Since 1993, England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed has celebrated all eras of cars and racing, usually during the days between June and July. It’s a wondrous and high-spirited event, with spectators sharing space with pit crew members and race car drivers alike. I just went to see it for myself and holy shit, it was indeed good.
(Full disclosure: I attended the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed as a guest of Subaru, who paid for my flight, put me up in a very nice hotel and fed me continuously. And also helicoptered me to and from the Festival.)
There’s something for everyone at the Festival of Speed. Vintage race cars, priceless classics, motorcycles and modern exotics are only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re planning on attending the Festival, be ready to walk: I myself logged nearly 20 miles over the course of two days.
Accessibility is what makes the Festival so special. Stroll through the pits and you’ll have basically unfettered access to everything there. Strike up a conversation with a technician. Lick a race car (if you’re sneaky). Smell the gasoline. Drink in the incredible symphony of old F1 engines. If you’re lucky, the drivers themselves will be standing around, chatting with fans and running through their car’s diagnostics with their teams.
And the best thing of all? The dry British humor of the people in charge of the pit’s PA system: “We’d like to remind you that smoking is prohibited in the pit. It does not make you smart or clever or cool. Yes, we’re talking you in the white hat and the red shirt.”
These are photos of manufacturer exhibits, classics, the pits and the parking lot, which in itself is a show. And the people-watching was sublime. Basically, anything that was stationary made it into this album.