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Goodwood 2006 (Part 5) - A tired and dishevelled girl says goodbye // A summary of what makes the Festival of Speed so great

Published by Christine

This article was originally posted on a personal website and is published here for posterity.

I don't really want to bring a girly topic such as my hair into a post about such masculine things as F1 cars, but it has to be done. I was having a bit of a nightmare. I had washed and straightened my hair (you know, on the off-chance I bumped into Jenson Button), and was happy it was looking good. Then it rained. Then it was windy. Then it was hot. Even Mr C, who is usually pretty complimentary when I start to doubt how I look, admitted that I wasn't really at my best. It was time for some serious action.

Anthony Davidson

I am now the proud owner of a hat like that. I chose Davidson's hat rather than Button's because I'm not a fan of the signature on the cap and the giant number on the side. Things like that change with every season, and I wanted a hat that could at least get away with lasting for a year or two.

Anyway, Jenson Button had disappeared into the Honda tent and I was pretty sure we weren't going to see him again, so we headed in the opposite direction. The Red Arrows were doing a demonstration, but they were in a bit of an awkward position. There were a few too many trees in the way, and they kept doing tricksy little moves and disappearing out of view, so that by the time we found them again, they had just finished a great maneouvre.

Red Arrows

They were fabulous, as usual, though they didn't seem to end the show properly, and just kinda disappeared. It was disappointing, but nothing could really dampen our spirits.

We were starting to get a bit weary, thinking about leaving. The Red Arrows display had meant access to the car park was restricted (something to do with Health and Safety, although what they really meant was the car park had turned into a crash zone), so we went to look at the Renault display one more time.

Who should we find there but the man himself, Fisichella, signing autographs. For those keeping count, we are now fans of Rosberg, Button and Fisichella for their ability to put pen to paper.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Fisichella proceeded to put his helmet on and climb into the cars on display there, so it looked like he was going to go up the hill again. (Honest to God, you can't keep the man away from it!) The various Renault staff in their bright blue jackets began herding everyone back behind the barriers and further, to make a safe path for the car to emerge. Somehow, again, we found ourselves at the front of the crowd as we began moving backwards.

One of the Renault staff had his arms outstretched to push us backwards and his hand accidentally came to rest on my, er, chest area. I looked up at him and he seemed to be apologetic about the whole thing, but then again, he was French, so you never know.

While we were waiting to watch the Renault pull away from his starting position, Mr C took some more pictures. We suddenly realised that the F1 car had been very, very loud the previous two times we had seen it. This time, we were stuck under a kind of convex construction that would have made the whole thing ten times louder. We quickly made our escape and just in time. About a minute after we had walked away, we heard the roar of the engine and the car making it's way to the track. It was loud from where we were, so I think we would have walked away sans eardrums if we had stayed.

After a quick peek around the start line (not really the best place to view cars, glad we didn't go there first), and some of the merchandise stalls, we decided it really was time to call it a day. As we were walking back to the car park, a 747 jet flew so low over the trees that we thought that both the jet and we were in trouble. Apparently this was another fly past and to be expected (thanks for telling us!), and rather annoyingly, meant we had to wait to get back to the car once again.

But once we got there, a perfectly placed ice cream van caught our attention, and we happily made our way home.

There isn't really a way to describe Goodwood in a simple sentence, except to say this: I recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in cars. There is so much to see and do, and I don't think there's another place that you can get so close to the cars and the stars, unless you are part of a team.

A direct quote from the FOS website:

Nigel Mansell paid tribute to Lord March and his team for producing such a wonderful event. "You have put something back into motorsport that has been missing for many years," he said, "the ability of a fan to walk up to a driver and shake his hand. We must all congratulate you for that."

On a side note, who knew that Honda actually race lawnmowers?

Honda Racing Lawnmower