Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018

Pre-war Mercedes

Celebration, that seemed to be the unofficial theme of this year’s Festival of Speed. The event itself was marking its 25th year, the centre lawn sculpture was celebrating Porsche 70th birthday and there was also the parade of Land Rovers celebrating their 70th birthday too. And for me, I was celebrating turning up in my ‘supercar’. Two years ago I left the 2016 Festival of Speed saying to myself ‘when I return next year it will be in my own 911’. A year later I had the 911 but didn’t take it to Goodwood as I was driven there by a friend. So this year I had to drive my 911. To make it even more special, I booked supercar parking for the Thursday. We all have things that make us feel good, those little personal fist pump moments, this was one of mine. Driving onto the Goodwood estate in my 911, with the ‘supercar parking’ pass felt great — small pleasures.

Porsche Moby Dick side profile

Even without its massive whale-tail Moby Dick looks intimidating.

Previously I’ve always attended for a single day and this event is far too big to see everything in a day, so you have to make choices. In the past, Thursdays have been quiet on the hill, so I’ve walked around the paddock and static displays without the worry of ‘missing out’ on the track action. When attending on only the Friday I’ve always been torn between the two and that’s not taking into account either the rally stage or the off-road course. This year I booked tickets for Thursday & Friday with a plan of action. Thursday I’d spend my time mainly in the paddock and static displays, taking photos, and Friday I’d spend the day with friends enjoying the atmosphere without worrying about missing out on the paddock action.

However, this year the hill saw proper action on Thursday too, so once again I was torn. My early entry, the low volume of people and the beautiful morning sun gave me some great opportunities for image making. After a while, I realised that the lack of people lost some of the atmosphere normally associated with Goodwood. It didn’t take long for the venue to fill with people, then I had the opposite problem, there’s no pleasing some.

Mercedes 1937 W125 Silver Arrow

Ferrari engineers will do everything to understand the Mercedes advantage.
However, tracking this 1937 W125 might be taking things a bit to far.

Spending two days at the Festival of Speed certainly takes the pressure off when trying to take it all in, but even with the extra day this year I still didn’t see everything. Probably as I spent most of my time behind the lens trying to capture images. On that note, I came home with 1804 images, which are far too many – especially when it comes to editing them. Next year my goal will be to take less, but better, images and not rely on volume in the hope that I capture some good ones.

Mazda RX-7 'Madbul'
Mad Mike’s amazing Mazda RX-7 ‘Madbul’ drift car. Possibly my favourite car at the festival.

Porsche 904/8
Porsche 904/8 from 1964 used the flat 8 F1 engine and only ever raced as a prototype.

1949 Mille Miglia winning Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta
1949 Mille Miglia winning Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, owned and driven by Sally Mason-Styrron. This was the first car to run up the hill at the first Festival of speed in 1993

Red and white rally Porsche 911 SC RS
Porsche 911 SC RS, originally driven by Henri Toivonen in the 1984 European Championship.

Red Singer Vehicle Design DLS
This Singer DLS running up and down the hill gave us all the opportunity to hear the wonderful sound from the Williams developed engine. This is the full package, looking and sounding great. I’m guessing it drives great too as I doubt I’ll ever get to drive one, but I trust these folks.

René Arnoux Renault RS01
René Arnoux Renault RS01. This car is responsible for my love of Formula 1. As a kid, I had the F1 Scalextric set with this and the six-wheel March Williams. On my track, as in real life, the Renault was supreme.

Front end of Porsche 917-23
Porsche 917 #23 again, my favourite livery at the Festival of Speed

Alfa Romeo P3 (Tipo B)
James Wood giving the 1935 Alfa Romeo P3 (Tipo B) some welly up the hill.

Topping up the radiator
Paddock action

The cutting room floor

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