Goodwood Festival of Speed is without doubt one of the most significant events in the World Motorsport calendar. The event started years ago when Lord March invited a few Motorsport enthusiast friends to drive to Goodwood in their 'special' cars, park up in front of Goodwood House, have a bit of lunch and 'Bob's your uncle' everyone had a jolly good time. Look at it now. Goodwood Press Office has just announce a record 185000 attendance.
There is so much going on that it is very difficult to prioritise. I really think I should get an assistant next year for this event. Each day there is something different going on and celebrities coming and going. The Festival covers such a vast area it is impossible to catch everything going on.
The theme for 2012 was 'Young Guns' - Celebrating drivers, riders, designers and engineers who were 'Born to Win". I had planned my Saturday to ascend the hill climb by foot in time to catch Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button arrive at the top in the F1 cars. Alas, their frantic schedules had forced them to bring their ascent forward so by the time I arrived they had gone! I also managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to catch a glimse of Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost. Nevertheless there were plenty of Legends to thrill the crowds lining the test hill banks and waiting at the top.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason made an early start in the Paddock to make some technical adjustments.....
...and John Surtees in the parade of Lotus Cars in front of Goodwood House. I should mention that John Surtees completed the Test Hill challenge on both 2 and 4 wheels.
Jesse James has become a firm favourite at Goodwood as he roars up the hill in his truck and then throws it around the Forest Rally stage to the delight and excitement of the spectators.
Visitors were free to roam around the paddocks and get close and personal with the cars and bikes and are sometimes lucky enough to experience a fire up blast!
The Forest Rally Stage is a major part of the Festival with around 50 cars and top drivers including many of the current WRC teams and drivers.
I walked deep into the forest very early on the Saturday morning. It was still fairly dark and it had rained heavily and continuously the night before so for obvious reasons some of the corners and jumps were taken with a little more caution than usual. I had found the spot where I could photograph 'the jump' but the light and conditions were not favourable and as I had a tight schedule to fit everything in I still managed to see some pretty impressive runs before I had to move on.
At the top of the hill I said a quick hello to Louise Cook who since first meeting her two years ago has become the reigning British Ladies Rally Champion.
No Festival of Speed would be complete without breathtaking display by the Magnificent Red Arrows