary of James Hunt winning the F1 World Championship, McLaren commissioned a P1 GTR which ran up the hill driven by Bruno Senna.[3]

Soapbox challenge

From 2000 to 2004 this was a downhill race for gravity-powered cars. Starting from just below the hill-climb finish line, to a finish line in front of the house. It included entries from Cosworth, Prodrive, and other top companies. With some famous riders/drivers piloting them, including Barry Sheene. However, there were frequent accidents. Despite an official cap on the cost of cars, the unofficial costs were becoming too high, so it did not return in 2005.

The forest rally stage

From 2005 to present there has been a demonstration area for the rally cars at the top of the hill. Initially, in 2005, the track through the forest was widened, and the rally cars ran down through the forest, turned on the tarmac section just outside the wood, and returned up the same track. This meant that the cars could only run one-at-a-time.
In 2006, a full forest stage was introduced, designed by Hannu Mikkola[4] this was a complete circuit, with a separate start and finish line at the top of the wood. This allowed the cars to start at timed intervals, allowing many more cars to run. Ever since its inception Southern Car Club have been entrusted with the organization of the rally stage, held under an MSA permit.

Supercar run

Since 2000, there has been a Sunday Times Supercar Run, for road-going supercars. Since 2014 cars could opt to do a timed run. It is now common for specialty car manufacturers to show off their latest sports model, including newly released mass-produced sports models and working concept models.

Cartier Style et Luxe

Since 1995[5] this is an auto show which takes place to the west of the house. It is a similar format to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Entry is usually by invitation, and this provides some leeway as to which type of vehicle can enter, usually resulting in a more varied event than usual Concours d'Elegance. Unlike most concours shows, the Cartier Style et Luxe is judged by a panel of selected judges consisting of celebrities from all around the world to car designers.[6]

The Moving Motor Show

Since 2010, the Moving Motor Show, was added. Mainly in response to the cancellation of the British International Motor Show aimed exclusively for buyers of new cars, allowing them a chance to test the cars on the course.[7] Following its success, it was announced the MMS would return in 2011.[8]

McLaren MP4-12C at the 2010 Festival of Speed

The 2010 event also included the running of the new McLaren MP4-12C.

The official website lists the Festival of speed dates as the Friday to Sunday, but the weekend tickets for the Festival include a moving motor show ticket.[9] So it's not strictly part of the Festival of Speed, but it is a part of the Festival of Speed weekend.


Other popular attractions at the event are the real life replicas of the Wacky Races cars, which serves to provide lunchtime entertainment for the crowds, and the airshows, which usually include the RAF Tornado and Red Arrows, and in 2004 and 2005 a low-flying Boeing 747; a low-flying Airbus A380 appeared at the 2008 event.

From the festival's beginning, poster art had been illustrated by renowned motor racing artist Peter Hearsey until his retirement in 2015. In 2016, the poster art was designed by Klaus Wagger, who rose to prominence as a racing artist when he won a competition to design the official poster for Mille Miglia in 2000.[10]

In recent years, they have also put on the GAS Arena (Goodwood Action Sports) who showcase extreme stunts such as Freestyle Motorcross, BMX and Trial bike Riding [11]

Other events

The Festival of Speed has a sister event, the Goodwood Revival Meeting. This event, normally held in early September, relives the glory days of the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit.


There have been two separate fatal accidents at the event.

The first was during its inaugural meeting in 1993, when vintage racing motorcyclist Chas Guy was killed in practice following the completion of the course when his Vincent motorcycle developed a steering wobble known as a tank slapper, throwing the rider into a tree. Since then, motorcycles are not timed for their run.

In 2000, driver John Dawson-Damer lost control of his Lotus 63, and crashed into the finish line gantry, killing himself and marshal Andrew Carpenter. Another marshal, Steve Tarrant, survived but sustained serious injuries to the lower part of his right leg.[12]

The central display

Since 1997, a car manufacturer has been honoured with a central display, designed by Gerry Judah, erected on the lawn in front of Goodwood House. This is a list of the temporary monuments:

Year Photo Manufacturer Featured vehicles
(on the main display)
Comment Source
1997 Ferrari Ferrari F310B 50th anniversary [13]
1998 Porsche Porsche 936/81
Porsche 917-20 "Pink Pig"
Porsche 917 LH
Porsche 956
Porsche 911 GT1
50th anniversary [13][14]
1999 Audi Audi Avus quattro
Auto Union Type C Streamliner
Depicts the banking of Avus as if the cars are racing together. The Streamliner is a replica built especially for the display [13][14][15]
2000 Jaguar Jaguar E-Type
Jaguar XK120
Jaguar C-Type
Jaguar D-Type
Jaguar XJR-5
Jaguar XJR-8
Depicts the cat's cradle. Celebrating its F1 debut [13][14]
2001 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz 300SL 100th anniversary, resembling a gush of liquid, falling and spreading as it hits the ground. [13][16]
2002 Renault Renault RS01
Renault RE40
Renault RE60
Williams FW14
Benetton B195
Williams FW18
Renault R202
Honouring its comeback in F1 racing. Depicting a feather [17]
2003 Ford Ford GT40 Mk. II 100th anniversary. Depicting the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race and its famous finish. As the actual cars were on track, those displayed are replicas. [18]
2004 Rolls-Royce Supermarine S.6
Campbell-Railton Blue Bird
Bluebird K4 replica
100th anniversary, indicating the brand's supremacy in record breaking on land, sea and air [19]
2005 Honda Honda RA272
Honda RA300
Lotus 99T
Williams FW11
McLaren MP4/4
BAR 006
Of them all displayed, three of these including two Hondas, as the genuine cars ran, are replicas. [20][21]
2006 Renault Renault Type AK 90CV
Renault R26
100th anniversary of Grand Prix racing. Used as a shelter for its Formula One cars that is designed to channel sound. Using a laptop, the cars can produce music out of its engine. Two tunes were performed, one of those played is God Save the Queen [22]
2007 Toyota Toyota TS010
Toyota Celica GT-Four
Toyota GT-One
Lola B2/00
Toyota TF107
Inspired by the traditional torii gates. Celebrating its 75th anniversary and 50 years involvement in motor sport. [23][24]
2008 Land Rover Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Freelander
Range Rover
60th anniversary. Indicating the brand's "any terrain" essence. [25]
2009 Audi Audi R8
Auto Union Type C Streamliner
100th anniversary Sculpture depicting the road from the streamliner to the R8 forming a loop in front of the house. ,[26][26]
2010 Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo P2
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
100th anniversary [27]
2011 Jaguar Cars Celebrating 50 years of the Jaguar E-Type
2012 Lotus Lotus 49
Lotus 79
Lotus 99T
Lotus E20
'Past, Present and Future'
2013 Porsche Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
Porsche 911 991
50th anniversary of 911 [28]
2014 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz W25
Mercedes AMG W04
120 years in motorsport [29]
2015 Mazda Mazda 787B
Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo
2016 BMW BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, Brabham-BMW BT52 & BMW V12 LMR BMW Motorsport success [30]

Hillclimb fastest times

Rank Year Driver Car Fastest Time
1 1999 Germany Nick Heidfeld McLaren MP4/13 0:41.60
2 2003 United Kingdom Graeme Wight, Jr. Gould GR51 0:42.90
3 2008 United Kingdom Justin Law Jaguar XJR8/9 0:44.19
4 2009 United Kingdom Justin Law Jaguar XJR8/9 0:44.40
5 2014 France Sébastien Loeb Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak 0:44.60
6 2009 United Kingdom Gary Ward Leyton House-Judd CG901B 0:44.64
7 2015 United Kingdom Olly Clark Subaru Impreza "Gobstopper II" 0:44.91
8 2014 Germany Michael Bartels Maserati MC12 Goodwood Cent 100 0:45.82
9 2013 United Kingdom Justin Law Jaguar XJR8/9 0:45.95
10 2016 United Kingdom Olly Clark Subaru Impreza "Gobstopper II" 0:46.23

Appearance in media

Goodwood festival of speed event is available in Gran Turismo 6.


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  2. "Goodwood". Goodwood. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  3. "James Hunt inspired McLaren P1 GTR to feature at Goodwood". Evo. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  4. "Goodwood Festival of Speed: Forest Rally Stage - Telegraph".
  5. "Cartier 'Style et Luxe' at Goodwood Festival of Speed".
  6. "Cartier hosts annual Style et Luxe competition at Goodwood Festival of Speed".
  7. Williams, David (2010-04-29). "Goodwood Festival of Speed: Moving Motor Show". London. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  8. "MMS and Auto Trader for 2011". 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  9. "tickets". Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  10. "Goodwood announces new Festival of Speed poster artist". Telegraph. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  11. "Goodwood Action Sports (GAS) at the Festival of Speed". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  12. "incidents Mar Goodwood Festival of Speed". Atlas F1. Haymarket Publishing. 2000-06-28.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Walsh, Mick. "Gerry Judah :: Judah's Piece (article)". Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  14. 1 2 3 "Festival of Speed Goodwood - Story". 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  15. "DKW & Auto Union in South Africa - DKW". Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  16. "Festival of Speed - Archive - 2001 Review - Friday". Goodwood. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  17. "Festival of Speed - Archive - 2002 Review - Friday". Goodwood. 2002-12-07. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  18. "Festival of Speed - Archive - 2003 Review - Friday". Goodwood. 2003-11-07. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  19. "Festival of Speed, Goodwood 2004". 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  20. "Honda Worldwide | June 23, 2005 "Honda Main Sponsor at 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed"". 2005-06-23. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  21. "Bruno's pages : Projects : The Honda Sculpture at Goodwood". 2005-12-19. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  22. "Festival of Speed - Archive - 2006 Review - Friday". Goodwood. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  23. "Celebrating 50 years of Toyota motor sport at the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed". Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  24. "Festival of Speed - Archive - 2007 Review - Friday". Goodwood. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  25. "Celebrating 60 Years of Land Rover". 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  26. 1 2 "Festival of Speed - Latest News". Goodwood. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  27. "Festival of Speed - Latest News". Goodwood. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  28. "50 Years of the Porsche 911". Porsche. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  29. "Mercedes-Benz central feature to celebrate 120 years of winning". Goodwood Road and Racing. Goodwood. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  30. "BMW heads up 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speedg". Autocar. 2016-03-08.
  31. "The top five fastest cars from Goodwood". 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
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Coordinates: 50°52′5″N 0°44′5″W / 50.86806°N 0.73472°W / 50.86806; -0.73472

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