Out and about

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021


Tom Senior

Director Classic Car Finance

Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS) is one of the highlights of the motoring enthusiast's calendar, and this year even more so since 2020's did not go ahead as planned.

On the Friday it was warm and sunny, where shorts would have been in order rather than the obligatory chinos. I even put the roof up on my car on the way back for fear of my head getting fried!

This was my first year attending, equipped with only a vague idea of what to expect. We were lucky enough to be in the Startline Club, which is a hospitality area, oddly enough, near the startline based in the Goodwood Hotel.  It provided a relaxed environment and the food in particular, really hit the spot.

I have attended Revival a few times, another event held at Goodwood, which is later in the year and down at the circuit, whereas FoS is "on the drive" leading up to the house. I had not quite appreciated the scale of FoS, and it would be entirely suitable to do it over 2 days.

With so much to see and do, these were my highlights…

Aston Martin Valkyrie

  • In its first public outing, its naturally aspirated V12 sounded like nothing else this side of a formula one car and revs to an astonishing 11,000rpm.  It could be heard from anywhere, and given its rarity, power, and expense it was nowhere near "full chat". It deserves to do very well, though clearly a race car for the road. Larger humans need not apply!

Ferrari 250 GTO

  • This was closely followed by Nick Mason's famous Ferrari 250 GTO. This is a car that is used with enthusiasm (as it should be) and people are beginning to appreciate how special it is. It too has a gloriously sonorous V12 that is unmistakably Ferrari, you can begin to understand why it is probably worth in excess of £50m.

We were also treated to the first display of the Red Arrows in 2021 as a lunch time treat, very spectacular with their coloured con trails.

There was a huge variety of other cars going "up the road", as Friday is a practice day, though not timed, many were giving it a good go. The record is just under 40 seconds, but anything from mid-40s to mid-50s is good. The full suite of modern supercar manufacturers were in attendance, including: Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, along with a number of smaller, newer players.

For me, these paled in comparison to the historic cars, which unlike most of the wares from the quartet above, you will not see on a near daily basis on your local high street or when you are out and about. So vintage Bentleys, historic Formula 1 cars, classic touring cars, were more exciting for me to be in the presence of.

My summary of the day only just scratches the surface of the event itself. I didn't get to visit some of the areas in full, including the paddocks north of the main house, the various stores, kids' area, car displays, and sections dedicated to an electric future.

Overall, a fantastic day, and I would strongly recommend attendance, particularly if you have never been before, and if you can, then do find a way to do it over two days. Here's to 2022!