Gridlocked Going to Goodwood but Savoured the Speed in Sussex!
I find it unbelievable to think that in all the years I have covered motorsport I have never been to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Considering I am a self confessed petrol head and have spent the majority of my career loving all things on 4 wheels why have I never made the ‘pilgrimage’ to West Sussex?
Well this year I put that right. It was an early morning call at the hotel I stayed in the night before in Southsea and I couldn’t quite understand why so early – 0600 until my client at Porsche explained that ‘the traffic gets really bad’ but that was indeed an understatement. 5 miles to go on the satnav and I was literally gridlocked. 2 and a half hours later and I was parked up at last. So too were tens of thousands of people who had made the journey for the first day of the Festival. I know it’s regarded as the ‘largest motoring garden party in the world’ but I was starting to think what was all the fuss about?
As I made my way up the hill my first stop was the ‘Moving Motorshow’ where new models were on show for the first time in the UK. As I carried on my journey it was the smell of fumes and the sounds of beautiful machinery that captured my senses. I had literally stumbled on one of the paddocks where some of the most historic race cars were revving their engines ready to set a quick time on the Goodwood Hillclimb. I was in my element – this was exciting stuff.
After a quick pitstop for breakfast in the Porsche Le Mans cafe it was off to see some of the classic Le Mans Sports cars before heading to see a very special parade. This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most popular and iconic sports cars – the 911 which has been at the very heart of the Porsche brand for the last 5 decades. And what a sight to see models over the past 50 years line up to take to the Hillclimb. After chatting to Vic ‘Quick Vic’Elford (one of the fastest drivers in the Sixties and Seventies) and Richard Attwood who was reunited with his co-driver Hans Herrmann (they secured Porsche’s first ever victory at Le Mans in the seventies) there was a great sense of nostalgia as we reflected on the truly great moments in Motorsport over the years.
With the parade over I headed back to the car. As I cast one more glance, with a live band playing on the Cartier Lawn, the roar of engines and thousands of people milling about watching the Red Arrows overhead I decided the traffic jam that morning was definitely worth it as Goodwood is an event to savour!