I’ve not been to Goodwood Festival of Speed on a Friday before, but whether it was down to the ‘right’ day, the sunshine or the inspiring set of cars on show, it was as good as a day can get.
I arrived as the some of the best classics were edging their way out of the paddock.. From the superb 1935 Alfa Aerodinamica Spider to an early (1965), beautiful, dark green Ford GT40, the cars oozed character and eccentricity, as did their drivers, as they blipped the throttles and tickled them out on the road.
So I raced across the bridge to get on the outside of Molecomb for what’s often the most exciting bit of the run, as they go hard on the brakes, turn tightish left and floor it to begin the climb. No disappointments there, though without the terrific engine notes and ‘fast’ body lines, you’d feel some of the classics were going quite sedately.
Next I headed up the forest and arrived to find at the starting gate to feel the ground shaking under my feet as a Subaru Legacy RS clawed for grip and launched itself with good 1990s whine towards the first corner.
The chat was that the Prodrive-developed Mini Countryman WRC was finishing comfortably ahead of the others, in 2min19s, and it certainly seemed to making light work of the stage.
As is often the case, some of the older, slower metal had at least as much appeal, none more so than the Escort RS and 911 SCRS.
I emerged from the trees to see the GT3 race version of the McLaren MP4-12C gliding its way round Molecomb and up the hill, with all the hyper-engineered panache that I experienced at the wheel of the MP4 a couple of weeks ago, topped off by an outrageous splitter and wing.
Finished off the day with a BBQ at the campsite at the top of the hill, trying to work out how I could go back on Saturday. I can’t, sadly, but if you get a sniff of a chance, go for it.