T3's Goodwood Festival of Speed Diary

The engines have finally cooled down after another Goodwood Festival of Speed, leaving long black tyre marks all the way down Lord March's drive, ruined grass, and the faint smell of petrol in the air.

We did so many awesome things at FoS this year, and we want to share them with you, so here's T3's Goodwood Festival of Speed Diary.

Thursday

The Festival of Speed actually starts on Thursday with the 'Moving Motor Show' where anyone can hitch a ride up the hill. This has always been my favourite day as it's usually also the quietest.

I woke up nice and early for the long drive down to West Sussex and found a suitable parking spot in one of the many field surrounding Goodwood. 

This is really where your FoS experience begins, as it's more than likely that you'll park your 10-year old Ford Focus next to a modern-day super car. Surrounding me was a new Ford Mustang, a McLaren 570S, and a Jaguar F-Type SVR. It's clearly not your average carpark.

After getting into the ticket barrier l I headed straight to the Future Lab, a new section of the Festival dedicated to the future of transportation.

It's a relatively small stand for FoS, but it was packed with innovative companies, spokespeople and film crews. It was very popular, and we can't wait to see what's included next year.

You can check out our take on the most interesting things from the Goodwood Festival of Speed Future Labs here.

After a tour of the Future Labs I headed over to BMW's stand to look at the stunning Concept 8 Series. I had a chat with the exterior designer John Buckingham, who made me very jealous telling me about his life in the Californian design studio and his house near Calabasas. He also took me around the car, pointing out some of the key designed details, such as the CNC machined wheels.

I then made my way to the Martini Driver's Club, because, although I'm clearly not an F1 driver, I was scheduled to go up the hill in the new Mini Countryman Hybrid, and I needed to sign in. 

The Mini (which we first saw at the LA Motor Show 2016) is making its dynamic UK debut at Goodwood. Mini brand ambassador Charlie Butler-Henderson would be driving me up the hill, who I'd actually met last year at Goodwood when he petrified me around the motor circuit in his Mini Challenge car.

This year's drive was a little more leisurely, as Charlie had been told to only use the electric motor for the hill climb. It was eerie as we blasted up the hill without any exhaust or engine noise. It did, however, give us a chance to enjoy the climb, and take in the crowds.

The Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid is really impressive machine, packing a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, plus electric motor and 7.6kWh battery. It has an all-electric range of 25 miles, after which the petrol motor will kick in. This means it can achieve 134.5mpg and only emit 49g/km CO2.

Once up the hill (and back down again) I decided to take a look at the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which was also making its debut in the UK. It's a seductive and sporty SUV, which we can't wait to drive.

Saturday

I had a little rest on Friday (turns out, walking around literally all day, carrying a heavy backpack in hot weather can really take it out of you) and made a triumphant return to Petrolhead Nivana on Saturday. 

Saturday is busier than Thursday. I started the morning by checking out, perhaps the biggest announcement from the show - Jaguar's Project 8.

This slightly bonkers car from the company's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division. It's the “most powerful, agile, and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever”, with a 500PS 5.0-litre V8 engine helping you to get from 0 to 62mph in 3.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 200mph.

Just 300 are being made, there's no official release date yet, and it'll cost you in the ball park of £150k.

We then took a seat in the Clark Pavilion, courtesy of Nissan, to watch several million pounds worth of exotic cars tear up the hill climb. There's something strangely relaxing about sitting in the sun with a cold drink, listening to roaring engines speed past.

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To finish off my sophisticated day I took a stroll around the Cartier Style et Luxe lawn. This section of the festival featured everything from a McLaren P1 to stunning Aston Martins and classic, spotless Fiat 500s.

Sunday

The final day of FoS started with a blast around Arundel in a McLaren 720S. We were so impressed by the amount of technology (and performance, of course) in the 720S, including the variable drift control, smartphone-inspired infotainment system, and cool folding instrument display. 

Once at the festival I headed over to McLaren's stand. Pride of place was a 1:1 LEGO model of the 720S we'd just driven, constructed from 280,000 bricks weighing in at 1.6 tons. 

While the replica took a six-person team 2,000 hours, it was't finished (on purpose). Festival goers were invited to add a brick to the model, with Lord March adding the final brick.

Possibly the coolest car at Goodwood in 2017? It certainly gets our vote.

Next on our agenda was another hillclimb, this time in the McLaren P1 GTR. So I donned my race suit, and made my way to the Supercar Paddock. 

The P1 GTR is the most hardcore interpretation of McLaren's hypercar, pumping out a massive 1000PS and weighing less than 1400kg. It's nuts.

Behind the wheel was Charlie Hollings, racing driver and instructor. It can go from 0-60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, and will go on to reach a top speed of 225 mph.

You can't race it, you can't drive it on the road, oh, and it costs £1.98 million. So that means it's the most powerful, fastest, and most expensive car I've ever been in.

No... I wasn't worried at all.

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The climb was over in an instant, and was one of the most visceral experiences I've ever had in a car. It was truly mind blowing.

After the hill climb I spent spent some time walking around the Festival in my racing overalls (despite the suffocatingly humid weather). Just like an F1 driver I unzipped the top half of the race suit, just to look even more professional. Numerous people even approach me to ask what I'd been driving.

Although I never really got tired of this, I finally removed the suit, and reluctantly departed another Festival of Speed.

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