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12 July 2017

Six brilliant things about the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed

By Peter AndersonPeter Anderson
The McLaren P1 GTR was one of many cars on display at the Goodwood Festival of speed

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has grown from a home-spun hillclimb up Lord March's driveway to a four-day automotive extravaganza with the world's biggest and most famous marques involved. It's cars, planes, helicopters, motorbikes and...sculpture. Seriously.

1. A Lego McLaren 720S

Each visitor got an orange Lego brick to add to the car. (image credit: Peter Anderson Each visitor got an orange Lego brick to add to the car. (image credit: Peter Anderson

Not only was there a Lego McLaren 720S, but visitors each got an orange Lego brick so they could add their piece to the car. 

2. The Sculpture

To honor Bernie Ecclestone, this year's sculpture featured F1 cars. To honor Bernie Ecclestone, this year's sculpture featured F1 cars.

This year's FoS was pretty keen on Bernie Ecclestone who was recently bumped out of the big chair at Formula 1. So they got a few F1 cars, strapped them to a giant fidget spinner and it dominated the show. 

3. The cars...they're everywhere

Have you ever seen a more expensive photo? (image credit: peter Anderson) Have you ever seen a more expensive photo? (image credit: peter Anderson)

Australians will know how frustrating car shows are here. Overly (and understandably) fussy owners don't let you near the cars. Not at Goodwood. Spread out on the various lawns were multi-million dollar machines you could walk right up to and nobody blinked.

4. The Hillclimb

If you're really lucky, you can strap on a helmet and hitch a ride. (image credit: Peter Anderson) If you're really lucky, you can strap on a helmet and hitch a ride. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

Almost non-stop over four days, cars are racing up Lord March's driveway. Like I did. In a McLaren 570S Track Pack driven by BTCC race winner Paul O'Neill. Feel free to hate me, I deserve it. Look at that smug grin.

5. You can run what you brung

There are a few rules of course, but basically, as long as the car doesn't crash on the bumpy driveway, you're good to go. All sorts of cars turn up as demos or racers, with heaps of F1 cars past and present as well as machines ready to race. Skip through the video to see some wild stuff.

6. Some carmakers will do anything to grab your attention

  • Striking and beautiful. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Striking and beautiful. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
  • One of Caterham's track weapons One of Caterham's track weapons
  • Renault's fiery mini hot hatch. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Renault's fiery mini hot hatch. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
  • Nissan's BladeGlider roadster. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Nissan's BladeGlider roadster. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

Along the side of the track is a mini motor show, with multi-deck stands from BMW, Renault, Citroen, Honda...heaps of manufacturers. Ford outdid themselves with a Parkour demonstration, a bunch of lunatics throwing themselves from the roof of the stand...

Is the Goodwood Festival of Speed on your bucket list? Tell us what you think in the comments.