At the behest of his Lordship, you are invited to the world’s largest motor sport festival in Goodwood, a corner of the English countryside to the south of London which could not be prettier if it tried. Gently rolling hills, beautifully kept castles and hedge-lined meadows form a wonderful backdrop for this very British form of motor sport, which is far more to do with having fun than shaving off another 1/10 of a second from your lap. Such an enthusiastic and engaged audience can be found nowhere else.
The creator and organiser of the Festival of Speed event is the petrolhead, Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, Lord March for short. On a large estate owned by the family for centuries, a group of fans have been congregating since 1993 to marvel at the achievements of the automobile industry. People are drawn from all other the world to see the amazing racing cars, prototypes, showcars, motorbikes and watch an exciting air show. Many of the spectators also dress up in branded livery based on the year of construction of their vehicle, ranging from contemporary outfits through to centuries old garb, but there is a certain casual feel to the whole event. British through and through.
The hill climb event covers 1.16 miles and features nine corners to master. Juan Pablo Montoya said in the Sunday Times that it is the narrowest and bumpiest race track there is and has very little grip, but those know it, love it. Nick Heidfeld has held the track record since 1999 when he drove a McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 to victory with a time of 41.6 seconds.
A rather beautiful place to celebrate. The featured brand this year is the BMW Group, celebrating its 100th company anniversary. They are also the sponsors of the statue that stands outside Goodwood House. This, too, is a tradition with the BMW brand being bestowed every year. There will be two types of car to be seen on location - originals and brand new specimens. These include the original BMW 328 Touring Coupé ‘Superleggera’, the original BMW V12 LMP, a BMW M1 Procar and the Brabham BMW BT52 - the world champion Formula 1 car.
There will of course be a great selection of motorbikes, such as the BMW WR 750 Kompressor from 1929 (on loan from Jürgen Schwarzmann) and a BMW R50 S Kaczor from 1966 - prime examples of technical feats which are ideal for the Festival of Speed. This is the BMW Group’s biggest presence so far at this spectacular and unique event.
We are looking forward to an unforgettable and unique experience in a beautiful park landscape with hill climbs, an air show, exhibitions and many prominent guests of his Lordship. It all starts on Thursday the 23rd of June 2016 and runs until Sunday the 26th of June. If you would like to find out more and peruse the pictures, visit: www.goodwood.com