It doesn’t matter how many times it happens; you always feel very fortunate to be a part of the Supercar Run at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Very fortunate and – if you’re driving, at any rate – very nervous at the prospect of the damage you might do if it all goes horribly wrong in front of tens of thousands of people. Gulp.
I’m pleased to report, though, that you feel no such nerves or stress sampling the hill from the rich and expansive back seat of a Bentley Flying Spur V8 S. In fact, with someone as skilled as Andrew Unsworth, Bentley’s Head of Chassis Dynamics, at the wheel, I’d say there’s no better way to just drink in the experience.
The Flying Spur V8 S is the latest mid-range version of Bentley’s big-selling limousine. It’s got an extra 20bhp over a regular V8, bigger wheels and grippier tyres. It also has reprogrammed control software for its active air suspension, steering and gearbox, in order to deliver that little bit of extra sporting edge.
It also has every bit as much leg room as the regular Flying Spur, as well as the obligatory air-conditioned massager seats and Naim stereo. These are features that interested me much more than what was under the bonnet on a muggy Goodwood day with plenty of waiting around before our run. The V8 S is also quiet enough that you can grill your driver about his day job as he prepares to chauffeur you up the hill. I did plenty of that, too.