Burning rubber across Lord March’s driveway

If the term “Festival of Speed” sounds rather broad, it’s because it is – think all things fast, both modern and classic, from track cars, to street cars, to racing drivers. That’s the scope of the Goodwood Festival of Speed (GFoS), and just one of the reasons it’s known as a truly world-class automotive event. First held in 1993, this annual celebration of velocity takes place on the historic grounds of the Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, regularly attracting 150,000 gear heads to soak in the sensations of internal combustion at its finest. Debuts are made, timed runs are clocked, and attendees are afforded the opportunity to get up close and personal with their heroes (both the two-legged and four-wheeled varieties).

The theme for this year is “Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power,” and the vehicle roster includes 600 examples of “the most epic machinery ever to grace the race tracks of the world.” Behind the machines will be a selection of “intrepid pilots,” with top names from the world of F1 (Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Stirling Moss), Le Mans (Richard Attwood, Derek Bell, Vern Schuppen), and touring cars (Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden, Steve Soper). NASCAR’s Bobby Labonte and professional hoon Ken Block will also be in attendance, to name just a few.

Holding the title of honored marque for 2016 is BMW, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Accordingly, Lord March will open the event from behind the wheel of a 1957 BMW 507, while the annual Gerry Judah sculpture will incorporate such famous Bavarian creations as the 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, 1999 V12 LMR, and BT52 formula car.

Meanwhile, Ford will celebrate 50 years since its famous string of victories at Le Mans, and British racing driver James Hunt will be honored 40 years after his F1 World Championship title.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for all the details, including more of the cars, more of the drivers, and how you can experience it all.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Hill Climb

2016 Goodwood Festival Of Speed – Preview
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The GFoS is centered primarily on the hill climb event, where competitors tackle a 1.16-mile long tree-lined ribbon of tarmac that slithers its way up more than 300 feet of elevation change. Essentially a thoroughfare around the palatial Goodwood Estate, the hill climb route isn’t exactly aligned with modern race track standards – run-off is practically non-existent, and little more than hay bales are in place to protect onlookers.

Despite zero margin for error, hoards of racers and road cars have their limits tested at the Goodwood hill climb. In 1999, Nick Heidfeld set the official lap record in a McLaren MP4/13 F1 car, driving end-to-end in 41.6 seconds. Average speed for the run was clocked at just over 100 mph.

For safety reasons, F1 cars are no longer allowed to make official timed runs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still find them charging up the hill in an all-out blitz. This year is no different, as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will meet the challenge at the helm of the very same Mercedes W05 Hybrid that Hamilton drove to a championship win in 2014. Hamilton will drive the course June 25th, while Rosberg will drive the course June 26th.

Martin Brundle will also be there, piloting Jenson Button’s 2009 championship–winning Brawn BGP 001, marking the first time the car has run in seven years.

Other notable racers slated to climb the hill include pre-war Silver Arrows, ‘70s Can-Am cars, the Le Mans-winning Alpine A442 B, the Le Mans-winning Alpine A460, and, from Formula E, the E.Dams Spark-Renault Z.E. 15. Several drift cars will also be there for some opposite-lock hijinks.

Finally, six of the top competitors from the British Touring Car Championship will square off in a timed shoot-out, and although the only prize will be bragging rights, rest assured each will be pushing for the win. Cars to look out for include the Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type-R, the Triple Eight Racing MG6, the Motorbase Performance/Pirtek Racing Ford Focus, and the Team BMR Subaru Levorg. Drivers include Adam Morgan, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato, Matt Neal, and Sam Tordoff.

For a complete list of drivers and what they’ll be driving, click here.

The Forest Rally Stage

2016 Goodwood Festival Of Speed – Preview
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If dirt is more your thing, the GFoS can scratch that itch too. Since 2005, fire-breathing monsters have churned terra firma in the attendant rally stage, offering spectators the chance to see some sideways heroics from the land of powerslides.

This year’s lineup includes Jari-Matti Latvala in his VW Polo R, Russell Brookes in a Sunbeam Lotus, Mike Conway in a Toyota GT86, Giniel de Villiers in a Toyota Hilux, and James Martin in a Mini.

Road Car Appearances And Debuts

Beyond the strictly business racers is a huge swath of road cars, including several world debuts. Some will be relegated to booths scattered throughout the festival, but most will tackle the hill climb in timed runs.

Bugatti Chiron

2018 Bugatti Chiron High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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One of the most hotly anticipated cars set to tackle the hill this year is the Bugatti Chiron. Sporting 1,500 horsepower, 1,200 pound-feet of torque, and a top speed over 270 mph, the Chiron is unlikely to show its full potential on the short Goodwood climb. But that’s ok – I ‘d be satisfied just to hear it go wide-open throttle for a few seconds.

Read the full review here.

McLaren 570S Sprint

2017 McLaren 570S Sprint High Resolution Exterior
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Following up on the user-friendly 570S, McLaren is tightening the screws with a new track-oriented variant called the 570S Sprint. Set for a global unveiling at this year’s GFoS, the 570S gets new aero and chassis refinement for renewed cornering prowess.

Read the full review here.

Aston Martin DB11

2017 Aston Martin DB11 High Resolution Exterior
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After making its “static” debut at the Geneva International Motor Show earlier this year, the DB11 will finally see some action at the Goodwood hill climb. Look for it to exercise 600 British-powered ponies from its newly developed twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12, courtesy of its pilot – Aston’s CEO, Andy Palmer.

Read the full review here.

Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX High Resolution Exterior
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There’s been a lot of talk about the NSX ever since it debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The thing is, we haven’t seen a whole lot of action, especially when it comes to comparisons against the competition. How does it’s advanced hybrid system and AWD work in the real world? Get ready to find out, as Acura’s latest supercar heads to Goodwood.

Read the full review here.

Tesla Model X P90DL

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If you happen to catch a large SUV hastily making its way up the hill in complete silence, don’t be alarmed – it’s just the all-electric Tesla Model X. Equipped with AWD, 532 horsepower, and 713 pound-feet of torque, this thing has the goods to post a seriously quick time – as Ludicrous as that might sound.

Read the full review here.

Elemental Rp1

2017 Elemental Rp1
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This one should be a real treat to watch. Featuring one of the most advanced aero packages of any road-going car available, the Rp1 is a topless track-day special with something to prove. However, whether or not it’ll go fast enough on the hill climb to take advantage of its ground effects remains to be seen.

Read the full review here.

Ferrari 488 Spider

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If it’s a world-class car event you’re talking about, you know the Prancing Horse is bound to make an appearance. This time around, Ferrari is bringing its convertible 488, complete with a (turbocharged) 660-horsepower 3.9-liter V-8.

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-AMG GT R

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R
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911 who? This Merc gets the full AMG treatment tip to tail, including DTM styling, track-munching suspension, and a 577-horsepower V-8 engine. It should be a monster on the track, but how will it get on at Goodwood?

Read the full review here.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio High Resolution Exterior
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Alfa’s gorgeous new sedan will make its U.K. debut at Goodwood this year, showing off alongside a selection of historic racers plucked from the marque’s prestigious motorsport history. It’ll carry the torch up the hill thanks to a 510-horsepower turbocharged V-6 engine.

Read the full review here.

Volkswagen Golf GTi Clubsport S

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S High Resolution Exterior
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To celebrate four decades of the Golf GTi, VW is bringing several examples of its world-renowned hot hatch to Goodwood – including the new Clubsport S model. With 305 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque, a retuned chassis, and bigger brakes, this FWD apex-hunter should be right at home on the hill climb.

Read the full review here.

Mini Seven and Mini John Cooper Works Challenge

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Mini might be owned by BMW, but that doesn’t mean the brand is shy when it comes to its British heritage. No surprise then that Mini is unveiling a few new models at Goodwood, including the Seven and the John Cooper Works Challenge, both of which combine old-school-inspired styling with modern technology.

Read the full review on the Mini Seven here and the John Cooper Works Challenge here.

Read the full review on the Mini John Cooper Works Challenge here.

Ford Fiesta ST200

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200
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If you’re an enthusiast looking for a performance hatchback from Ford, but can’t quite reach the level insanity required by the Focus RS, then the Fiesta ST200 might be the one for you. Equipped with a lowered ride height, 17-inch wheels, 200 horsepower, and a price tag that won’t break the bank, the Fiesta ST200 hits a sweet spot in the Blue Oval’s lineup.

Read the full review here.

Renault Twingo GT

2017 Renault Twingo GT
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Compact dimensions, low weight, sprightly handling, and attention-grabbing styling – that’s the formula used for the Renault Twingo GT. While not exactly overpowered, even on a course as tight as the Goodwood hill climb, the Twingo GT should still manage to carry impressive speed through the bends.

Read the full review here.

Renault Clio R.S. 16

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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After its official reveal at the Monaco Grand Prix last month, the beefy new Clio R.S. 16 heads to the U.K. to stretch its legs. Making to go is 275 horsepower feeding a six-speed manual transmission, while a wider body and 19-inch wheels help to make the stick.

Read the full review here.

Mazda MX-5 Icon Special Edition

2016 Mazda MX-5 Icon Special Edition
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After taking the world by storm, the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 is getting its very first special edition. Dubbed the Icon, this limited-run roadster gains unique exterior styling, 16-inch wheels finished in Gunmetal, and black leather seats, plus a few extra features for enhanced comfort and convenience.

Read the full review here.

How To Experience

Not planning on making it out to Goodwood in person? You can still catch the full livestream on YouTube right here.

Schedule, Location, And Tickets

The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed will take place between Thursday, June 23rd, and Sunday, June 26th. The gates will open at 7 AM and close at 7 PM. Events will commence at 8:30 AM.

For a detailed breakdown of the event schedule, click here.

Goodwood House
Chichester, West Sussex
PO18 0PX

You can find more information on how to get to the event here.

You can find a detailed map of the event here.

You can purchase tickets here.

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