Goodwood Festival of Speed
In between all of my recent travels, I’m trying to squeeze in as many experiences that the English summer season has to offer. Last month I was at Royal Ascot and earlier this month I took a trip out to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed. The festival is a bit of an institution for car nuts so when Alcantara, the luxury material that features in so many of the supercars racing at Goodwood, asked if I wanted to join them for the day to see the experience through the eyes of the brand I couldn’t resist… and when they mentioned there would be an opportunity to drive the infamous hillclimb I was completely sold!
My previous experience of Goodwood has been at their spectacular Revival event, where all things vintage rule, from the guests’ outfits to the cars on the track, so arriving at the Festival of Speed with Alcantara brought me straight into the modern day car world. Each manufacturer displays special edition models of their range, alongside new car launches, and a look at their design process, which I found particularly interesting. We were lucky enough to meet with Scott Kruger who heads up design at Alfa Romeo, and after a chat about their new launch, we discussed the importance of blending the brand’s design DNA with modern technology and superior components, such as Alcantara. We were also very kindly given a drawing of the new Stelvio launch, painted straight on to Alcantara by the Alfa Romeo design team in Italy. We were soon spotting the material everywhere – from perforated, stitched seats in the new Bentley Continental Supersports to door trims on the Lexus LC 500 Hybrid and more unusually on the seat of a Yamaha Abarth motorbike.
After a quick lunch we headed over to the track to get behind the wheel of an Abarth 124 Spider. My racing instructor drove me up to the start line and asked if I wanted him to drive or if I was up for the challenge… Having grown up on race tracks (Daddy used to run a racing team), there was no way I was letting go of this iconic opportunity! We swapped seats and after a couple of pointers (as well as begging me not to crash as it would be SO embarrassing) I had my foot flat to the floor and we were racing along the track, past Goodwood House and up the hill to the finish line. What an experience! I loved every minute of it and wanted to do it again as soon as I’d finished… so maybe there’s another career for me in the future, or a least a few more posts about cars…!
A huge thank you to Alcantara for taking me to Goodwood Festival of Speed for the day!