If we did, it would look a little… different…

The Goodwood Festival of Speed (GFoS) is an amazing event (in case you missed it, you can check out our preview here, and watch a replay of Sunday’s live coverage on YouTube here. Click “Photos” to see all the images.) This annual orgy of hot-blooded machinery spans the entirety of the four-wheeled spectrum, bringing together like-minded adrenaline junkies to revel in the wonders of stuff that’s fast. No matter where your gearhead allegiance may lie, it’s definitely worth a spot on your bucket list. The problem is, those of us living across the pond will never, ever see anything like it here in the states.

This year, the fastest time up the hill was once again set by Olly Clark and the “Gobstopper II,” a 780-horsepower time-attack-tuned Subaru Impreza WRX STI built specifically for domination at events like Goodwood. Clark posted a time of 46.29, crossing the finish line at over 140 mph.

In a close second was former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack and the McLaren P1 LM, posting a time of 47.07. Yes, a Subaru beat a McLaren!

For more information on the top 10 FoS hill climb results, click here.

There was also plenty of star-spangled influence on hand, like Mike Skinner in his NASCAR Toyota Tundra, and Ken Block in his Gymkhana 8 Ford Fiesta.

But beyond quintessentially ‘Merican pastimes like race trucks and burnouts, the GFoS won’t see a parallel in the U.S. More than that – it can’t. But don’t worry – we can still have our own FoS, it just might look a little… different.

Continue reading for the full story.

Nowhere To Race

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The first big issue is where to hold the thing. The GFoS Hill Climb takes place on what basically amounts to a driveway at the enormous Goodwood Estate, giving spectators a chance to get very close to the action. Unfortunately, the American aristocracy is a little too uptight to have a major racing event in their backyard – can you imagine John D. Rockefellar IV playing host to the Washington Festival of Speed out of his 16-acre chateau in Rock Creek Park? I don’t think so.

Limited Participation

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One of the coolest things about the GFoS is the huge variety of auto goodness on display. Formula 1, Le Mans, BTCC, WRC… all of them bring the noise at Goodwood. Not only that, but the manufacturers are well represented too. This year, the Bugatti Chiron stomped the loud pedal on its way up the hill, as did the McLaren 570S Sprint, Aston Martin DB11, Acura NSX, Elemental Rp1, Ferrari 488 Spider… the list goes on and on. That kind of turnout just doesn’t happen over here.

People Would Take It Too Seriously

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Any time you get a bunch of racers together, the inclination is to go as fast as you possibly can. That’s unavoidable. But the thing about Goodwood is it isn’t about winning a championship – it’s about having a good time. Yes, there are timed runs, and yes, there are bragging rights up for grabs, but you’re not gonna see in-depth performance analysis on a mile-long driveway lined with hay bales. No, any festival of speed that’s held stateside will have to hold weight. It’ll have to be more than exhibition. It would have to be a showdown of epic proportions.

Making A Better Festival

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Okay fine, so we can’t have a Goodwood-style festival in the U.S. But don’t worry – what we can have is something bigger, badder, louder, a supersized dose of gas-fueled spectacle the likes of which the world has never seen.

To house such an event, we’re gonna need some space, something like an asphalt oval with an infield. We’re also gonna need an airstrip. Given those criteria, I think the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and adjacent Nellis Air Force Base would fit the bill. We’ll just borrow one of the runways for a weekend.

With the venue secured, let me set the scene – monster trucks are doing backflips as the Blue Angels are in formation doing a low-pass flyby. Meanwhile, Bill Elliot, Richard Petty, and Kurt Busch hit the banks as the Hennessey Venom GT breaks the sound barrier. The new Ford GT does a donut around a Ferrari 488, Camaro drag racers do quarter-mile wheelstands, and Robosaurus eats a 1990 Buick LeSabre.

I guess Tesla can come too.

What do you think?
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