A Soul-Stirring Occasion

02 July 2022

I had the opportunity of visiting the Goodwood Festival of Speed, thanks to the good offices of McLaren; not only that, I had the rare pleasure (not sure about the pleasure) of being driven there by my son in a McLaren 720S Spider. 

The Goodwood Festival of Speed claims to be the world’s greatest celebration of motorsport and car culture!

The Central Feature created just before Goodwood House was a colossal sculpture paying homage to 50 years of the BMW Motorsport Division.

Every petrolhead’s taste was catered for, with numerous exhibitors from Supercars to the former MotoGP Honda star Dani Pedrosa. You have unrestricted access to the machines and the heroes that made them famous.

At the centre of this wildly deafening event is the iconic Hillclimb, where history is made. You can watch (and listen, no chance of talking) Formula 1, W Series, and BTCC drivers take to the Hill in vehicles from the Main, Supercar and First Glance Paddocks.

Sunday Shootout

This year the McMurtry Spéirling (means Thunderstorm) set an outright Hillclimb record. It broke the Goodwood record by almost a full second with former F1 driver Max Chilton behind the wheel. The record time was 39.08 seconds; both the official shootout record of 41.6s from Nick Heidfeld in McLaren MP4/13 F1 and the unofficial outright record from Roman Dumas in the VW ID.R of 39.9 were comprehensively beaten.

Regarding production cars, none qualified in the top ten, but the Lucid Air EV, driven by none other than the Stig (Ben Collins), finished 12th, recording a final run of 50.70 seconds.

The Festival of Speed warrants the claim, ‘it has become the greatest, best attended and most eclectic festival of motoring on the planet.’