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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2004 - Review

With a ticket-only policy for 2004, Goodwood saw total visitors reduced by some 10,000 (to 147,000 for the three days), exactly in line with the policy of giving spectators a better experience on the day, with less crowding and better access. As usual it was an event to remember.

Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Roger Dixon - STRICTLY COPYRIGHT

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2004 - Review This year’s theme was ‘Young Chargers - Old Masters’, the concept of everyone having a mentor, a hero that inspires them. In Lord March’s case it was his grandfather, who brought motor racing to the Goodwood airfield perimeter track in 1948. So the Goodwood team, under Motor Sport Director Richard Sutton, assembled the customary stellar selection of cars (and lorries, more of which anon) from the dawn of motor sport to current F1 and Rallying, offering inspiration for us all and many of which having been raced by fathers and sons.

Safety concerns over recent years, together with the priceless aspect of many ‘exhibits’, have meant that most runs are now ‘Demonstration’ i.e. untimed. This notwithstanding, just seeing a genuine Trans-Am car or Edwardian racer in motion more than justifies the price of entry. All the usual favourites were present, from the Mercedes Benz Classic Team of pre- and post-war Grand Prix cars (like the 1939 W154 driven by John Surtees pictured above) to the Porsche Museum’s 908 and 1300bhp 917/30, to modern F1 cars from Ferrari, BAR, McLaren etc. Paris-Dakar cars and support lorries had their own class, and proved to be a big (in all senses of the word for the giant trucks) success.

The popular ‘Gravity Racing Club dunhill Soapbox Challenge’ was held again, as was the ‘Supercar Run’ where modern manufacturers had the chance to demonstrate their wares outside the showroom. The ‘Cartier Style et Luxe’ Concours, ably organised by Julius Thurgood and Tony Collins wowed spectators, while the now-legendary display in front of Goodwood House was Rolls-Royce themed and had the central ‘sculpture’ of three R-R powered record breakers on land, sea and air surrounded by some of the most glorious products of the marque over the years - they do of course have a factory within the Goodwood Estate.

All this, and motorbikes, and air-displays, and ear-splitting dragsters, quality trade stands and catering, made it another Goodwood Festival to remember. Personal favourites? The psychedelic Porsche 917 Langheck from 1970 or the Ford Mustang Boss 302 from the same year - you wouldn’t go far wrong with either.

Final word goes to Lord March on this year’s pre-booking policy-

“This is precisely what we were aiming for with our new strategy of making the Festival of Speed a ticket-only event. We were aiming for a reduction of 10,000 from last year's attendance of 158,000 and this we have achieved to within a few hundred. I believe that the Festival was a far better experience for everybody and that the reduced attendance resulted in a more comfortable experience and that everybody was able to get a better view of the action. There were almost no traffic problems and in future years we are determined to continue with a strategy that produces a better quality day out for all our spectators.”


dunhill Award for the Driver of the Day:
Antonia Pizzonia - Williams BMW F25A

Cartier 'Style et Luxe':
1968 Bizzarinni Strada 5300 - Gino Macaluso

Unisys Trophy for the Fastest Time of the Day:
Justin Law - Jaguar XJR 12 - 49.26s

Fastest Lady Driver of the Day:
Lorina McLoughlin - McLaren-Cosworth M23 - 58.98s

Fastest Historic Driver of the Day:
John Delane - Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 - 50.88s

The Goodwood Choice for Most Impressive Motorcycle:
Tommy Wagner - Mondial Piega 1000

Soapbox - Best Presented Roadster:

Soapbox - Best Presented Streamliner:
Bertrandt BCC3

Spirit of Soapboxing:
Cummins Special

Grand Wizir:
dunhill Charger (Simon Diffey)

Fastest Soapbox of the Year:
Lotus Type 119c

The Revival, the period-dress themed racing event at Goodwood Circuit, will also be ticket-only this year and held on the 3, 4, 5 September. Another ‘must-do’, booking details can be found below:

Goodwood Road Racing Co Ltd
Chichester, W.Sussex
PO18 0PH
Ticket Sales: +44 (0)1243 755055