Saturday, June 23, 2007

Goodwood 2007

On Friday I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Mark Perry, Ed Altenburger and Rich Cumbers.

We all had free tickets from The Times. We arrived at about 10:45 and despite having driven through some heavy showers to get there, and we could see big black clouds in the distance, the ground was dry. That's important as the F1 cars don't like the rain.

After a quick look at some cars doing a run up the track (there isn't a circuit, it's a hill climb) we started our tour of the major manufacturers' stands. The Ford stand had 5 different versions of the new Mondeo. It has a suprisingly nice interior (for a Mondeo).

The Mercedes stand had more impressive, and expensive, cars. Nice...

Whenever there were cars on the track we'd go and watch. The Wacky Races cars were mildly amusing

After lunch - a tasty Indian kebab - we watched the modern supercars leave from the starting line. Some did massive wheelspins, some were a bit skittish under heavy acceleration, some just went very fast with no fuss (Bugatti Veyron) and one looked like the driver couldn't find 2nd gear.

Then we checked out the environmentally friendly concept cars...

and the trials bikes.

Then we went half way up the hill and watched the cars and bikes screaming up the track. As always the Formula 1 cars sounded just awesome. The modern superbikes were impressive too, with them being wheelied for at least 100 metres. When the Red Bull F1 car came back down it stopped about 10 metres away from our position and then did a massive burnout down the hill. Just superb :) Ed's got it on video, I'll add a link soon.

At one point it started to rain at the bottom of the circuit but was still sunny where we were (which partly explains my sunburn).

Then we went up to the rally stage and saw Peter Solberg in this year's Subura WRC car flying over the newly constructed jump. We also saw Colin McRae's car doing the rally stage and then later up close

On the way back down the hill we saw this year's Ford Focus WRC car do a double doughnut at the hairpin bend that is furthest down the hill. Very cool.

Finally we went past this year's main showpiece

to the back of the house to see the Ferrari exhibition and the Supercars.

I've normally got no interest in old cars but there was one that really caught my eye. It has a striking modern metallic light blue paint job that doesn't come through in the photo.

I'm sure I've missed out several other cool things, and I don't have that many photos as I decided that in general it's better to get the full experience rather than be half focussed on the camera and half on the action. Thankfully it seems that Ed disagrees as he's got some great stills and videos.

There's far too much to do in one day at Goodwood. If we can go again next year I'd like to get there much earlier to try and see a lot more of it.

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