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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010 – Friday

July 25, 2010

The roar of engines, smell of burning rubber and the warmth of the sun beating down on your face – what more could you ask for? Goodwood Festival of Speed really is a stunning place for any petrol head. I’ve already written briefly about the Festival on Sidepodcast but I wanted to take a closer look at my weekend this year and just why it was so enjoyable.

It’s now becoming somewhat of a tradition for me to attend the Festival each year, and based on my experiences it’s not a tradition I’m aiming to break any time soon. Upon entering the gates, hearing the surrounding rumble of engines and seeing the impressive displays it’s easy to get lost in the moment wondering where to head first, what to see and who is next up the hill.

This year, Lukeh and I were there for all three days so we weren’t too pressed for time and didn’t need to plan our day so much – although that didn’t stop us from trying. I was worried I would maybe get bored being there for three days, how wrong could I be! We didn’t even get to see all of it!

We approached Friday as if it were a taster day, using it to get our bearings and wonder around some of the places we may not get to look at over the rest of the weekend. We were greated by a spectacular display by the Red Arrows, well 8 of them at least.

© Lou Johnson

I’ve always had one complaint about the red arrow displays at Goodwood, it’s very hard to actually see the entire display from many areas of the grounds. The best place is by the house, but if you’re not there then it’s hard to get a good photos. However my complaint isn’t that you can’t see them from everywhere – the festival covers a huge area, it’s that I never seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Note for Goodwood 2011: plan more.

© Lou Johnson

After the display we couldn’t resist the pull of the f1 paddock for any longer and we found ourselves heading over the second bridge in the direction of the f1 cars and drivers.
Those who know the festival well will be aware that there is a ‘scrutineering bay’ where the f1 cars are held before their various runs at the bottom of the paddock. We walked past this bay just as the f1 cars were being put into their holding positions. This of course meant that some drivers were around too. It was Friday so not many current f1 drivers or famous faces were around, except for a select few. Bruno Senna for example. Taking advantage of the slightly smaller Friday crowds Lukeh ran off to say hi, I on the other hand stubbornly decided to keep hold of my place at the front of the crowd. I’m very pleased I did as it was the best view point of the ‘scrutineering bay’ I managed to get all weekend.
…So what did I manage to snap from my position?

© Lou Johnson

© Lou Johnson

© Lou Johnson

Capitalising on something I learnt from previous experience we headed to the f1 paddock… Yes the one that was now empty… And waited for the cars to return. In my opinion the best place to get photos of f1 cars at Goodwood is as they return from the hill climb. There is nothing separating you from the cars just the shouting marshals wanting you to ensure enough space for the cars. If you manage to get to the front of the crowd you are in for a treat! Following observations last year I decided once a car was to pass me I would run through the crowd and meet it back at its garage so I could get some extra photos, of both the car and the driver. For the Friday I decided to make red bull my focus. Adrian Newey was driving his very own red bull and I didn’t want to miss any reactions after his first run. I wasn’t disappointed.

© Lou Johnson

© Lou Johnson

I was defiantly going to try that again on Saturday!
The afternoon was pretty eventful too, we headed to the paddock again for some more f1 action, but before that we managed to catch an interview with the rather charming and alarmingly young Jack Harvey at the BMW stand by Jake Humphrey.  It was a wonderful little interview with some great insight into the world of a 17 year old driver hoping to make it into F1.

© Lou Johnson

It wasn’t particularly the interview that grabbed  my attention, it’s more the fact that each time we passed the BMW stand (which was alot) he was there, mixing with the crowd, answering questions and just being nice. That’s what we like to see!
Other notable occurrences were my first experiences at just how assessable drivers are around the drivers paddock area, somewhere I’d never been before. We came across a rather tired looking, but still exceptionally kind and friendly Stirling Moss in a wheel chair near the media centre.

© Lou Johnson

Not sure if you can have a better Friday!

More of my Goodwood photographs can be found on my flickr


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