A fourth day at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and a closer-than-ever link between the world’s greatest car festival and our own Autocar magazine, the world’s most venerable and authoritative car publication!

This is the mouth-watering prospect that will confront visitors to Goodwood’s first motoring event of 2010 in July.

See all the pictures from today's action at GoodwoodGoodwood motor show confirmed

At today’s press preview, Goodwood chief Lord Charles March announced the famous Sussex car festival will begin on Thursday, instead of its traditional Friday slot. This is so it can include an exciting road-car preview to be called the Moving Motor Show.

It’s an idea we’ve been supporting since the British Motor Show went down for the last time; Mr Editor Hallett laid it out in an editorial straight after last year’s Festival, something Lord M recognised in his launch speech to hacks on the lawns of Goodwood House this morning.

The idea of the MMS is that Thursday visitors to Goodwood will be able to view, compare, sit in, observe in motion — and possibly drive — the new cars they’re thinking of buying.

A driving route of around six miles is being laid out on the roads of the Goodwood estate, to include the famous hillclimb course, and invited drivers will be able to try cars under realistic conditions. Meanwhile, the rest of the Festival’s displays, markets, stalls and eateries will be open for business.  On days two, three and four, the 2010 Festival will offer its usual patchwork of delights: a huge variety of cars on the hill, a packed paddock, themed displays in half a dozen locations everywhere and wall-to-wall enthusiasm for cars of all types.

This year’s biggest deal is the centenary of Alfa Romeo (the Italian's are bringing 50 of their finest museum properties) which will be be used as a backdrop for the UK launch of the make-or-break Giulietta, its five-door Golf-sized hatchback.

Among other anniversaries, it’s 60 years since the first F1 race (at least five teams are bringing cars ) and half a century since Britain’s premier rally, then the RAC, took to the forests. The forest rally stage, like today, will be in action non-stop.

This is the time of year I enjoy most. First we get the Geneva show, which I always think kicks off the driving season, and straight after it we’re confronted by the delicious summer prospect of the Goodwood Festival and Revival, evidently better than ever this year.

As Lord March observed today, the whole thing has expanded so much in 18 years that the preview is now bigger than the original Festival.

But one thing hasn’t changed. As March passionately observed in conclusion: “The big thing, as always, is to see that everyone has a great time.”

Technorati Tags: , ,