VIP trip to Goodwood - Ashley & Laurina Strachan - 02/08/2012
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012- Celebrating our Prized Corporate Hospitality Tickets!
We were planning to travel south from Glasgow’s Central Station during the time of the first great rains of the summer. Landslides on the east coast had closed their lines, things took an even more ‘interesting turn’ when after two hours of queuing the west coast line closed and the east coast line re-opened. So we stood in the middle of a scene from and old Sunday afternoon western where the cattle are gathered at the railroad head….
As committed petrol heads we were determined to achieve destination Goodwood so the following morning we caught the 4.40am (ouch) train to Euston. By 11:30 am we were on the courtesy bus arriving at Goodwood. It’s a while since we have been to an event of this size and the noise, the buzz, the atmosphere sort of catches you between the eyes when you walk into the park! The 3am rise was soon forgotten as we reported in to the Alfa Romeo stand where we were adorned with our illustrious corporate passes. After a few songs by Steve Cradock from Ocean Colour Scene and puckered up by a wee glass of prosecco we headed out to play!
All quiet for the moment at the Top Gear Stand, past the Veuve Cliquot Champagne Bar and over the bridge to see this year’s central feature – the incredible Lotus Display in front of Goodwood House. I love the fact that Colin Chapman’s first single seater built in 1958 is called a Lotus Climax! We avoided the temptation (for the moment) of Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ and moved on as we were keen to visit the Cathedral Paddock. The only expression that comes to mind when we walked in, is if God made car parks, they would be like this one….. Except I would describe the cars as ‘resting’ between action judging by the delicious assault on our ears! Here and there people stood with hands to head grimacing at the sound. I stood, closed my eyes and let the exquisite roar of finely tuned engines from many a bygone era wash over me. Who needs champagne or caviar when you can do this!!
Our first introduction was to the Gran PremoTipo B ‘P3’ 1932, driven by Tazio Nuvolari who won the 1935 German Grand Prix – the organisers were so convinced of a German win they didn’t have a recording of the Italian national anthem. But Nuvolari had his own copy! I like his style…..
The 1750 GT AM was sitting with its bonnet open in a very inviting way! Meantime the GTA 1300 Junior was crackling its way onto the track and try as I might I couldn’t get a good picture as folk kept gathering around it hugging and back slapping one another. Hey, if I could produce 165 horsepower from a 1300 cc engine in the 1970s, I would be back slapping myself!!
Walking round the paddock in the June sunlight of 2012 it was as though we were looking back down through the years at these incredible feats of engineering with a power and a beauty which is almost haunting, driven by legends…
Time now for the Supercar Paddock which was bursting at the seams, but undeterred we pressed on as I was keen to see the Alfa 8C spider (and forget for a moment any worries about carbon footprint…). I smiled when I noted the 0-62mph of 4.5 secs – cancel the face lift or the botox, I’ll just keep accelerating!!
We headed now for some grandstand entertainment and talk about extraordinary feats of motoring ability!! First the classic bikes driven at full tilt along the main straight with nothing more than some thinnish looking leathers and a pudding bowl of a helmet to catch the contents of your brain should misfortune strike…
Then the modern bikes blasting by and as quick as I could check the programme for what was passing, they had gone from view and another appeared. A few decided to add to the occasion by covering the grandstand straight doing a wheelie!! My sense of balance is so bad I’m better not to wear high heels, so this particular feat of bike riding left me slack jawed in wonder…
Button and Vettel came on the scene in their Formula I cars performing doughnuts. The sheer power and acoustics of their engines so close in real life, away from the safe confines of the sofa and the TV, leaves you completely gob smacked.
Our 3am start began to hit and rather than head for the Treatment Room/First Aid Centre we returned to the Alfa Romeo stand for some caffeine, the Tornado flypast and time with the latest Alfa Romeo models on offer. It’s so hard not to grin like a total twit as you look at these cars and we’ll borrow some words from our Goodwood leaflet because I have none better; “Even today, Alfa Romeo’s style, engineering and passion still commands respect around the world.
A wonderful day in which we totally succumbed to the charm of the Cloverleaf.
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