Goodwood: The Festival of Speed

It must, on reflection, be genetic. Something like the coriander thing: most people think it’s harmless enough and adds a nice splash of colour to a dish, others hold it up as evidence of some essential evil lying at the heart of all creation.

The keening whine of a Formula 1 car or the song of a Rolls Royce Merlin divides opinion equally clearly. Some will look around and wonder vaguely where all that noise is coming from, others will feel an invisible hand grip their spirit and start to squeeze, a shiver rippling across their shoulders as the sound hits them in the pit of their stomach like a shovelful of wet gravel.

For those with this Toad of Toad Hall genetic mutation, there can be little more thrilling that the Goodwood Festival of Speed, that celebration of internal combustion past, present and future.

Alongside the legendary hill climb that allows you to experience some of the fastest, loudest, most skilful driving in the world with nothing separating you from the action but a line of straw bales, there are all kinds of high-performance antics to keep you entertained.

The theme this year is dedicated to motorsport’s game-changers, those iconic machines that were too fast, too powerful, too good: the 1,000 horsepower Grand Prix cars of the 80s; the crouched, dangerously powerful monsters of rallying’s Group B era; those bewilderingly fast crotch-rockets that suck the rabbits out of hedges as they thunder around the Isle of Man’s TT course.

It’ll run till Sunday, and you can find out the details here: