Goodwood FoSThe Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 rolls around once again and, once again, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever.

MR is on site for all four days, including the popular Thursday Moving Motor Show; we’ll be joining the crowds and driving up the hill.

72nd Goodwood Members’ Meeting: MR LIVE BLOG

Follow all the news from the event here with our regular check-ins and updates…


GOODWOOD FOS 2014

Friday Review: MRFoS

Not withstanding a few internet and 3G issues, yesterday was a good day. It started extremely early in Birmingham, so I could beat the traffic – the pain of getting out of bed at 3am was tempered by not sitting outside FoS wishing I were within. I thus ended up at McDonald’s at 6am drinking coffee, eating porridge and writing about Ford Focus ST and Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary.

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And Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo concepts. This radical mid-engined digital-only concept was due for reveal at 0930h and I was eager to be there in plenty of time: this meant prepping everything in advance and trying not to ogle the digi-images too much. I succeeded, did get there in plenty of time and even ducked on the other side of the rope barrier thanks to a kind wink from an Aston Martin PR.

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Not only was designer Marek Reichman there, so too was Gran Turismo GOD Kazunori Yamauchi. Tim Harvey was MC and let Yamauchi-san speak briefly through his translator, before Bibendum was hustled out the way and the covers were pulled off. Wow!, I tweeted, before trying to elbow everyone out the way and get a clean shot. Tricky.

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Phone buzzing with #DP100 interest on Twitter, Reichman explained some of the thinking behind the car: purely digital, it was created in just six months, following exactly the same processes normal production cars do. So, they’ll be making it then? “That’s not the plan – this is purely a digital car created for Gran Turismo.” We shall see: we’ll certainly see some aspects from it on future production cars, such as the trick rear lights.

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After Aston, it was back to the press room to touch base with the office, before dashing across to another British premium manufacturer, Bentley (and its new show stand with posh upstairs lounge – you could smell the brand new carpet…). Here, we were to get a briefing from returning boss Wolfgang Durheimer before a technical rundown of the new Bentley GT3-R. You can read what Durheimer said elsewhere: safe to say, he’s come back to a company in fine shape.

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The GT3-R? More than just stickers and a fancy bodykit, this is a proper engineering job that includes loads of carbon fibre and, um, an estimated £237,500 price tag. That’s rather a lot, even given all the engineering that’s gone into it. But then, it is a strictly limited edition and there probably are just enough rich Bentley fans out there to see stocks cleared with ease. Fascinating: can’t wait to drive it…

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And then, well placed in the infield, it was time for another walkaround. Good lord, it was busy: glorious sunshine helped and thousands of people were out there enjoying it. Many with picnics and wine, or beer, or Pimms: delicious and proper festival stuff. Who needs Glastonbury? Particularly around midday where music was provided by the supercar run. Why’s that funny man taking pictures of old AA vans and garish Gulf-liveried Porsche Cayennes, some mused? On duty, I nodded. I’ll be behind you in the queue at the Doom Bar stand tomorrow afternoon.

IMG_5438Oh, just before leaving, I spent 45mins walking the Goodwood FoS Supercar Car Park. A special (and pricey) parking area just for supercars (there is a list), I was in it last year with a Porsche 911 – and, by the looks of it, would have been well outnumbered this year by all the Aston Martins, McLaren 12C and myriad Ferraris. Goodness, there was even a McLaren P1, plus a whole host of retro cool stuff. Definitely worth a visit if you fancy a trek up the hill.

Friday, 0900h: Media Centre

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Here it is at last; Goodwood FoS 2014. I’ve scooped my space in the media centre and am, like everyone else, now drinking copious amounts of coffee to offset the early start we’ve all had. It was worth it though, particularly as I breezed in with nary a traffic jam in sight (in contrast to leaving the car park yesterday…).

It’s a packed morning. I’ve got the Aston Martin DP-100 reveal at 0930h, a Bentley walkaround at 1100h and several more interviews packed in between. The hot question at the moment is not ‘is the internet working for you?’ (it is, at the mo, and the man from the internet company has just been over to check all’s fine – fingers crossed…) but what the weather’s going to do. Everyone’s heard something different, from thunderstorms and torrential rain to meek and muggy. We shall see. At the moment, it’s… quite nice, actually.

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MOVING MOTOR SHOW

Thursday, 1730h: The M40

Today has been fantastic. Glorious Goodwood sunshine, plenty of fantastic racers, lots of new road cars and a plethora of stuff to do in between. Moving Motor Show was as busy as a regular FoS day today – and that’s why updates have been intermittent. Both phone network and wifi weren’t quite prepared for it.

I’m therefore headed home to regroup, get some shots up and prepare for the opening FoS 2014 day tomorrow. Word of warning if you’re going there and plan to meet up with people, though: try to agree plans beforehand because relying on a quick call to locate someone may not alway work. I’m doing exactly this for my various meetings tomorrow. More of which, tomorrow!

It’s images for today though: drop in later this evening for a full update. In the meantime, check out something else I’ve been working on… Live from the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 on MSN Cars! 

Thursday, 1100h: Goodwood FoS Media Centre

We don’t do things by halves here at MR. Already, we’ve visited the Goodwood race circuit, driven an M3 with instructor Pat Buss guiding us, had a hot (and very sideways) lap with Tiff Needell to show us how it should be done, enjoyed a bit of Goodwood traffic, visited the Moving Motor Show, driven a Ford Fiesta EcoBoost up the hill, chatted with Formula Ford star Jayde Kruger and ogled the Mercedes-Benz central feature sculpture from afar and up close. Photo diary coming up…

Thursday, 0600h: A Ford Hotel

We’re here early for the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014: yesterday, I stayed with Ford in a 1.0-litre EcoBoost-themed event. I drove the new 140hp Fiesta Red & Black (first drive coming soon) and, for contrast, a 1977 1.0-litre Fiesta MkI. Night and day doesn’t even begin to describe it: modern Ford Fiesta buyers, you’re a lucky lot, given what earlier generations drove…

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Ford proudly presented the EcoBoost’s third straight world engine of the year prize, and told us the ‘engine peel’ livery on the bonnet will be on all EcoBoost Fiestas running at Goodwood this weekend. I hope to be driving one of them: if there’s still space, I’ll be back in the Red & Black to go up the hill later.

Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 2014

But first, a BMW-themed diversion: it’s off to Goodwood race circuit, to drive the new M3 and M4 on a BMW owner’s trackday. Rather a nice way to begin #MRFoS 2014, I thought…