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Event Report

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 - Day 1

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed got under way on June 26th in the grounds of Lord March’s private estate near the city of Chichester in the South East of England.

The event has been held since 1993 and is much more than simply a display of historic and cutting-edge sports cars. It brings together celebrated drivers from the past and present who drive cars and ride motorbikes representing the history of motorsports. The event features a popular Supercar Paddock which visitors are free to wander in and out of, allowing them to get closer to the action, and break down the barriers that normally exist between drivers and spectators. It also features booths constructed by car manufacturers from around the world which are so spectacular that it’s hard to believe they are just temporary installations. There is a sense that all of the world’s great motor shows have somehow been transported to the rolling green fields of England, giving the entire event its own unique charm.

At one in the afternoon, not long after the gates officially opened, a full-scale model of the NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo was unveiled at the Japanese car maker’s booth. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo and the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo were on display at their respective manufacturers’ booths. This showed how far the influence of Gran Turismo has reached and how the Vision Gran Turismo project has been embraced by the world’s leading car makers.

Gran Turismo 6 booths were dotted around the site with large numbers of visitors waiting their turn to take the game for a spin. Whiteboards showed the current rankings as players competed for the best lap time and the chance to experience the famous hillclimb with a pro driver at the wheel.

As evening fell, the opening ceremony was held, with Lord March speaking in front of Goodwood House, which has become the symbol of the Festival of Speed. Every year, a strikingly original central display is erected on the lawn by one of the world’s leading car manufacturers, with Mercedes-Benz responsible for this year’s monument, commemorating the company’s 120 year involvement in motorsports.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an event that appeals to people of all ages, from small children to veteran motor enthusiasts. This year promises to be another magnificent weekend, highlighting the very best of the motoring world.