This year marked 20 years of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and in 2013, the four-day event proved to be more successful, bigger and better than ever in the glorious Sussex sunshine.
Just a short drive from T W White & Sons’ stamping ground, it’s an easy journey to the Earl of March’s estate, playing host to hundreds of vehicles – from famous Formula One racers and drivers, to the most modern supercars and automotive exotica. If you’re a petrolhead, you’d be in heaven at Goodwood.
Everything from race cars that did battle at the turn of the 20th century to the most modern of road-going supercars and F1 racers streak up the hill to the soundtrack of squealing tyres, a crescendo of revs and the roar of applause from the fans – crowds can even get so close to the action you can really smell the burning rubber.
Marking two decades of the Festival, the event has grown into such a spectacle that manufacturers are having massive input, too, with many choosing to actually launch new models at the ‘Moving Motorshow’ on the Thursday, letting the public poke around them for the rest of the weekend.
There were plenty of attraction to view, as well, with Porsche celebrating 50 years of the 911 at the event and taking over the central sculpture, Aston Martin reinforcing its 100-year anniversary, McLaren commemorating a half-century of racing and Lamborghini also notching up the half-tonne.
Event-goers couldn’t have asked for better weather either, and it meant the aerobatic displays from the Red Arrows and the Eurofighter Typhoon were clearly visible by all in the grounds of Goodwood House.
As part of the Festival of Speed, the final day on Sunday every year sees the top 20 fastest cars from the weekend duke it out against the clock for the honour of the fastest car up the hill.
2013 was no different, with the top three contenders an eclectic mix of old-school technology, ruthless speed and futuristic zero-emissions propulsion.
Sebastian Loeb’s Pikes Peak winning Peugeot 208 T16 went up against Justin Law’s 25-year-old Jaguar Le Mans racer and the world’s fastest electric car, the Drayson Racing EV.
Proving it’s not just a top speed machine, the Drayson car came in third, completing the 1.16-mile hill climb up Lord March’s driveway in a fantastic time of 47.34 seconds.
Surprisingly, the ultra-modern 875hp four-wheel drive Peugeot was beaten by the Big Cat – the French fancy stopping the clock in 47.32 seconds while the XJR8/9 with Law at the wheel finished first in a time of 45.95 seconds.
Goodwood 2013 was as glorious as it gets: racing cars, sunshine and a community of like-minded enthusiasts. The first 20 years have been fantastic. Here’s to the next 20 at the Fesitval of Speed.