Goodwood FoS: Pt.3 – Trackside

At the end of the last post I had three hours to kill before Jenson Button appeared on the Mercedes stage. I wasn’t all too fussed about that actually, I only wanted to go because you don’t see Formula 1 drivers every day and I actually knew he was going to be there rather than chancing a meeting in the paddock.

It was 12pm and I was starting to get hungry. I headed to the concessions to check out the prices. £5.50 for a basic burger, £7 for a decent one. I take the packet of McCoys crisps from my bag and walk on in search of an event programme.

You need a programme at Goodwood because without it you don’t know when to get trackside, and you don’t have a hope of planning your whereabouts to coincide with drivers arriving/departing the paddock. Relieved of £12, but given a ‘free’ radio (ok I’m paying for it, just tell me I am, yeah?) and another magazine about the people attending, I immediately thumb the programme to figure out what to do next: go to the track, then explore paddock. The programme seller was positioned between gaps in hospitality marquees so I got my first good look at this year’s sculpture.

Audi Sculpture, Goodwood House, from 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed

I cross the bridge and immediately spot celebrity chef and 2008 Mille Miglia entrant James Martin signing autographs. I choose not to do same, or even get a photo, because I don’t care about James Martin.

Cars are starting to run up the hill again now so I take up station by the bridge to watch – this is the sportscar section and I want to see the new Audi, Peugeot and Aston in the flesh! First though, a massive group of Porsches. I’m sure if you were a fan in their era you would have found this section riveting, and they did look and sound great, but really.. there were a LOT of them.

1969 Porsche 917K, from 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed

One of the drawbacks at Goodwood is the need to rub elbows to get anything like a decent view if you are not in a grandstand. The covered grandstands cost a fortune, though there are freely available open grandstands dotted around the place – unfortunately not in this location. This meant trying to peer around the side of the people next to you, who were trying to do the same to the people next to them! When they stay back you can get a really good view.


Finally the new cars arrived! You can see the Pug in the set of four above, it wasn’t a good photo unfortunately – you couldn’t hear it coming so it was a rush job!
The Aston shot was much better.

2009 Lola Aston Martin LMP1, from 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed

And by this time I’d practised so when the near-silent Audi R15 appeared I was ready.

From 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Little did I know I would have a closer encounter with the Audi later.