2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed: A Recap of All The Action
Jul 18, 2023
The 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed was the 30th edition of the event, with the occasion also celebrating 75 years since the Goodwood Motor Circuit first opened its doors. This year’s Festival was always going to be a special one, and once again Rimblades were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to exhibit!
Every day was packed full to the brim with exciting automotive reveals and debuts, rapid Hillclimb times and F1 stars around every corner!
Let’s try and forget about Saturday though…
Cancellation of Saturday
On Friday, the action was put on hold with fans being forced under umbrellas and gazebos whilst heavy rain slowed everything down for the Hillclimb. The schedule had to be reworked with the Red Arrows display having to be called off due to the bad conditions, the fans were of course disappointed but it was only foreshadowing what was to come the following day.
With the threat of thunderstorms for the majority of the day and wind speeds nearing 60mph, the gates at Goodwood remained closed on Saturday. It marked the first time ever in the 30-year Festival of Speed history that the event was not run.
As an exhibitor at the event, this was extremely inconvenient for the Rimblades team, but of course safety is the main priority and it was the correct decision by the organisers.
Goodwood organisers released the following statement:
“It is with deep regret that we have taken the decision that the Goodwood Festival of Speed will not go ahead tomorrow. This decision has not been made lightly and His Grace, The Duke of Richmond, along with the whole Festival of Speed team, are deeply saddened that we will not run the event on Saturday for the first time in its 30-year history.”
The Hillclimb Results
The Hillclimb is the Festival of Speed’s iconic event. Every year the latest and greatest automotive machines fly up the 1.16-mile-long hill in an attempt to be crowned the undisputed record holder.
The record had been held from 1999 until 2019 by Nick Heidfeld, in the McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car with a time of 41.6 seconds. For safety reasons, F1 cars are no longer permitted to perform timed runs, so it would have had to take an absolute monster of a vehicle to beat Nick’s long-standing record. Along came 2019’s Festival of Speed…
2019’s Festival of Speed saw the 20-year-old record finally beaten at the hands of the Volkswagen ID.R. Having clinched the electric record the previous year, the VW team and driver Romain Dumas arrived in 2019 with bigger goals in mind. Poor weather on the Sunday Shootout meant that the VW was unable to beat the record, the ID.R however smashed Heidfield’s record during Saturday’s qualifying setting the Hillclimb’s first-ever sub-40-second time of 39.9 seconds.
At first, a Goodwood spokesperson stated that the record was ‘unofficial’ as it was set during the qualifying session, this was later changed though so that any timed session over the weekend is eligible to contest the overall Hillclimb record.
The 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed saw the highly anticipated McMurty Spéirling take on the Hillclimb. With a 0-62mph time of 1.5 seconds, 4,400 pounds of downforce and a total weight of less than 2,200 pounds, it’s no wonder that the Spéirling and ex-Marussia F1 driver, Max Chilton, smashed the record with a time of 39.08 seconds.
The McMurty Spéirling returned for this year’s Festival of Speed, with many people anticipating that it would once again beat the record. McMurty however didn’t participate in this year’s shootout, instead opting to do only untimed demos to celebrate 30 years of Festival of Speed and beating the record last year. Poor weather on Sunday meant that the Spéirling’s runs didn’t quite live up to the expectations – however, it still looked stupidly quick.
The track conditions were perfect for the McLaren Solus GT to set the fastest time of the 2023 Festival of Speed. Marvin Kirchhöfe pushed the Solus GT to its absolute limits setting an impressive time of 45.34 seconds, closely followed by second-place Travis Pastrana in the Subaru GL Family Huckster with a time of 46.37 seconds.
With everyone fighting to top the Hillclimb leaderboard, it’s inevitable that every now and then things don’t go so smoothly. It’s always hard to watch when expertly crafted vehicles end up sideways and smash full force into the hay bales. There were numerous victims this year, including an electric concept track car and a much-loved classic F1 car!
Perhaps one of the most embarrassing mishaps at this year’s event was the destruction of a very new and rare concept car, the Hyundai RN22e.
The RN22e crashed 30 seconds into its run on the Hillclimb’s infamously tight left-hand turn at the end of the straight, crashing head-first in spectacular fashion into the hay bales in front of the spectators
It must have been a crushing watch for the Hyundai team, with the RN22e concept rumoured to only have 2 in existence…
Leyton House Judd CG901
Following Saturday’s cancellation, Sunday’s timetable was packed. Matters were only made worse as a result of the numerous crashes throughout the day. One of which being the Adrian Newey-designed Leyton House Judd CG901 F1 car. Widely regarded as one of the most attractive F1 designs, this would have definitely been a hard watch for Formula 1 fans.
The F1 car spun out of control in the lead-up to the same sharp left turn that the Hyundai RN22e was victim to. Upon watching the replay, it appeared that the rear brakes had completely locked up just before the spin-out. Co-commentator Alice Powell described it as a very bizarre incident.
One of the scarier incidents at this year’s event occurred during a classic Jaguar Mk1’s Hillclimb run. After exiting the second turn early in the run, the rear left wheel came loose took an unfortunately timed bounce and flew straight into the crowd, colliding with two spectators.
In a statement, the festival’s organisers said: “Following the incident on the Hillclimb we’re pleased to confirm that there were no serious injuries and those involved were able to go back to enjoying the event.”
Although the Goodwood FoS fans love how close they can get to the action, it’s unlikely anyone wanted to be that close!
Rimblades would like to thank everyone that visited our stand throughout the event, we had a great time meeting everyone and we hope you all had as much fun as we did. We can't wait to be back again next year!
In the mean time, you can check out our range of alloy protection solutions in our online store by clicking here!