The Earl of March has announced the dates for the 2009 Goodwood Festival Of Speed, held on the Goodwood estate in Chichester, West Sussex. The annual festival comprises of a celebration of motor sport, it’s heritage and future as well as being a superb venue for fans of anything automotive to get very close to their heroes and their cars. The Festival Of Speed also features a hillclimb, where all day cars from many eras run up and down. 2009’s festival will take place on the weekend of 3rd to 5th July, 2009.
Having been for the past two years, I can thoroughly recommend the Festival and the weekend is truly a great experience. Although it can get crowded at times, and if the weather turns nasty it can dampen the spirits a little. But to be able to get so close to some of the world’s greatest cars is one memory you’ll never forget.
Last year while in the Formula One paddock, Christian Klien almost ran me over as he rolled back to his enclosure in the BMW. I’ll never forget the wave he gave me when I gathered myself together and crouched down in front of his car for one final photograph. Unfortunately, I was too late to capture the wave, but it does show just how close you get to the cars if you have to leap out of the way of a Formula One machine.
The weekend isn’t just about Formula One though, and while the theme for 2009 hasn’t been set yet, there is so much to do you will never be able to fit it all into one day. Cars old and new tear up the hillclimb where the drivers and riders sign autographs and pose for photos. The rally stage is situated in the woodland area off the side and the paddock for the rally cars is also at the top of the hill. At the bottom there are displays galore, plenty of refreshment stands, a music stage and plenty of things to keep you occupied. The Formula One paddock is located just off to the side of Goodwood House and the Cathedral paddock and Cartier Style et Luxe are situated near to the the main entrance.
To get a feel for just how busy the schedule is, and to see what was driven up the hill and by whom in 2008, please visit BlogF1’s previous article which lists all the main runners and riders. Photographs from last year’s festival can be seen in the 2008 gallery post, while more from the previous two years can be seen in the gallery.
Although expensive, the Festival is well worth a visit and great fun for all the family. You’ll rarely get a chance to get your smudgy fingerprints all over a Bugatti Veyron, a Ford Thunderbird and a McLaren MP4-23 all in one day.
More information is available at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed website.
Thumbnail image by Harry_S, uploaded to Flickr and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic.