The best of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, from F1 burnouts to Captain America

July 15, 2013

I've been writing about cars for long enough to decide that America is missing something important. While we have neighborhood car shows and historic races, nothing in the United States or the rest of the world compares to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a celebration of forward momentum on wheels that draws from the best of racing history and modern technology. Even Captain America showed up this year.

Held by the Earl of March at his Goodwood House manor for the past two decades, the Festival of Speed brings 150,000 to the English countryside for several days of spectating. Hundreds of cars race up the short hill course, from early 20th century antiques to the McLaren and Porsche supercars. And it's not just Euro-centric; among the drivers this year was Kerry Earnhardt, in his father Dale Earnhardt's NASCAR Chevy Monte Carlo.

Here's one crowd favorite from this year: Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton tackling the hill climb in the team's demonstration car, with requisite burnouts:

Other highlights last weekend ranged from public debuts of rare models — such as Eric Clapton's custom-bodied Ferrari SPC12 EC — to drives by Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and even Peter Fonda, who put on the American flag helmet and gave the crowd an "Easy Rider" flashback. You can see the highlights in the gallery, and wonder why the Brits should have all the fun.