Goodwood FoS 2014 Hawker HunterA Midair Squadron Hawker Hunter XL577 established a new Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb record last weekend with an astonishing 9.98-second run to the top.

The remarkable run smashes the current record run time of 41.6 seconds, set by McLaren-Mercedes driver Nick Heidfeld in 1999 by, er, more than half a minute. A top speed of 415mph was achieved by the jet as it traced the weaving Goodwood Hill Climb..

Although the Hawker Jet did have one obvious advantage…

“It was an opportunity we couldn’t resist,” said Midair Squadron leader Mike Davis, tongue firmly in cheek. “After setting the world air speed record in 1953, the Hunter has continued to be acknowledged as one of the fastest and most agile jets ever built.

“This new way of timing the Goodwood Hill Climb brings a whole new dimension to the Festival of Speed.” We should say so.

And although Sunday’s run was the first, it sounds like it won’t be the last – an all-new Goodwood FoS challenge appears to have been established, which Davis is looking forward to in 2015.

“Regardless of any future outcome, this is a wonderful tribute to British engineering and the piloting skill of the Midair squadron.” Looks like the challenge is set: roll on Goodwood FoS 2015 to see who takes it on.