As with every Goodwood adventure, the FOS 2017 was as amazing as you might expect it to be.
I arrived the day befor, everything was planned: schedules for the hillclimbs, what I wanted to see, when, where. But nothing ever happens as you want, and you’re always submerged by the sheer amount of things to do. For example, everything started out very fast on my first day, and with a bang.
As soon as I arrived (very early, there almost weren’t people around) I didn’t even get time to settle down and check time-tables, media center, meet other people, that I was already offered the epic opportunity to ride in the brand new Aston Martin DB11 V8 up the hill by the incredibly kind Goodwood staff. I was to be driven up the hill by none other than olympic champion (the man won 9 gold medals in cycling!!), sir Chris HOY. I was told he has had a small accident in a Nissan GTR Nismo last time around, but that didn’t bother me much. This also was the first time the Aston Martin DB11 V8 was publicly shown. Basically, we can say I was the first one to ride shotgun in the DB11 V8 publicly. So we went to sign-up to the Driver’s club, and we had to be fast about it too, because we needed to be prepared, and our run was the 1st of the day!
Everthing was set up, helmets were ready, met sir Chris HOY, which was mega cool. And up the hill we went. Chris obviously took it rather gently, not wanting to reiterate his past shenanigans at Molecombe. Obviously, the DB11 V8 felt less agressive than the V12 version. But I really liked the interior, which made up for it – blue with orange stitching. Perfect match. We were followed by all of the Aston Martin crew, including the quite frankly, crazy, Aston Martin VULCAN AMR (Aston Martin Racing). It’s basically an even more badass version of the Vulcan. Yes, that apparently is possible. Though to be honest, I’m still baffled by it.
We were closely followed by all the other cars from the Supercar batch, which was intense. Indeed, after their hillclimb, all the cars gather up there, in a small part of the track, some sort of assembly area. And it’s the prefect place and privilege to be there, where the pro drivers and their passengers meet, discuss. And also a great place to start filming and take pictures, needless to say. I was hanging around with the likes of the Centenario, 720s, new Ford GT and so on!! Pretty epic. But then it was time to go back to the Michel Supercar paddock area, and say goodbye to the car and Aston Martin. So thanks Goodwood for again, a great experience!
Once in the Supercar paddock, I quickly gave a look at what was around. This Pagani Zonda 750 « Oliver », which was, for some reason, called « 750 Evo » or something, caught my eye. It’s not my favorite Zonda, but it’s definitely worth a look. I decided I’ll check the Supercar paddock a bit later. After all, I had FOUR days to do so. So off I went, to visit the event. Right in front was the Bugatti exhibition. They had about seven or eight Bugatti Veyrons, AND two Bugatti Chiron (which sadly had both the exact same spec). Almost every variant of the Veyron was there: SuperSport, Vitesse, Pur Sang, WRE… obviously, couldn’t have all the « limited editions » of the car, considering there are about a billion. Believe it or not, I didn’t get as many pictures as I would’ve liked from the Bugatti part, mainly because I kept saying « oh well, I still have time, I’ll do it later ». And I didn’t.
Rolls-Royce had a very fancy space too, very neat and clean. Just like their cars, a haven of luxury and peacefulness. I really enjoyed the place. And obviously, the cars there. Feels like Rolls Royce is clearly trying to target the younger generation with their « Black Badge » strategy. Though to be honest, if I were a young client and had deep enough pockets, I’d much rather take part in the whole customization process of the car and make it my own than go for an existing « Black Badge » edition. I mean after all, Rolls Royce are among the best when it comes to bespoke and custom cars. Sweptail rings a bell to anyone?
On another day, I met up with a friend (who I’ve actually met in Goodwood) and we discussed a bit. He was taking care of the beautiful genesis blue McLaren F1 which was overlooking the Cartier lawn exhibit. Pretty much owning it, also. Very casually, he asked if I’d like to have a sit in it. I don’t often get asked silly questions like that, but my reaction was fairly ridiculous: I was baffled and thought he was joking.
Stepping inside the mythical McLaren F1? The 1995 queen, the godess of the roads? Yes please, I would like this privilege! Very casually, we went closer to the car and approached it. It was surrounded by people, for very obvious reasons. He then started to open the doors. You could tell people weren’t expecting something like this to happen. Very quickly, a bigger crowd started to gather around the car. After learning the « procedure » to get in, off I went. It was slightly more easier than I thought.
Once inside, the central driving position is quite perfect. You’re perfectly installed, though it is probably a bit crowded if you’re bringing two passengers with you, on both sides. The two mirrors on each side were a nice little detail. I had never sat down in a car with 3 seats before, let alone in the McLaren F1. This was pretty epic. I carefully touched every part of the car with the utmost respect, trying to get a feel of it. The gearbox lever, the steering wheel, the blue leather… everything felt incredible. I couldn’t believe I was in it. Getting out was easier than I thought too: you merely need to let yourself slide out. As you can tell by my face, I was pretty extatic. Thanks Jarrah!
The Cartier Lawn had more epic things, obviously. But then again, so did the whole of Goodwood. But I couldn’t pass on this magnificent red Ferrari Enzo, parked like that. Though it was parked next to the McLaren F1, I was still lured to it like a moth to a flame. This car is and will remain my holy grail, I believe. No matter what. What a car !!
There also were some pretty epic cars, who totally deserved to be on the Supercar Paddock (though they rightfully were in their place on the luxury and prestigious Cartier Lawn). I’m talking about the likes of the Pagani Zonda C12 (which is getting rare these days) or the Carrera GT. There also were many-a classic Ferrari, including a bunch of 250 variants. With none other than the Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 California Spider, 250 Tour de France or 250 SWB. Yep. That’s a lot of 250s.
But it’s not only that. As you know, 2017 is the year that marks the 70th anniversary of Ferrari (1947-2017). Hence the FOS 2017 celebrated this at every corner, and it was litterally swarming with vintage Ferrari in there. Just for the sake of it, here is a picture of two Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa parked next to each other. Simply amazing. But more on that later.
I went to one of the many assembly areas, to see the diversity of the automotive world. Things I don’t usually stop for, not necessarily, but which I still deeply love. Among that batch were a lot of different and odd cars, like the 2006 Dallenbach PVA SPECIAL and its wing that comes from outer space. It’s humongous, and probably one of my TOP5 memories from this FOS 2017, mainly because it blew my mind.
Many great cars were there, from the Lancia Delta Integrale to the Jaguar XJ220 (race version it seems). And obviously, a DTM car. Very CLK DTM AMG indeed. And all sorts of weird cars I had no idea even existed. Like a crazy VW beetle monster truck of sorts.
The start of the hillclimb is a very cool place to be, too. You usually get a very good show, considering cars do a bunch of burnouts and epic start-ups. You usually see a lot of rubber being burned, and your ears get to hear the full RPM wave-length. Wether it’s with the 50s Jaguar D-Type or with the crazy Audi R8 LMP. The McLaren F1 GTR were also quite loud and cool. But at the risk of sounding blasé, back then, I had a severe dose of McLaren, so I was vaccinated.
No seriously, Goodwood is about EVERY kind of car. There is a bit of everything for everyone. The only thing lacking is time!! It would be epic if it lasted for a whole week, with the same pace. Maybe I could actually cover the whole thing for once haha. So much to do, so much to see… It’s easy to get lost and buried by the sheer amount of marvels all around.
The supercar batch was part of my big focus through the whole 4 days. Mainly because they’re the kind of cars that speak the more to me and my audience, they’re also the cars I enjoy the most seeing, filming. They’re mental, and represent something. They might sometimes not be as worthy as some of their classic counterparts, but their design is modern, and I really really like that.
The Michelin Supercar paddock was packed with treasures. From the Huayra BC, the Vulcan AMR, the new Porsche 991 GT3, the new McLaren 720s (and 570 spider, P1 GTR and so on…). Lamborghini put on a great show too, by bringing a bunch of cars, including the factory Centenario (which I find quite boring as far as specs go) or the Mantis Green brand new HURACAN PERFORMANTE, which was crazy. It wouldn’t be a true supercar batch without the mighty Bugatti Chiron too. Which is still as silent as it was in 2016, BTW lol.
Back to Ferrari.
There was the coolest show, with a LOT of great Ferrari, both classic and modern, driving together up the hill. It all started with the first Ferrari ever made (Ferrari 125s) riding « wheel by wheel » with the latest Ferrari ever made to that day, the LaFerrari Aperta. That’s a nice way to open the show, don’t you think?
It was soon followed by an orgy of Ferrari classics. You could tell the myth is still pretty much alive. It was a privilege to see the cars driving in a demo way, sometimes discovering a bunch of models I had no idea existed (but then again, I’m no expert, just a casual Ferrari enthusiast). But this was the perfect moment to discover them and learn about them, in the Goodwood FOS 2017 program they gave us = learned A LOT.
From thee classics: Ferrari 750 Monza, 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GTO, 250 LM… to a bunch of race cars, both classic (Ferrari 166, 125/166, 375 « Grand Piston Ring », Lancia D50…) and modern (333 SP, FXX EVO, 599XX, FXXK, 488 Challenge…). And even some F1 cars (again, both old and modern).
When you’re in Goodwood, you ALWAYS need to check the car-park situation. Especially the « VIP / Supercar » part, which is all the way behind Goodwood house, going up the hill. It’s usually a very very nice place to find some epic cars. And FOS 2017 didn’t disappoint. Porsche 918, LaFerrari, Aventador SV, Aventador S, Huracan Performante … and many many more « outstanding GTs » and « regular sports car » (Maserati GranTurismo, Porsche GT3, Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo or Huracan…).
You could even find some nice spots inside with cars. Like a yellow Pagani Zonda (which I completely forgot to picture), or this lovely line-up with matte black Porsche 918, Peter Saywell’s blue Pagani Zonda, F40, 288 GTO and Lamborghini Miura.
Among all the cars there, the Lambos were definitely putting on one of the best shows around. Each time, the drivers were giving us what we wanted, what we desired: action, noise, engines roaring. It was a donut fest, and whenever a Lambo passed, it usually was followed by a cloud of smoke (all but the Centenario did donuts / burnouts). Very pleasing to the petrolhead that lives inside all of the people that attend Goodwood FOS 2017.
So many cars. There were cars all around. Like the new Ford GT (with two different cars showing up, though the yellow one only came for 2 days, and the blue one for the 2 others). And the reveal of the brand new Porsche 991 GT2 RS too!
Goodwood celebrated Ferrari with an official « party thingy » in front of Goodwood house. It was a way to communiate with the brand. Though it sadly was very « closed » for the public, and not everyone could see the cars parked up. But then again, they couldn’t have made it better. So definitely not complaining, especially as I am lucky enough to have been a part of it. The whole celebrations were punctuated with the italian anthem and even fireworks (yes, in broad daylight lol). Pure italian glory. All cars were parked there, and it was simply beautiful.
Scuderia Ferrari test pilot Marc Gené was also there, loyal to the brand as always. He was a very cool guy. Red was the predominant colour that afternoon, no doubt about that. As a Ferrari guy, I felt very warm in my heart.
Such a thrill to see all those magnificent jewels all in the same place. I also had to be quite fast, because as soon as they finished their hillclimb / demo, they all went straight to the house for the celebrations. One needs to be fast and know what is going on at Goodwood, to maximise and optimise your chances of seeing things, and not missing things. Just being there and do what you want to do, basically. It all requires a fair amount of organization haha.
I was even lucky to get a helicopter ride. I had already taken one during the 75th Members’ Meeting in early march, and had seen Goodwood house from a completely different time. Back then, it was all quiet, almost dull. A posh countryhouse / castle in Sussex. But seeing the Goodwood Estate from above during the FOS 2017 is a whole other story: it’s complete madness.
So many people, so many cars, parkings, tents, hospitalities. Only from the air can you begin to understand how big the event is, how much there is to see, all the animations you can do (forest rally stage, and all the experiences by the manufacturers, like Jaguar’s drifting academy or Porsche & Nissan’s off-roading activities). It’s without a doubt the best event on Earth. And I don’t think I’ll eat my words anytime soon.
Also, when you see the structure from up there, you can really tell how big it is and how it basically thrones over the whole estate. Looking over everything, like a guardian.
There was this little spot I wanted to try last year but couldn’t really. So I decided to give it a go this year. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a fairly cool place, filled with hay (very Goodwood-ish), and they’re going up hill quite fast, just before a braking point, where they meet the famous « wall ».
I didn’t really capture the wall much, but I do have that one shot. Not too bad. It’s also easier to catch the cars going down hill (much slower) than uphill haha.
The brand new Porsche 991 GT2 RS was unveiled at Goodwood. It obviously was very cool to see (though it attempted to drift and apparently failed, from what I’ve seen and heard lol). As far as I’m concerned, I feel like it looks a lot like the former models. Sure, there are some differences here and there, but hey. It’s pretty much a 911. I do understand that the car is an icon, the model is timeless. But I sincerely feel like it has been done and redone, for decades. I’m quite biased on this point of view, not being a big porsche enthusiast for this very same reason (too similar design-wise, I get confused easily and lost in the whole range). Sorry Zalasin, but that’s my truth haha.
More crazy Goodwood FOS 2017 stuff. Parking lot situation, going down hill…
Terry Grant’s stunts were pretty mental too, like going on two wheels with a Range Rover and attempting to go up the hill. I missed it the first time (well, so did he, in all fairness), and I did get the last attempt on the last day (yay). It is very impressive, that man knows how to put on a show !!
I also witnessed my very first « Goodwood accident » of a car going downhill. Luckily, nothing too serious. I just find it humorous to mention it was a Nascar car, and it basically hit the hay on the first corner. I’m not judging, I’m just saying. Quite funny.
Goodwood is also the prefect place to reunite with old friends, mainly english friends. Though it’s always too fast and too short, I deeply cherish being able to talk cars and chit chat. Especially when surrounded by such mental cars, that’s pretty much everything I love in life. I don’t ask for much more, seriously.
Here are some more things from Goodwood I thought you might enjoy:
Courtesy fleet of Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, Martini Weissach 918, and a very odd BMW I8 with a very odd design. And a very odd LaFerrari as well (might as well). Always sad and emotional to leave this place. So many great memories each time I go, too many to describe, too many to tell, too many to even remember. All I know is that after 4 days of Goodwood, I am WELL TIRED, pretty much dead. The sleeping that comes after it is always much appreciated. But the nostalgia when looking at the old pictures and when editing videos, or even writing this article, is the kind of stuff that make me love what I do. And I really hope you can tell my sincere emotion when sharing my stories, when I tell you all about my adventures. Thank you for reading.
Until next year, Goodwood !! 🙂