The Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the biggest events on the British motoring calendar, took place on July 8-11, 2021
Like many events, 2020’s “FoS” fell by the wayside due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (replaced, along with the Goodwood Revival, by the live-streamed Goodwood Speedweek).
This year’s event wasn’t immune from disruption either, due to the delay on the lifting of restrictions announced by Boris Johnson in mid-June. However, organisers successfully convinced the government to include the Festival on its list of pilot events — a list that also includes the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July — meaning that all current ticket holders were able to attend as planned, rather than attendance being capped at 4,000, as some feared.
What are the highlights of FoS 2021?
As usual, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed included a plethora of exciting stars and cars, all as part of this iteration of the official theme: “Maestros — Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders”. It was a celebration of teams, drivers and marques that have succeeded across several disciplines.
People confirmed to attend included Mario Andretti, who competed in F1, IndyCar and Nascar throughout his very successful career, McLaren F1 racing duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, and Alex Albon in a Red Bull F1 car (above).
The Sunday Shootout is one of the highlights of the hill climb action, with cars and drivers competing for the fastest time along the 1.1-mile course, which was completed in record time by the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R in 2019 – though the official Shootout time was slower due to moisture on the track.
This year’s shootout was won by Rob Bell in a McLaren 720S GT3X, who managed a time of 45.01 seconds, with Travis Pastrana finishing 1.19 seconds behind in a Subaru WRX STI and Jeremy Smith completing the podium in a 1988 Spice-Cosworth sports car.
As well as classic and modern racing cars heading up the Goodwood hill, as usual vehicles from rallying, rallycross and other motor sport disciplines wowed the crowds, along with roadworthy extreme machines from the Supercar Paddock, including the Aston Martin Valkyrie, McLaren Elva, Ferrari 812 GTS, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, Maserati MC20, Rimac Nevera and Lotus Evija, all of which were running up the hill in live demonstrations.
— Will Dron (@wdron) July 8, 2021
Rally fans were again treated to action on the Forest Rally Stage, which hosted current WRC drivers as well as four-wheeled icons such as the Lancia Delta Integrale and Audi Quattro. Meanwhile the G.A.S. Arena was where extreme sports stars showed off their skills on two wheels.
Once again there was the Future Lab, where visitors could discover new technology set to transform mobility, and this year you couldn’t miss the Electric Avenue, a large stand where a host of electric vehicles, from city quadricycles to hypercars, could be found. If you’re thinking of going electric in the near future, this was a good area to browse.
— Will Dron (@wdron) July 8, 2021
And while there were notably fewer car makers with big stands at the show, due to ongoing issues around coronavirus, there were still big stands from Ford, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Genesis, Lotus and Jaguar Land Rover.
Once again, Jaguar offered drifting experiences in the F-type sports car and Land Rover allowed stand visitors to drive the new Defender on an off-road course, though this year advance booking was required.
Which car brand featured on the central display?
As in every year it has been held, Goodwood celebrated one marque with its “central display”. This year Lotus took the prestigious spot, during a big year for the sports car brand: it’s waved farewell to its time-hallowed trio of sports cars, the Elise, Evora and Exige; ramping up to deliveries of its electric hypercar, the Evija; and it is preparing to fully unveil its final petrol-powered car, the Emira — which will also make its debut at the 2021 Festival of Speed.
— Will Dron (@wdron) July 8, 2021
The central display took an exciting new direction this year, looking at the past, present and future of Lotus, and featuring new augmented reality interactivity as well as ways to engage those people watching the event from the comfort of their homes.
Which new cars debuted at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed?
As a de facto British Motor Show, as usual a number of car manufacturers brought new models with them to the Festival of Speed, and some again chose the event for a global unveiling. Here’s a brand-by-brand look at the new road cars that were featured at FoS 2021.
Alfa Romeo brought its pair of high performance Guilias to Goodwood — the Giulia GTA (Grand Turismo Alleggrita), named after the Giulia Sprint GTA of the 1960s and installed with an uprated version of Alfa’s 2.9-litre V6 Biturbo engine. The car has been made with the help of Sauber Engineering, which operates Alfa’s Formula One team.
Joining it is an even more performance-oriented counterpart, the GTAm, which adds a distinctive rear wing and rollcage but strips out the back seats.
BMW brought a whole host of new cars with it to the Festival of Speed. Visitors were treated to the UK debut of the iX, BMW’s new flagship electric SUV, which packs an impressive powertrain with a range of up to 380 miles, but has received attention mostly for its polarising design. Will it look as odd in the metal as it does in pictures?
Another of BMW’s upcoming electric cars also appeared in the form of the BMW i4, the German car maker’s answer to the Tesla Model 3.
Back in the world of internal combustion engines, the new 2022 BMW 2 Series also made its UK debut at Goodwood. The two-door coupé, which will initially be released in 220i, 220d and M240i xDrive variants, was unveiled at BMW’s “M-town” section of the festival before it was shown in action on the hillclimb.
Also sprinting up the hill was the range-topping 626bhp M5 CS, which can sprint from 0-60mph in three seconds flat on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 189mph.
And for the fashionistas, BMW showed its collaboration with New York fashion designer Kith, which will be limited to just 150 units worldwide. It’s a version of the M4 competition, decked out in black carbon with subtle red and blue design elements.
Ferrari announced that it is bringing not one but five new cars with it to the Festival of Speed. A couple of the quintet appeared at the spectatorless Goodwood Speedweek last year, but this is the first time all of the cars have appeared together in front of the general public.
The Roma, Ferrari’s stunning and well-received grand tourer, made an appearance, as did another V8-powered 2+2, the new Portofino M. The latter is an upgraded version of the Portofino, now installed with a number of features from the better-received Roma including its eight-speed gearbox and five-position Manettino dial.
Also to be seen on Goodwood’s famous hillclimb is the 812 GTS, which Ferrari says is its first front-mounted V12-powered convertible for half a century. Jeremy Clarkson has already reviewed the car for The Sunday Times, and declared that it was too powerful, too complicated, and “too scary”.
Rounding out the Ferrari contingent are a pair of SF90s, Ferrari’s new flagship and the first plug-in hybrid to ever come out of Maranello. The Stradale (“road” in Italiano) model will arrive equipped with the “Assetto Fiorano” pack, which strips 30kg of weight and optimises the car for track use. The new, convertible Spider version of the car also made its way to West Sussex.
Hyundai’s luxury offshoot has only just launched in the UK, and it’s not just hanging around: it’s already released its G80 saloon and GV80 SUV, and hit Britain’s biggest motoring event to launch its newest car: the G70 shooting brake, a Europe-specific model that will come to launch alongside the G70 saloon and GV70 SUV.
One of this year’s best-received cars has to be the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the first model to come from the South Korean manufacturer’s electric sub-brand, and the first of 12 electric models to be released by Hyundai over the next four years.
It’s garnered plaudits not only for its striking “retro-futuristic” design but also the ability to charge from 10%-80% in just 18 minutes (if you can find a 200kW rapid charger) and sprint from 0-60mph in a hot hatch-like 5.2 seconds.
The car’s appearance at Goodwood will also give the public the opportunity to explore the Ioniq 5’s “living space” cabin, which Hyundai claims boasts segment-beating levels of comfort while being as sustainable as possible.
Kia made its first appearance at Goodwood this year in order to promote a pair of models: the new EV6 and the Stinger GT420. The former features in the “Electric Avenue — Road to 2030” exhibition, which aims to showcase the breadth of electric vehicles that are available now, and that will be available in the future.
The EV6 is based on the same underpinnings as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, meaning that it’s equipped with the ability to charge from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes, providing that you can find one of the UK’s sparsely-located ultrafast charging points.
If that isn’t exciting enough for you, then try this: the 584bhp GT version of the car can do the 0-60mph sprint in 3.5 seconds — quicker than the Lamborghini Urus and the Mercedes-AMG GT.
Meanwhile, the Stinger GT420 is appearing at the First Glance Paddock. It’s a one-off track car (not Kia’s bread and butter, admittedly) packing 420bhp thanks to a twin-turbocharged V6.
It’s a big year for Lotus at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. As mentioned above, the British car maker is celebrated by the festival’s central display, but there’s more: it is showing off the Emira, which will be the last car to come out of Hethel powered exclusively by an internal combustion engine.
The Emira is a two-seat coupé with its engine behind the driver. That’s a supercharged V6 to start with, powering the rear wheels, while there’s also Mercedes-AMG turbo power coming down the line. Though the Emira retains the compact and lightweight mantra of the retired Lotus Elise, it will also feature a much more modern interior with plenty of up-to-date technology.
Meanwhile, the Lotus Evija electric supercar is at Goodwood and has already been wowing the crowds with particularly smoky starts before it heads up the famous hillclimb.
When it released the supercar in September, Maserati hailed the new MC20 as the beginning of a new era for the Modena marque. It is the first supercar the brand has launched since 2004’s limited-release MC12, and the design is definitely derived from that incredible race-bred machine.
The MC20, though, was very much aimed at use on the road and features a brand new, in-house developed six-cylinder “Nettuno” engine that claims to use F1-derived technology for a blistering 0-60mph time of 2.66 seconds, and a top speed of 202mph.
It will be driven at Goodwood by Andrea Bertolini, who won the FIA GT1 championship in the MC12.
Also making an appearance is the updated Ghibli Trofeo, which for the first time uses a Ferrari-made V8, rather than a twin-turbocharged V6.
Mini has the Electric Pacesetter at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Described as an “extreme version” of the Mini Electric hatchback (which we tested over six months last year), it has been designed and developed to act as the safety car in the electric single-seater racing series Formula E. It took to the hillclimb with brand icon John Cooper’s grandson, Charlie Cooper, at the wheel.
The Electric Pacesetter will be available to see alongside Mini’s full line-up of models. The legend that is Paddy Hopkirk, who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Morris Mini Cooper S Mk1 and was recently honoured with the special edition Mini Cooper S Paddy Hopkirk, will also be there to meet the public and sign autographs.
Automobili Pininfarina made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year in order to promote its pure-electric hypercar, the Battista hyper GT. The marque claims to be the world’s “first pure electric luxury car maker”, and plans to start deliveries of the model later this year. The car, which shares a powertrain with the Rimac C_Two (unveiled in production guise as the Nevera last month), has reportedly already been tested on some of Europe’s most demanding tracks.
A surprise debut in Goodwood was a one-off experimental version of the company’s Polestar 2 electric car. Designed especially for the Festival of Speed, the prototype gets more power – up to 470bhp – and a lowered chassis to investigate what a high-performance variant of the EV could drive like.
Porsche turned up to the Festival of Speed with the recently-announced Cayenne Turbo GT, the fastest Cayenne in the model’s 19-year history. It’s powered by an uprated version of Porsche’s 4-litre V8, which now puts out a belting 631bhp and 627 lb ft of torque for a 0-60mph time of 3.3 seconds — a whisker quicker than the Lamborghini Urus.
Perhaps better suited to the twists of the Goodwood hillclimb is the new 911 GT3 Touring, the new more subtle-looking version of the track-focused GT3 model. Goodwood represents the model’s first public outing.
The Rolls-Royce factory is only a stone’s throw from the Goodwood Estate, so the British company didn’t have far to bring its cars for the Festival of Speed. Making its global debut at the event is the new Wraith Black Badge Landspeed Collection. It is taking part in the ‘First Glance’ section on the hillclimb several times a day and can be seen in the Supercar Paddock at other times.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge can also be seen in motion, as part of the Michelin Supercar Run, while the rest of the line-up are displayed in various Bespoke formats on the Goodwood Laundry Green.
When was the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021?
This year’s festival took place on the weekend of July 8 – July 11.
Which is the best day to go to the Goodwood Festival of Speed?
It’s hard to say which day is best to visit the Festival of Speed. Sunday has the Shootout — the culmination of the hill climb action — making it extremely popular, and Saturday and Sunday tend to see the biggest number of celebrity appearances. However, Saturday also has a full schedule of hill climb action as well as a number of other motor sport events, while Friday sees Formula One cars take to the hill as well as new car debuts.
How much were the tickets?
There were a number of ticket types made available, with many sold out early due to restricted numbers allowed into the event and a rollover of attendees who held tickets for the cancelled FoS 2020. Tickets vary in price, but general admission can start from under £50 for adults, while children aged 12 & under are admitted free of charge (though a wristband is still required). Hospitality tickets started from £294 per person.
Where is the Festival of Speed?
The Festival of Speed takes place at the picturesque and quintessentially British Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, which is owned by the Duke of Richmond, who founded FoS in June 1993. The grounds are located just outside Chichester — 60 miles from London and 30 miles from Brighton and Southampton.
There are regular trains from London Victoria to Chichester that take between 40 minutes and an hour. If you’re driving, you’ll park in a large field before walking to the event. Parking is free, and you cannot leave your car in any of Goodwood’s car parks overnight.
How many people attend the Festival of Speed?
In normal times (remember those?), Goodwood welcomes around 200,000 people to the Festival of Speed over the weekend. However, due to the social distancing restrictions to which we’re all now so accustomed, Goodwood cut the number of tickets it makes available. This is one of the biggest contributors to the fact that the festival sold out early in 2021.
Goodwood FoS opening times
For the most enthusiastic petrolheads, the Festival of Speed throws open its gates at 7am before events begin around 8:30am. A day full of motoring delights then proceeds, wrapping up around 6pm. Be prepared for long queues getting in and out of the venue.
When was the first Goodwood Festival of Speed?
The first Festival of Speed took place in 1993 (reviewed here by Jeremy Clarkson), and although the set-up was more basic, it started with a bang: highlights included a then-new McLaren F1 competing against a Surtees TS20 Formula One car on the hill climb, and The Beatles’ George Harrison driving the Gordon Murray-designed Light Car Company Rocket up the hill.
Attendees included the Gordon Murray himself, McLaren legend Ron Dennis and F1 driver Damon Hill, who would go on to win the F1 world championship three years afterwards. However, the weekend was marred by a tragedy, when Chas Guy was fatally injured after a fall from his 1948 Vincent motorcycle.
The Duke of Richmond (then Lord March) wrote of the first FoS: “It was such a special weekend, the dream of bringing motor sport back to Goodwood now a reality, and the first step on a journey that would take us to the revival of the circuit and a Festival that would later become the biggest gathering of historic cars and bikes on Earth.”
How can you watch Festival of Speed online and on TV?
The Festival of Speed has been broadcast on ITV since it began in 1993, and this year looks to be no different with some of the most popular segments set to be broadcast on television. But thanks to fast Internet and streaming services, one of the best ways to watch in recent years is via the Goodwood website and the event’s YouTube channel.
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