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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

The Goodwood Festival of Speed

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Hello Petrolhead, can you spare a weekend in July? Because this year the Goodwood Festival of Speed is going to be one of the classics.

The theme for the Earl of March’s annual racing bonanza always has a theme.  This year it’s ‘True Grit – Epic feats of Endurance’.  A celebration of those sportsmen who went that extra mile or made an unexpected comeback after injury.

This international event was started in 1993 on the Goodwood Estate by the current Earl of March.  Every year it has got bigger and attracted more and more famous names.

The cars themselves draw huge crowds.  They can vary from vintage 19th century steam carriages to the latest Formula 1 cars, via classic Rally cars and modern Sports models.

One thing Goodwood is known for is famous names.  Last year the main draw was Lewis Hamilton.  This year he is back, along with his contender for the Word Championship, Jenson Button.

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The special guest this year is none other than Henry Fonda, complete with bike, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film ‘Easy Rider’ in which he starred with Jack Nicolson and Dennis Hopper.

The big star of the show is the Mini, which is also celebrating a big anniversary.  It has been around fifty years this year.  And for that reason there will be a few of the classic compact cars on show, and competing in the rally stages.

Finally, to put the cat among the pigeons, there is a special contest.  The battle of the sexes track days will sort the men from the, er, girls I suppose.  An instructor is on hand to provide instruction, and you use your own car.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place on Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th July 2009.  Ticket prices start from £33 and children under 12 go in free, subject to terms and conditions. Advance sales only, not available on the day.


Written by Nick Gilmartin

June 11, 2009 at 6:35 am

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