Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Friday @ Goodwood FOS 2007 // Getting our bearings on another fine motorsport weekend

Published by Christine

Last year's Goodwood was fantastic for us. We went for one day and everything happened perfectly. We were in the right place at the right time, we saw close up cars and drivers and got hundreds of pictures and experiences that would never be forgotten.

Fast forward a year and there was no question we would be going to Goodwood again. This time, though, we decided to attend all three days. Even if we had never started Sidepodcast and weren't intent on getting as much coverage as possible, we probably still would have picked up tickets for three days. It really is THAT good.

So, Friday rolled around. We were both pretty exhausted. "me" had been to Silverstone testing for a couple of days and I'd been taking exams. We could really have used a relaxing weekend at home. But you couldn't have paid us to stay at home. Admittedly, we left it a bit late on the Friday. I assumed that Friday would be a relatively quiet day, with it being a work day, and no famous people shouting about being there.

How wrong can you be? It took two hours to get there. We were queuing outside the grounds (so close and yet so far) for about forty minutes. Not a great start to the day. But... at least the weather was good.

The first thing we saw was Franck Montagny and Michael Ammermuller lining up on the start line in their Toyota and Red Bull respectively. They were about to do the 11 o'clock run up the hill. At this point, I was barely aware of who Franck Montagny was, but I'm always one for taking photographs of people - no matter how famous they are, or are not.

Franck Montagny

They seemed to take ages to climb into their cars and start, so we followed the track around to the front of the house. We were in awe of the enormous Toyota feature, but didn't take any pictures because we were distracted by this guy.

Chris Pfeiffer on his Stunt Bike

His name is Chris Pfeiffer and he is some kind of crazy. This picture is actually at the top of the hill on a later run, but we saw him at the start of the course. He did stunts such as the above the entire way up the hill. He was on and off the bike, doing donuts, spinning round with no hands, standing up on the seat, doing somersaults off the bike. And he did it all the way up so that everyone in the crowd got to see him do something. We spotted him several times throughout the weekend and I never saw him make a mistake. Well, there was one moment soon after that picture was taken, where he almost ran into the media tent, but it was hardly a problem and he was always in control. It was absolutely incredible.

Once we had got our bearings and started to remember where things were, we headed straight to the Formula 1 paddock. There's plenty to see at Goodwood but we were always circling back around to the paddock - like vultures around dead things in the desert. The first thing you can see is the enormous transporters - Red Bull, Toyota, Ferrari and McLaren. We were so impressed with the McLaren transporter that we took about fifty photos. Of a lorry. Seriously.

McLaren in perspective

But can't you see the effort they have put into that thing? The mirrors, and the silver, the reflections, and the sponsors names? It's so beautiful!

Then we made it to the actual cars. Of course, I had Mr C with me so we had to examine each car in minute detail and take pictures of the wings and trays, and we had to crawl around on the floor and poke the camera into all kinds of places.

They had what we believe to be a 2006 Ferrari and a 2007 Ferrari side by side. The wheels definitely looked further forward, but I'm convinced that they were just parked differently. It was still interesting to see the differences, though. The Ferrari personnel seemed to be unusually friendly. They let little kids through the barriers one by one if they wanted to have their photo actually right next to the car. At one point a kid was asking all kinds of questions of the nice Ferrari man that had let him through. What the kid failed to realise is that those Ferrari people were all Italian with little, if any English vocabulary, and they didn't have a clue. Still, it's nice of them to try. Last year, I felt ridiculously sorry for the poor Ferrari man who was sent to the top paddock all by himself, in the rain. This year, he was there again, but he was laughing and happy. Amazing difference.

Anyway, we tackled the hill. It's a really deceptive hill, because it starts off gently, then there's a really steep bit and then it goes into the trees. There you can keep an eye on the rally track, and it distracts you from the fact you are still climbing. By the time we got to the top, we were a bit puffed out - podcasting isn't really a hobby that helps you keep fit. It was also a bit depressing to think we were going to have to do the same climb at least two more times over the weekend.

We'd decided to treat Friday as more of a recce, rather than hoping to get any decent picturework or video done. It's a good job, because only two F1 cars went up the hill for the afternoon run. The Ferrari and Toyota did the hill climb, but we were in a very bad position. There are a bunch of poles at the top, and they use them to lean the motorbikes against during their hill climb. But they have a nasty habit of getting in the way of any decent photo opportunities. We spent a lot of the time trying to scope out a good place to stand, and we eventually got it right. But by then the cars had gone back down. We had to settle with taking a picture of one of the motorbikes.

BMW bike

I'm not ashamed to admit that I know nothing about bikes. But I know that they look good. We stayed at the top of the hill long enough to figure out that we'd missed most of the good stuff, and so we climbed back down the hill. They have tractors running up and down the hill to save on your legs, but the queue for that thing was huge! It probably would take longer to wait than it would to actually walk the damn hill.

After that, we just had time to catch up with our friends at USP Content, and leave a few of my brand new business cards around the place, and then we were content to go home and prepare for the next day. We knew we would have to be up earlier to make the most of the day, rather than leaving it late like we had done today. Friday was all about learning what we needed to do better.