This Is The Beautiful, Quieter Side To The Goodwood Festival Of Speed
Photography by Jayson Fong
Once a year the Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together some of the most iconic cars from across the century for one of the world’s best motoring festivals. Now in its 23rd year, many are familiar with images from Lord March’s driveway as the most lauded cars in the world tackle the Goodwood hillclimb in front of thousands of eager car lovers from around the world.
To say that there is a quiet side of Goodwood would be a bit of a stretch, with celebrities, legendary drivers and their cars everywhere—it has everything a motoring festival should have. However, quieter parts away from the grandstands do exist, and although not plentiful, there are small moments on the course that feature nothing more than man, machine, road, and hay bales—echoing a time in motorsport that has long since passed.
One of those moments is at the iconic flint wall, where driver commitment to the climb is tested. Although not accessible to the public, many have watched footage of this make or break point on the climb—but I can guarantee that it is a completely different experience to be there. Nestled in a patch of forest, it is a place of calm among the crowds elsewhere on the course, and although only a few metres away from open spectating areas it is strangely quiet and peaceful. New or old, the cars all look spectacularly at home here as they power out of the darkness and into the sunlight.
This natural beauty is similarly repeated at the top of the hill as the cars cross the line and head towards the top paddock, an area that is (for the most part) quieter than it should be, considering all the burnouts and powerslides that occur and the time you get to see the machines.
From Nico Rosberg in his “Silver Arrow” Mercedes-Benz W07 hybrid Formula 1 car to Mad Mike and Ken Block and their sideways antics, making a spectacle and clouds of rubber was the name of the game.
Over the weekend, this was by far my favourite spot at the festival. Away from the occasionally overwhelming crowd in front of Goodwood House below, the top paddock seemed like the best place for the drivers to relax, unwind, and get close to the fans. For those willing to make the climb, the top of the hill is the quieter option…and definitely worth the effort to get there, but be quick to enjoy the silence, it won’t be too quiet for long…!