As a sport, lets face it, F1 isn’t the most accessible. For 18 of the 19 rounds of the season, the circus isn’t in your country and you are forced to follow through a mixture of free/paid TV programming and free/paid magazines or websites. Even when the season does eventually drag its way to Silverstone (or wherever your home circuit may be), entry prices can be eye-wateringly high, especially when taking children or significant others. And what do you get for your money? Well, (if you pay extra) you get to sit in a scaffolding grandstand around 200 meters from the track. Not Great.
Goodwood Festival of Speed offers a reprieve. A unique opportunity to get up close with modern (read 2 year old) F1 cars, as well as a host of other Motorsports paraphernalia and drivers.
Celebrating its 30th year this weekend past, Goodwood is a garden party for petrol-heads. The 1.16 mile “track” is a narrow and twisty slant through the grounds of Goodwood House. The record for firing yourself up the hill is held by non-other than F1 journeyman “Quick” Nick Heidfield, who completed the course in 41.6 seconds in Mika Häkkinen’s championship winning McLaren MP4/13. A record that is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon, as the organisers no-longer allow F1 cars to compete in timed runs.
Goodwood offers fans a chance to see vintage F1 cars driven by vintage F1 drivers. Jacky Stewart, Stirling Moss, Alan Prost and many others have all appeared over the last few years – in machinery that made them famous. There is nowhere else you can see that. There are also a collection of the world’s rarest and most exotic supercars, Le Mans cars (including Allan McNish’s 2013 winner), Nascars, dragsters, and more Motorbikes (old and new) that you can shake a stick at.
The paddock for all these cars and bikes is open to the public, you can literally walk up to a garage/tent and talk to the drivers and mechanics. The added to a close proximity to the course means you are never far from the action.
And all for less than the cost of a single day’s entrance to a Grand Prix. Bargain.