Going Fast At Goodwood

It has got to the stage where I’m just accepting everything I’m seeing around me as normal, which is far from the case.

I really don’t want to go into full on hyperbole mode, but the Goodwood Festival of Speed really is a special event. There is a certain point which you reach though, where it all becomes a little bit surreal. I’m genuinely struggling to find the words, but I really want to try and accurately convey just how good that this is.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-2

Those of you who have been will likely already know, and be nodding in agreement. Because where else can you see a reigning BTCC champion take to the hill on one of the most iconic road racing bikes of all time? This is Gordon Shedden riding one of Joey Dunlop’s Hondas, a special moment for all involved, and one which transfers to everyone watching.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-3

I finally made my way to the bottom of the hill this morning to try and catch just some of the on-track action. In the space of 20 minutes, I’d seen my first Zakspeed Capri in action, a Dakar truck drifting the first corner with aplomb, a Pikes Peak-spec RS200 absolutely annihilating the earth beneath it, and just a couple of touring car icons. 20 minutes. These were all part of just one group of cars, carefully chosen to complement each other.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-9

Over the last four years, Mad Mike Whiddett has gone from being the lone drifter on the hill, to the leader of the pack, having opened the door for the drifting world to this prestigious event. There are few better ambassadors for drifting than Mike, and it’s no surprise that he gets the most attention when the drift troupe heads out to destroy some tyres.

Having a 1,000hp+, four-rotor and twin-turbo MX-5 does help, to be fair.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-15

The reaction that all of the drifters have received from the crowd is something that I never expected. Despite watching countless race cars and some of the world’s most famous drivers blitz the course in front of them, it seems that it’s only the drifting that gets them on their feet.

I feel a huge amount for all of the drivers who are representing the sport this weekend.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-13

This year sees the festival celebrate 70 years of Ferrari, and the prancing horse from Maranello is very well represented with a plethora of iconic racing machines and some priceless road cars to go along with them.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-20

I told you that I’d find that F40. An LM, no less.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-11

Being in the company of so many famous names and legends of the sport is another aspect which can be a bit overwhelming. Often, you don’t realise who has just drove past you until their name appears on the huge live screens which are located around the event.

It’s all of these things, plus much more which we will get into detail with in the coming days and probably weeks.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-12

It’s not all perfect; in some ways, it’s a victim of its own success. During peak hours, it can be almost impossible to see everything, unless you plough through the throngs of people. There’s no solution for this as the venue is huge, but so is the amount of spectators.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-16

But those same spectators really do make the event; the enthusiasm, friendliness and knowledge is maybe the best I’ve ever seen. There’s a huge, genuine passion from the mostly British audience.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-19

These people really make the event, in the literal sense. Again, some of the friendliest corner workers any where. Proper enthusiasts, too. Every single last one of them.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-10

I’ll try and stop there, before I wear myself out and/or bore you half to death. Maybe only those that have been will appreciate what I’m trying to say, or maybe I might find the words in the coming days after a proper night’s sleep.

2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Friday Speedhunters by Paddy McGratn-18

There are two days remaining at the 2017 Festival of Speed, and thankfully, some proper Speedhunters reinforcements have arrived. It’s time to take it up a notch.

Tomorrow, I’m swapping the paddock and hill for the dust and tress of the forest rally stage. I plan on leaving my accomodation to get there early in the morning and maybe just staying out there forever, if the quality is even half that of the rest of the event.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes photos and videos from the event, and to use the hashtag #SpeedhuntersFOS so we can see what you got up to, too.

Stay safe, speak soon.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

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14 comments

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1

Can't wait to see what the SH team has in store for us!

Does anyone know any more details on that mental Subaru? I was watching it on Goodwood's live stream, and it was absolutely NUTS! I know it's probably too late to request a spotlight/feature on that particular car, so hopefully someone on the SH crew, manages to get some more shots of it.

Author2

It's Mark Higgins' Isle of Mann lap record car, we're going to try get more on it.

3
Eric Sean Delaney

Go to the top of the hill!!!! That is the place to be, I told Larry now I'm telling you. That's the party place. Last year I saw the Kamaz basically do a donut, a Sauber C9 (I think the second place finisher at Le Mans) actually do a donut. The second in class finisher Ford GT from that years Le Mans so a burnout. Gittin did like a two minute burnout and Nico Rosberg did a donut then jumped up on the hay bails and started signing whatever was in front of him.

So yea, go to the top.

4

sfds

5

4th picture, black car with the "Forge Motorsports" sticker on the rear spoiler. What car is it? Can't tell from that angle, but it looks crazy

6

Ford RS200 :)

7
Matthew Everingham

Every year I see what goes on and every year I 'swear' I'll go next year.
I swear I'll get there next year!

8
Mikko Kukkonen

Being an Opel Manta owner myself, I would really like to know more about that stars and stripes Thundersaloon Manta.

9

There's another F40 outside the GRRC members enclosure by the startline.
I've been totally blown away by the cars there this year, it's an incredible event.

10

Porsche washed the Le Man's winner - for shame!

I think that the drifters have been embraced because they put on a good show, and don't hold back like a lot of others do (fair enough in many cases), plus so often the F1 drivers can't do good burnouts!

Author11
Paddy McGrath

They didn't, that's just a replica at their stand. The real one is running the hill

12

That's ok then, crisis over lol

Author13
Paddy McGrath

Hahaha, I thought the very same. Aston Martin did wash their's though.

14

please do a feature on that black RS200. so much want....

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