As a (race) car fan, Goodwood, the Festival of Speed, should be high on your bucket list. An event on a beautiful estate in southern England, where glamour, history and the most beautiful classic and new cars come together every year at the end of June. Once you’ve been there…you will be a car lover. At the end of the day, I was totally in love with racecars and oldtimers… This was a unique experience.
The night before I arrive at the Goodwood ‘festival of speed’, I stay at the Hilton in Arundel where various drivers, press and other guests of McLaren were staying.
In front of the Hilton, my eyes are attracted to a great amazing sports car, the McLaren 650S (S for spider), which stands like a kind of statue in the lawn. One of the latest models from McLaren. It is really beautiful.
“The design, the lines, looks super stream-lined, the way it’s built, everything breathes style, class and also speed.”
The doors do not open normally but open towards the air. Wind holes are incorporated in the side of the cars to allow the air to flow through the car and flow, reducing the resistance of the air and increasing the speed. I can not wait until I can drive in it, I cannot believe it myself but I’m in love with a car. Frank Stephenson, head designer of McLaren
I asked a gentleman who just arrives with his wife if he would take a picture of me in front of the car. While taking my pictures, he says: “You could not ask anybody better than me to take this picture. I’m surprised by his confidence and ask if he is a photographer. “No, I’m the designer of this car.” I stare at him in disbelief. This is my ‘good luck’ to get the change right away to connect with the right person. Next, to being a photographer, I’ve been designing for quite some years and we immediately get involved in a passionate conversation about the design of sports cars, the materials used, inspiration, the trends in automotive design and much more.
“This sympathetic man appears to be a creative spirit high class and a champion in out of the box thinking.”
This Spanish / Norwegian guy born in Casablanca is the director of the design department of McLaren and already had an impressive career in the automotive industry before coming to Mc Laren. After he rose to BMW as a senior designer and did the redesign of the MINI, he continued his career as director Concept Design and Development at Ferrari Maserati.
Stephenson talks with great passion about his work. His great success, the McLaren P1, the “plug-in hybrid sports car” was sold out within a month. He continues about the latest techniques with which the most recent sports cars from McLaren are finished.
“The finish includes a coating with pulverized diamonds that have been subtly incorporated in the paint as a kind of glitter.”
The next morning I leave early for the Goodwood festival. I only have half a day and I want to use it well. Soon I spotted the eldest sports cars, unique models, flown over from private ownership all over the world they all come together to this small village in southern England. I can not believe my eyes. Old James bond models, prize winners of the F1 circuit, and more.
“If you are not already a car enthusiast, you will be one soon, because this collection of cars that are parked side by side is spectacular and unique.”
Most sports cars are privately owned and have been flown in from all corners of the world to ride on The Hill, as the course is called. The car owners are going to drive “The Hill” and this is an opportunity that no unique car owner wants to miss. Every year they gather here in this English village of Goodwood to show their “diamond” and to ride “The Hill”.MVI_8912
“The most striking thing about this festival is the sound. Instead of music, you can hear the loud sound of starting race cars entering the course.”
A man in a racing suit who turned out to be Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg picks up a pen and shares signatures to youngsters. There are so many racing legends around, I actually don’t recognize, because I’m not an insider of this world. But this must be magic for race lovers.Jetfighters and motorbike salto’s
My last stop, the Canon stand where I can try out the latest equipment and arrive just in time to photograph the jet fighter who shows his rounds in the air, I also manage to take some pictures from up here, of the motors that keep a show in the distance. Several drivers make some results in the air.McLaren VIP lounge
And of course, I make a stop at the VIP lounge of McLaren. The newest 570S in Orange is there, designed by the Chief designer, Robert Melville who was one of my table companions yesterday. Like the 650S, the 570S is meant to simply ride on the road and does not fall under any of their race models. He is breathtakingly beautiful and I can not resist to sit down for a moment. Sitting in this car makes me feel incredible. I feel like a little kid who’s happy with her toy. Maybe you can see the smile on my face below.☺
Just half a day seem to be ages and I enjoyed every minute of it. I can recommend everybody to go, even if you’re not a car lover. because I know, after this festival, you will be.
If you want to share your opinion about the Goodwood festival, or have some tips for other people to share, leave a comment below.
Soon an interview with Frank Stephenson, who is now into air jets and also an interview with Thierry Boutsen, once formula1 driver, now the owner of his own jet company. Stay tuned!