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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017: preview

Auto Express logo Auto Express 26/04/2017 Joe Holding
Goodwood Festival of Speed 1 © Auto Express Goodwood Festival of Speed 1

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is just around the corner, and the 2017 event promises to be another resounding success with the usual mixture of supercars and racing machines set to take on the famous Goodwood hill climb.

The dates for this year’s FoS are June 29th to July 2nd, and the theme for the motoring world’s annual garden party is ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’. Naturally this means a huge variety of race cars will be in action, including 1,000bhp turbocharged Formula 1 cars from the 1980s, unlimited Group 7 sportscars from the heyday of Can-Am, and spectacular Group B machines from the world of rallying. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This year’s Festival of Speed coincides with Ferrari’s 70th birthday, an event which will be celebrated at Goodwood in some style with at least 70 of the Italian manufacturer’s best machines reportedly pencilled in to grace the 1.16-mile hill route.

And no doubt there will be some famous faces in the grounds of Goodwood House as well. In 2016 Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg all made appearances, as did legends like Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.

What’s on at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed?

Each day at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is unique, although there are a selection of displays and attractions which feature throughout the course of the festival.

The hill climb programme is the main feature at the FoS, with everything from elderly classic racers to supercars and modern Formula 1 beasts bombing up the famous asphalt strip. More conventional road cars will also make appearances, under the shadow of the famous Festival of Speed sculpture, which changes every year.

Goodwood Festival of Speed F1 © Provided by Auto Express Goodwood Festival of Speed F1 Beyond the hill climbing, there’s the Goodwood Action Sports (GAS) arena, which features stunning Freestyle Motocross displays, among other things. Then you have F1 and supercar paddocks, and manufacturer stands too, which allow visitors to get as close as possible to their favourite new cars.

The ‘Style et Luxe’ is an exhibition of beautiful and historic classic cars held on a lawn near the central sculpture. Meanwhile there’s a rally stage held in the woods away from the main site, and countless other displays set up by sponsors and manufacturers. To get a feel for everything going on at Goodwood, check out the official event map.

Here’s what you can expect to see on each of the four days of the 2017 Festival of Speed...

Thursday 29th June

Organisers have confirmed that supercars will perform hill climb runs on the opening day of the festival, a feature usually reserved for the weekend. Visitors will also be able to see the cars up close in the paddock, with a strong Formula 1 contingent due to be in attendance as well.

Additionally the Moving Motor Show will be in action on the hill, putting the latest road cars through their paces. And some lucky guests will be allowed behind the wheel...

Friday 30th June

By Friday the festival will be in full swing and with crowds growing, Formula 1 cars will take to the hill for the first time. In 2016 seven teams were present at Goodwood, with several of the current crop of F1 drivers showing off their skills with donuts, burnouts and timed runs galore.

Traditionally, Friday is also a good day for debuts. Last year the Bugatti Chiron, McLaren 570S Sprint and Aston Martin DB11 all made their first public appearances, with more high-profile launches guaranteed in 2017.

Goodwood festival of speed 2015 © Provided by Auto Express Goodwood festival of speed 2015

Saturday 1st July

Saturday tickets tend to sell-out first, possibly because people can visit without having to take time off work and can then recover from their exertions on Sunday.

The weekend always plays host to the biggest events of the festival, with the most prized cars of the show taking to the hill. There’s also a supercar shootout on the hill climb, adding a competitive edge to proceedings.

Sunday 2nd July

Much like Saturday, some of the most eagerly anticipated hill climb runs will take place on the final day of the festival. A timed shootout always keeps spectators glued to their seats, and with drivers pushing for every tenth, you’ll either see a unbridled speed or hay bales sent skyward.

And as the final day of the show, it will be the visitors’ final opportunity to sample everything that the Goodwood Festival of Speed has to offer, until 2018 comes around. Mind you, it might take that long for everyone to get out of the car park...

Tickets: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

Tickets for the Goodwood Festival of Speed often sell out quickly due to huge demand months before the event takes place. Though there are a variety of ticket bands which grant access to the grandstand, special parking and hospitality, the admission only prices in the table below should give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay:

FoS Admission Prices


Young Person (13-21)

Thursday 29 June



Friday 30 June



Saturday 1 July



Sunday 2 July



If you’re planning on dragging a young family along with you, you’ll be pleased to know that children aged 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets for the Goodwood Festival of Speed are available via the official website.

Camping & Hotels: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of options in the vicinity of Goodwood House, although you need to book early to guarantee a place. The on-site Goodwood Hotel is by far the most convenient, but therefore the most sought after. Hotels in the Chichester area also book up early, and organisers encourage visitors to utilize public transport so they can broaden their choices.

Camping is a popular option for those travelling from afar, and the local campsite is only a few minutes away from the venue by foot, making it convenient for showgoers. A four-person plot with parking for one vehicle from Wednesday 28 June to Monday 3 July costs £175, although organisers have other price plans available for those needing electricity, additional capacity or pre-erected tents.

Location: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017

The location for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hasn’t changed at all since the first running of the event in 1993, although the scale of the operation has increased considerably over the years.

Held in the sprawling parkland surrounding Goodwood House, the FoS brings thousands of motoring enthusiasts to Lord March’s estate every year, with visitors flocking from all corners of the UK and beyond.

The venue is located just north of Chichester inside the South Downs National Park. Anyone driving from London is advised to take the A3 (M25 Junction 10) south past Guildford, then A283 to Petworth, and then the A285 towards Chichester. Alternatively, travellers from the West should use the A27, following signposts to Goodwood. Traffic often becomes congested during the festival, so arriving early is recommended!

10 years of Goodwood FoS themes

The theme for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year is ‘Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’. It follows in the footsteps of these previous themes...

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2 © Provided by Auto Express Goodwood Festival of Speed 2

2007 – Spark of Genius – Breaking Records, Pushing Boundaries
2008 – Hawthorn to Hamilton – Britain's Love Affair with World Motor Sport
2009 – True Grit – Epic Feats of Endurance
2010 – Viva Veloce! - The Passion for Speed
2011 – Racing Revolutions – Quantum Leaps that shaped Motor Sport
2012 – Young Guns – Born to Win
2013 – Best of the First 20 Years of the Festival of Speed
2014 – Addicted to Winning – The Unbeatable Champions of Motor Sport
2015 – Flat-out and Fearless – Racing on the Edge
2016 – Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power
2017 – Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers

Are going to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year? Let us know what your plans are in the comments section below!


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