Goodwood Festival of Speed supported by RAC a hit with fans

The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed has once again proven to be a resounding success. Despite the recent abysmal weather, the fans voted with their feet, helping score a record attendance of 185,000.

This year’s 20th running of the annual event at the Earl of March’s Goodwood House Estate treated motor racing fans and petrol heads to a veritable feast of high-octane action.

Taking centre stage at the event was the illustrious Lotus brand, with over 40 of the British firm’s racing and road cars, both classic and modern, taking to the Goodwood hillclimb.

There was also a nod to Queen Elizabeth II with a special Diamond Jubilee celebration to commemorate her 60-year stint at the throne.

The real deal, however, was Sunday’s timed shoot-out. The 20 quickest runners and riders from the previous two day’s festivities lined up at the start with adrenalin pulsing through their veins, ready to try and set the quickest time of the year for the run up Lord March’s famous driveway.

With an eclectic mix of vehicles – from V8-engine American Touring Cars to self-built Pikes Peak challengers and Le Mans endurance racers – times tumbled before Kiwi Rod Millen took it one step too far, slamming his Toyota Tacoma Pikes Peak truck into Goodwood’s protective hay bails.

Former British Touring Car Champion Anthony Reid was first up after the restart and rocketed up the hill in 46.46 seconds at an average speed of 131mph.

Gary Ward and Justin Law – the final two drivers – couldn’t beat the Brit’s time in their respective Leyton House-Judd Grand Prix car and Jaguar XJR8/9 Group C entrant, meaning Reid and his Chevron GR8 GT3 car took the spoils.

The whole event was supported by the RAC’s skilled and dedicated petrol teams that kept the cars and the event running smoothly. The hard-working team even cleared the debris from Millen’s crash in double-quick time, and made sure the fans remained on the edges of their seats by helping keep all cars in fine fettle.

But Goodwood isn’t just about flat-out speed. It’s about atmosphere. The West Sussex event gives the fans a chance to see cars you couldn’t see running anywhere else in the world. As they say, it’s glorious, Goodwood.