2016 Goodwood FoS
This year was the 2016 Goodwood FoS (aka « Festival of Speed »). For those who don’t know, the Festival of Speed is without a doubt the « biggest car event » on the planet, with an incredible amount of cars attending and going up the hill (the famous « Goodwood Hillclimb). But it’s not just cars: there are also bikes, racecars, trucks… basically, it’s a celebration of things with wheels. A real live motorshow.
After last year’s cock-up where I failed miserably and couldn’t attend (missing, in the process, cars such as the Ferrari P4/5 and many others), I thought it was pretty much a question of principle to attend this year. Well, I’m glad to say that I did. Everything was planned. After checking the weather, I learned with great sadness that it would be raining on thursday and a bit of friday (and basically, it would be). Say no more, I was already packing rain gear and preparing everything to make sure I wouldn’t have a hard time. That extra pair of pants was probably the best decision I’ve ever made.
This was the first day. Seeing how the weather was really bad, and there wouldn’t be a lot of track action that day, I decided to be as chill as possible, and basically try to avoid mud & getting dirty. You’ll be glad to learn I failed miserably at that. I thought today would be a good day to check-out the whole shops area as well as what was parked in the different paddocks, as well as all the big manufacturer houses (like BMW, Honda, Ford, and so on…).
This was the day I picked to spend some valuable time with the LARK BROTHERS. That’s the McLaren P1 GTR & McLaren F1 GTR, who both share the « Lark » livery. That was pretty pretty cool to see those two parked together on the GRRC club lawn. Even better? It was open to the public that day! The livery colours are very peculiar, that’s for certain. It’s not orange, it’s not red, it’s almost fluorescent. The best way to describe it would be to compare it to a highlighter.
Both cars are absolutely incredible, needless to say. The owner, who goes by the name « andyb74 » on Instagram, is certainly a lucky chap. And one with taste, I might add. Thanks for bringing them out together!
I met up with a few guys and we got to walking around. Actually, we even looking for a specific P1. The « austin yellow » McLaren P1. And we eventually found it (believe you me, it wasn’t easy). There also was the famous Mansory 4XXK, based on the 488 GTB. I kind of missed this car back in Geneva, but to be honest, I didn’t miss much. I barely stopped to take a few pictures and left. It’s interesting to mention that it’s probably the first time a MANSORY car has been « allowed » at Goodwood FoS (I’m not saying they’re not « allowed », but you don’t usually see them there, nor any aftermarket/tuner).
There also was the « Lazante » McLaren P1 LM. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t quite catch the drift with that one. Basically, it’s a full-carbon, limited-edition, road-legal P1 GTR. I think I got that right. And this one was expected on the hillclimb to clock a pretty good time. But did it? Spoiler: it did.
The CARTIER lawn was, as usual, full of incredible cars. Mainly classics and rare models. The one that caught my eye the most was without a doubt the green Lamborghini Miura. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of the Miura, but it had a stunning colour that did NOT leave me indifferent. I’m afraid all the other cars on the lawn were sort of forgotten by yours truly. Unintentionnally, obviously! There were just so many things around, I basically lost it, as I usually do.
Still a bit of rain, but we still managed to have some fun.
The Michelin supercar paddock probably was, without a doubt, the group of cars that interested me the most. This batch had everything a modern supercar enthusiast could hope for. Ferrari, McLaren (they presented the « James Hunt McLaren P1 GTR », which is apparently the Harrod’s – shame!!!), Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Porsche (and a pretty cool 911 R)… You name it!
That was the opportunity to see the BHP Project’s blue-carbon Koenigsegg One:1 in the flesh. And that was pretty cool. After hearing of the car for so long and seeing pictures of it plastered everywhere on social media, it was nice to see it out and about. Though I wouldn’t be very lucky with seeing it driving (I think I only saw it go up the hill ONCE in 4 days – blame my timing?).
There also was a Bugatti Chiron (which I had briefly seen during the 24 Hours of Le Mans). I didn’t really pay attention to it that much, the livery wasn’t very exciting AND it sounded very dull. I never got to film it going up the hill because I could never hear it coming, simple as that lol. Maybe I was unprepared, maybe I didn’t pay attention, but man, that wasn’t very noisy, but BLOODY fast. Like a stealth ninja. But hey, this was the first time a non-professional driver got behind the wheel of it. Who else but Lord March? 😉
With the likes of FXX-K, 599XX EVO, F12 TDF… the Ferrari area was well-garnished. Though the lack of LaFerrari felt pretty odd to me (I don’t consider an FXX-K a LaFerrari. That’s why they have different names). Also, a pleasant surpise. The one-off Ferrari 488MM Speciale was there. And that alone made the event worth it.
Some of the other batches were very very interesting as well. I can’t make a huge description nor go into details about everything that was present during those four days. But some of the incredible & most notable cars include a Porsche 911 GT1, including a green one. About three McLaren F1 GTR, the Renault Sport RS01, the Sauber C9… You know, it was simply AMAZING.
There also was the brand new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R in its lovely « Green Hell Magno » satinared green paintjob. That looked fantastic. And above all, it made an INCREDIBLE sound.
At the end of the day, the Goodwood staff took us to the start of the Hillclimb. This is one of the coolest spots. That’s where the cars are gathered and supposed to get ready to go uphill. But that is also the place where most cars do burn-outs & create orgasmic visions for us. It’s also the opportunity to see cars do things you wouldn’t usually see them doing in a normal environment. The fact that most of the time there is a pro driver behind the wheel kinda helps (like when I saw Vince Vaught Jr. or Ken Block… that was cool).
Today was pretty awesome. I kept walking around everywhere, still taking photos (very often the very same) and enjoying myself, walking around everywhere, meeting with friends and enjoying their company in front of wonderful cars. Watching a few hillclimbs as well was fairly orgasmic, as it always is. My favorite batch to see was without a doubt the « supercar batch ».
The sun was finally out today, and it led to some pretty good moments. This is when I decided I would pay a visit to the legendary « Goodwood parkings ». Those are the public parkings, but, they’re mainly for « nice cars/supercars ». Needless to say, you always find some incredible gems there.
For example, the Aventador SV combo. With the Lamborghini Viola Ophelia Aventador SV roadster (which belongs to « the_luxurious_cars »‘s dad) parked next to another Aventador SV roadster (orange). Pretty incredible combo. Some other cars included a volcano red McLaren 675LT spider, Porsche 918 spyder, a Porsche Carrera GT. Countless Porsche GT4, Gallardo (all models, really), Mustangs, Nissan GTRs, Bentleys…
My favorite of the lot probably was the McLaren P1 with some sort of Chameleon paint. This was the first of its kind for me, and I instantly fell in love. I really enjoy those colours on supercars, when it makes them stand out, even among other supercars. That’s when you have something that is a total win. At first I thought it was just like CJ Wilson’s P1, but I learned later that… well, it wasn’t. This one was a bit darker (but not less beautiful, by all means!).
I also was lucky enough to go to the forest rally stage. Indeed, there is a bit of everything at Goodwood as I mentioned you. And they even have a rally stage that takes place in the forest, where you can be a passenger with pro rally drivers. Finding a suit that fit was the hardest part haha. Once you’re strapped in there, it really feels tight with the helmet, neck protection, seatbelts & what-not. It’s not the most comfortable thing, but hey. Security first! It’s also very, very, very hot. Once you get out, you’re basically SWEATING like a pig. That light breeze is welcome.
The drive itself is incredibly spectacular, they basically know what they’re doing. I had never been in a rally car before, nor had I done any rally. And I wasn’t disappointed. Every corner was a drift corner basically. Sometimes, you could think he was losing control of the car, but it was merely an illusion. Those guys knew what they were doing. I was lucky enough to have TWO laps with two different drivers with two different cars (each driver has its own car). The second drive was by far the most agressive one, which brought me the best emotions.
The last day of an event is always a bit more relax than the rest of it all. Mainly because you feel like you’ve already walked enough, done enough, filmed enough, taken enough photos. This is both true & false, because there are always new oppportunities to catch new cars, new situations, things you didn’t see.
For example, that was the day I got to see the Terry Grant stunts for the first time (and to think they’ve been going on for the whole week-end). Those were PRETTY DAMN impressive: his drifing/donuts skills are quite good. Basically, he’s a very good showman and knows how to entertain a crowd (me included).
Every hillclimb was incredible. The Lexus cars were ace. The LFA was probably the one giving the best show: they did donuts in front of Lord March’s house every single time, or wheelspins (the Lexus LC500 was fairly cool as well).
I also got to sit inside the extremely rare Aston Martin VULCAN, their ultimate track-car. Inside, I felt comfortable (which is surprising in a track car) – they didn’t make it entirely « racey » and still kept it very welcoming for « big guys ». With less than 30 of those built, it felt really good to sit in it and film a little video. I have to thank the owner for allowing this and for his kindness! So.. Thanks, Jamie! 🙂
Sunday is also the day I decided to walk around a bit further, everywhere, discover things. This is where I saw the Jaguar « drifting grounds », hidden behind the huge Land Rover manufacturer building. You could hear them all week-end, but I never really knew where the screetching tires came from, until now. They basically had 3/4 Jaguar F-type doing a lot of drifting, and it was AMAZING. I really enjoyed that.
The day ended up with meeting almost ALL the english crew and basically just hanging there until the end of day, when everyone had pretty much left the event. That’s where you take some of the best photos, and that’s when I should’ve filmed lol. That was pretty amazing. This 2016 Goodwood FoS was through the roof and had so many great cars, no doubt.