Festival of Speed – All you need to know
- Festival of Speed – All you need to know
Goodwood – The Festival of Speed. A mixture of Ascot racing, Formula 1 and Car Corral. An homage to racing, but not serious racing. Every year more than 150,000 people visit Goodwood in July to experience champagne, drifts, old racing champions and race cars that have made history throughout motorsports.
Anyone who enjoys cars, speed, and, British composure must visit the Festival of Speed at least once. There is nothing like it in the world. In this article you will find all important information about the Festival of Speed, tips for the Festival visit, and exciting background stories.
What Awaits you at the Festival of Speed
A full-throttle spectacle and British Nobility
Stylishly dressed people in white jackets and straw hats stroll leisurely over perfectly trimmed English lawns.
Clear English skies are found over Goodwood House. Majestic, ancient trees provide soothing shade, while you drink cider and champagne on tables made of durable Teak wood. This is Goodwood, south of London, a few miles from the coast
Suddenly an impressive roar breaks the silence. A cloud of smoke rises in the sky as a monster of a motorcycle with almost 1000hp rockets from behind a stack of straw bales and vanishes with breathtaking speed past Goodwood House right out of your sight..
Flight squadrons of the Royal Air Force perform spectacular color stripes in the sky.
This is a spot where English nobility would celebrate distinguished tea parties, but on today the landlord Lord March lets everything that is loud, fast, and extraordinary race over the driveway to the Goodwood House.
Above the grand park, in front of the summer residence, it now smells of burnt rubber, hot oil, adrenaline and gasoline.
The everyday-Englishman looks at this entire parade relaxed and with pure amusement written all over their face.
In Italy this display would shock every viewer, given the incredible density of prominent racers, exceptional sports cars, and exclusive vintage cars.
It is precisely this combination of full-throttle spectacle and British nobility that makes up the very special charm and uniqueness of the Festival of Speed.
Experience the FOS
If you want to get up-close and personal at Goodwood, you should embark with Nostalgic on this amazing travel offer to the Festival of Speed: a guaranteed unforgettable experience for every car fan.
The Festival of Speed live and up-close with NostalgicDiscover Travel
“The Hillclimb: The Race in Goodwood
The Goodwood Hillclimb is an important and popular part of the International automotive and motorsport world to this day.
From Thursday to Sunday, twice a day it is all about the hundreds of new and vintage cars that race the mountain.
Only those personally invited by the landlord Lord March are allowed to participate in the races. Unlike a lot of other famous vintage car rallies, not everybody has a chance to compete.
Those invited are exceptional vehicles and champions from across all racing classes and generation. They range from the DTM scene, Formula 1, Rally Sport, MotoGP, Drift Competition, Motocross, 24 H Endurance Race, Indy Car Race Series and NASCAR
The important criteria for racing is fast and loud.
The racetrack is 1.86 kilometers long and has over 9 turns past Goodwood House. The track has a slight slope and that is how it received the name Hill Climb.
The course record held for 20 years by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4 /13 from the Formula 1 series was finally defeated in 2019 for the first time by an electric car; a Volkswagen ID R
During the “Forest Rally” stage, the Rally vehicles push their engines to the limit through a segment of woodland near Goodwood House on the 2.5km gravel runway.
The most astounding moment of the FOS is on Sunday’s shootout, where riders compete against each other to get the fastest time.
Everything important about the Festival visit
The Festival of Speed extends over four days. The extravaganza always starts on Thursday and continues until Sunday.
Sunday and Saturday are the most thrilling, so of course, the nearly 200,000 guests gather to Goodwood on those days, but there are always amazing things that can happen any time.
#1 Admission, Tickets, and Prices
An admission past for the Festival for all four days costs around 200€ (approx. $225), a day-pass for 1-day admision is around 100€ (approx. $113)
You can easily order the tickets online (here on the Event website) or simply buy them at location. However, you should take into consideration the time or long queues at the cash registers.
#2 Tips about the Food
Visitors can get food and drink from countless foodtrucks that have their own unique flairs.
For those who prefer it more elegant and English, you can buy hospitality packages from the organization, dine on Teak tables, and watch the spectacle under cozy awnings.
Anyone lucky enough to be invited by the main sponsors: Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard or the official champagne supplier, can sit in the shade of elegant gazebos and get caviar and champagne all day long.
Beware: there are dress codes in some pavilions! So it is important to prepare for elegance. Sport shorts are taboo. A jacket is often required.
#3 Directions to the Festival of Speed
The Goodwood estate is about an hour’s drive south of London and is easily accessible by car. There is an immensely large parking lot which is free.
It is important to consider, however, that at peak times the parking lot can be heavily jammed with traffic.
By train you can travel from London Victoria Station to Chichester and then continue by bus to Goodwood. This journey works, but can be quite elaborate and complicated for those unfamiliar with public transportation.
The accommodation businesses on-site are unfortunately reserved for special (honorary) guests.
For campers, however, there is the possibility to sleep on the Goodwood grounds. There is, as a trade-off, limited comforts though: no showers, water connections, electricity, etc. If a more luxurious accomodation appeals to you however, you can book a spot in the five-star Concierge Camping in Cichester and live in modern bungalows.
There are also many smaller hotels and amenities on the coast about 30 minutes south of Goodwood. A timely reservation is highly recommended.
Tip: Experience the Festival of Speed with Nostalgic on a special tour
Significantly more relaxed and with exclusive insights you can experience the Festival of Speed with Nostalgic. We will spare you the nerve-racking travel planning. On our journey, even without an Olympic gold medal or Formula 1 trophy, you are the real VIP.
Not only will you experience the allure of the Festival of Speed up-close, but also we will take a helicopter flight over Goodwood. A stunning supporting program with AMG driving training on their modern test track and off-road training, as well as other motorsport highlights that would make this trip unforgettable.
Would you like to join Nostalgic on the next Festival of Speed?Check available spots
The origins of the FOS – The Duke asks for Goodwood
It all started in Goodwood with planes from the British Royal Airforce
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the Air Ministry had begun to build runways on the sprawling lands owned by the Duke of Richmond. This was to create a fallback for the Tangmere military airport.
It was designed to create a ring road, which would connect all the runways.
When the World War ended, the runways, hangars and roads were no longer needed. But, the motorsport enthusiast, Duke of Richmond, already had an idea how he wanted to use the new vacant location.
He had the ring road rebuilt into a racetrack – the “Goodwood Circuit” – and from there organized how he wanted the racing to begin.
On September 18, 1948, the first race took place. The races ran until 1966, where the elites of motorsport met in Goodwood to compete with each other.
After 1966, things became quieter, the tracks were used intermittently by motorsport teams and car manufacturers
The Birth of the Festival of Speed
It was Charles March, the 11th Duke of Richmond, who revitalized the legendary Hillclimb – a 1.86km long, gently sloping road that leads to Goodwood House – and launched the Festival of Speed in 1998. He did so as a memento of the legendary hillclimb races of his grandfather’s era.
Years later, the Festival of Speed is a world-class spectacle
Goodwood would become the mecca for “Petrol heads”.
Best of Festival of Speed 2018
2In 2018, Porsche celebrated its 70th birthday at Goodwood by bringing every vehicle that has won any important race over the course of its lifetime.
A Unique Vehicle Parade
Walking through the paddock, everyone can admire the Silver Arrows from the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Next to those you will find more eye candy: the Ferrari GTO by Nick Mason (drummer of Pink Floyd).
Martini Racing brought the Lancia Rally cars to Goodwood, in order to shake up the rally race track through the area. However, boldly and bravely next to such a beast, in the adjacent box: the legendary Ford GTs from Gulf Racing were waiting to be let loose.
It isn’t uncommon for some Formula 1 racing teams to go down there in the paddock close to the people and present the latest technology to astonished visitors.
At the Michelin Super Car Pavilion, Ferrari shows new, street-legal, vehicles with which a few customers can experience their own racing series. Koenigsegg, Aston Martin, McLaren, Pagani, Bugatti, and even more exotic manufactuerers show the types of cars you can buy for the right price.
You won’t find better, more expensive, or faster cars anywhere else.
Royal Airforce Aerobatic Relay “Red Arrow”
The aerobatic team of the British army flies with vintage planes from 1979.
The BAE Systems Hawk T1 is powered by Rolls Royce engines and paints the English sky in stripes with the colors of the Union Jack – blue, red and white.
Meetings with Superstars of Racing
The glamour of the Festival of Speed is huge in the racing scene.
Countless racing legends regularly are involved in the majesty of Goodwood.
The participant list from 2018 reads as a who’s-who of the racing scene
- 14-time World Record Holder of the Motorcycle World Championship Giacomo Agostin
- Stars from the Formula 1 World Championship such as Nico Rosberg
- Luis Hamilton
- Jenson Button
- Gerhard Berger
- Mika Hakkinen and
- Veterans of the motorsport world: Double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi
- 3-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart
- 5-time Rally Racing World Champion Sebastien Ogier
- Rally Racing Legend Walter Röhrl
- 24 h Le Mans Sieger und 5-timeChampion Derek Bell
- 3-time winner Klaus Ludwig
- 5-time Pikes Peak Champion Rod Millen and the lists goes on.
The rare experience that is the Festival of Speed:
Every visitor can go to the paddock and speak to the pilots if they have a chance.
Nowhere else can you get that close to the stars of motorsports.
There are no VIP passes, and celebrities often walk around freely.
Of course, a star like Hamilton has bodyguards, but the atmosphere is always relaxed and contact with the the legends is welcomed.
Festival of Speed 2019
The Motto of the 2019 was “Speed Kings-Motorsports Record Breakers.”
Special honors were given to record champion Michael Schumacher, who turned 50 this year and won his first Formula 1 race 25 years ago. Ferrari brought all the Formula 1 vehicles that had once been driven by Schumacher to pay their respect. So much is offered at Goodwood and it creates such a unique lineup on the racetrack.
Michael Schumacher’s family visited the FOS and his main rivals Mika Hakkinen and Damon Hill came to Goodwood to celebrate Schumacher and his unsurpassed racing successes.
Aston Martin celebrated its 70th birthday in Goodwood in 2019, exactly one year after Porsche, to celebrate, they brought an armada of seven decade’s worth of sports cars to Goodwood.
The view from the balcony of the Goodwood House to the unique collection of the Aston Martins was breathtaking. Then, standly triumphantly, strung upon the sculpture – painted with an Aston Martin in British Racing Green and mounted at a height of 30 meters on the top of the sculpture, is an image that is not easily forgotten ,
The “Michelin Supercar Run” is also becoming more spectacular and bigger every year.
While the street-legal sports cars were positioned a little further away from the center of the action in the previous year, the Supercar Paddock 2019 was placed in a very central location and became one of the most visited areas of the festival.
Seeing the Supercar Run’s field of participants feels like a real-life game of Super Cars that we used to play when we were young: Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, Lotus, Brabham, Pagani, Bentley, Ford GT, Mercedes AMG, De Thomaso, Dallara, Fenyr Zenvo, Apollo and many more exotics filled almost every inch of Goodwood.
The manufacturers have discovered the festival as a stage to showcase the latest creations and motorizations in front of an enthusiastic audience ready to see the next step in car performance, appearance, and class.
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