Have you ever made a “bucket list”? (I think there’s also a movie with the same title, isn’t there?)
If you love cars and motorcycles and racing, “Goodwood Festival of Speed” definitely belongs in that list.
We brought you a report from last year event as well, but this year’s edition had something with a special meaning for us: the huge “Central Feature” that appears every year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a structure that is built solely for the 3-day event. The gigantic feature is always decorated with cars that represent the history and glory of car manufacturers.
For us, this year the biggest reason of excitement was the full scale model of the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo appearing on this Central Feature. Historic and legendary cars from manufacturers have always decorated this Festival of Speed iconic structure throughout the years, but who would have imagined that a concept car that was made just for a video game would appear on the sculpture a car representing a brand? And rising to the heavens just ahead of the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo there is the legendary Le Mans winner, the Mazda 787B.
On the night of June 25, an opening ceremony was held in front of Goodwood House, and a speech was given by Lord March and Mazda’s design director Mr. Maeda. Mr. Maeda introduced himself starting with the statement: “I’m a true petrol head!” which brought laughters and a hearty applause from the crowd. The ceremony was topped off with lights, music and fireworks which engulfed the Central Feature.
But that wasn’t the end of the ceremony. In the dark, after the fireworks had died down, a high pitched rotary engine sound was heard from a distance. A squadron of Mazda race cars appeared out of the darkness with lights on, and convened in front of Goodwood House. Needless to say, the guests were extremely pleased with this fantastic show.
The cars that gather at the Festival include the new and the old (even concept cars!) and each one of these are actually run on the hillclimb course. There is nothing separating the spectators and the crowd but a straw barrier on the track sides. You can stand right next to these cars in the paddocks, hear the raw engine noise and smell the gasoline right in front of you. Not only that, the original drivers and riders of these vehicles from their days jump the divide of past and present, gathering in Chichester to once again take to the road.