Funny to think that essentially, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is like playing in your best friend’s back garden. Only with added burnouts, oodles of corrective lock and the wail of a thousand splendid supercars. Yep, this is a very Top Gear garden party.
Which is why we’re out in force at this year’s annual extravaganza in Lord March’s palatial grounds. One of the BMW instructors who rode shotgun during TG.com’s run up the hill in an M6 - more on that later - summed it up nicely when he said: “He’s a nice chap to let us tear about on his lawn”.
As you know, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Speed, and it’s shaping up to be an absolute scorcher, not least because for once, the weathermen might actually be right about the sun. Though regardless of the weather, there’s no denying the sheer goodwill of the show goers, all effusive and eager to talk shop.
There’s Porsche’s epic tribute to its venerable 911 - which celebrates 50 years of production - along with Aston’s continuing year-long celebration of its centenary, a gaggle of the finest, coolest Martini racers in history, a brace of new cars making their debuts (including the Le Mans-inspired Jaguar ‘Project 7’), lots of Formula One cars (and stars) and of course, the finest supercars… in the world. One of which was a bronze-coloured Ferrari FF that set about tearing the hillclimb a new one. Suffice to say, hearing that V12 being shown the impolite side of an extended throttle pedal made a lot of people very happy indeed.
As mentioned, we’re there all weekend, so click through for the highlights from Goodwood: Day One. It’s like a film series, only with less rubbish payday sequels and more gratuitous horsepower. Feel free to title the series yourself below, only don’t go for the Terminator franchise, because we don’t like the implications of a Goodwood: Rise of the Machines…
Words: Vijay Pattni
Photography: Rowan Horncastle