A brief walk around the Goodwood Festival Of Speed

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Last year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed was my first, and it was pretty daunting, to say the least. The sheer size and scale of the site and the number of things going on simultaneously can be pretty overwhelming for a Festival virgin. This year, I was much better prepared and had a sort-of plan in my head – although distraction is a major issue; there’s always something incredible happening to tempt you away from where you’re headed.

Anyway, here’s a little snapshot of my day at the Festival.

Pretty much the first thing you come across as you make your way onto the site is artist Gerry Judah’s Central Feature. This year’s sculpture, while possibly not quite as dramatic as 2018’s Porsche-themed piece, was still quite a sight to behold, with an actual Aston Martin DBR1 suspended high above the crowds.

I also took a 360˚ video of the Aston Martin moment – see my other blog post.

My first port of call is always the Cartier Style Et Luxe lawn, as this is where the really rare and unique stuff lives. Plus, if I get there early enough, I can usually have the lawn to myself for a little while. This year, the exhibits did not disappoint.

From there, it’s off to the paddock areas to get a sneak preview of what’s going to be running up the hill throughout the weekend. I’ll make a mental note of anything that I particularly want to capture and check the schedules to plan when I need to be on the hill to catch it.

By this time, the action on the hill is usually in full swing, so I’ll find a decent spot to get some good motion shots. The hill can be pretty mesmerising, with a non-stop high-speed parade of incredible machinery, but I’ll always try to be mindful of what’s going on around me to capture a few candid images. People’s reactions to the action can often be as entertaining as the cars themselves.

At some point, I’ll start the long trek up the hill to the rally stage. It’s exhausting, especially when the temperature is in the upper twenties, but there are a couple of good shooting points along the way to break the journey and take a much-needed breather.

The offroad and rally stages are incredibly dusty and dirty, which is the last thing you need when you’re slick with sweat, but the action is never anything less than epic.

In fact, everywhere you go at the Festival Of Speed, something is shredding its tyres and disappearing into a cloud of smoke. Any journey across the site will take twice as long as you anticipate because around every corner is a wonderful distraction.

Motorbikes aren’t really my thing, but some of them were admittedly great fun to watch.

Even the more sedate areas of the Festival held innumerable treasures to discover, with lots of manufacturers displaying their visions of motoring’s future. I was particularly impressed with Polestar’s line-up.

And it was nice to finally see the next-gen VW bus in the flesh. It looks just as good as I’d hoped.

But one thing I wasn’t expecting was the return of De Tomaso. The P72 is absolutely stunning, and a worthy successor to the Pantera and Mangusta. Although some of the styling detail is a little bit too bling for my taste, you can’t deny it’s an incredible looking machine.

One to keep an eye on in the future, the Extreme E electric off-road racer announced ambitious plans to bring a new race series to parts of the planet adversely affected by climate change. So imagine these things blasting through the rainforest or slip-sliding across the polar icecaps, and tell me that’s not the most exciting thing to happen to motorsport in, well, forever.

And finally, one last shot to finish – my favourite (and hardest to capture) of the weekend. I don’t think I really need to caption this one.

If you’d like to see more of my images from this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed, visit my website gallery.

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