The best moments from the 2023 Festival of Speed so far

15th July 2023
Simon Ostler

The Hill lies sadly quiet on what should have been an exciting Saturday at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at all the fun we’ve had so far. Two full days of hillclimb action have already delivered plenty of highlights. We’ve seen dynamic debuts for new cars, celebrations, drifting madness, and plenty of motorsport legends. Here are some of the best moments from the 2023 Festival of Speed so far.


1. Drifting in darkness

It feels like a long time ago already, but Goodwood was bathed in sunshine for the most part of Thursday, and we were all ready for a quiet evening’s rest when the action had come to a close, however, there were three guys with different ideas. Travis Pastrana, ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett and Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni got back into their respective cars and went back out in front of the House to put on one more showcase of drifting magic as night fell. It made for a spectacular sight of tyre smoke and exhaust flames, topped off by a stunning firework display above the Central Feature.


Drifting in darkness at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed

13th July 2023


2. Porsche 75 Celebrations

Our daily celebrations of Porsche’s 75th anniversary are certainly up there as one of the biggest occasions of the Festival of Speed so far. Once a day we’ve been treated to a parade of legendary Porsche road and racing cars, piloted by some equally legendary drivers, congregating on the Turning Circle under the Central Feature. This is an awe-inspiring showcase the breadth of success of this great marque. We’ll get one more chance to revel in the glory of a selection of cars that includes numerous Le Mans winners, iconic road cars and more.


Celebrating 75 years of Porsche at the 2023 Festival of Speed

13th July 2023

3. Mad Mike back on the Hill

After three years away, we were so happy to welcome Mad Mike back to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2023, in none other than the ludicrous Mazda RX-7 in which he made his first appearance in 2014. He was on top form as you would expect, torturing those poor, poor rear tyres and expelling blasts of flame from the exhaust, all the while hammering that screaming rotary under the bonnet. There is no end to our love for this.


Video: Mad Mike returns to Goodwood with flame‑spitting RX‑7

12th July 2023

4. Lamborghini Revuelto’s dynamic debut

Of all the new cars making their global debuts at the 2023 Festival of Speed, the Lamborghini Revuelto was one of those we were hyper-aware of. Because a new V12 Lamborghini is a moment in time, with each chapter setting the tone for the next decade. This time, of course, the V12 is backed up by a tiny 3.8kWh battery and three electric motors. All in, it produces 1,015PS (747kW), though it was struggling to get it all down onto the incredibly wet hillclimb on Friday. We’re looking forward to seeing it at full potential come Sunday.


Video: Lamborghini Revuelto debuts at 2023 Festival of Speed

13th July 2023

5. McMurtry Spéirling returns to the Hill

Another big return, this time of the reigning record-holder on the Festival of Speed hillclimb: the McMurtry Spéirling. Max Chilton is back in action on the Hill this weekend, supposedly in a much more laid-back capacity. Not that we saw much evidence of that as he absolutely flew past the House and into Molecomb at alarming speeds considering the awful conditions – that free downforce courtesy of the Spéirling’s fan system really was a cheat mode. It won’t be gunning for the record again this year, but there’s something special about seeing the little McMurtry back in action.


Video: Record‑breaking McMurtry Spéirling returns at the 2023 Festival of Speed

13th July 2023


6. Pagani Utopia’s dynamic debut

Like Lamborghini, Pagani has also been busy preparing its next masterpiece. Called the Utopia, it follows in the footsteps of the Zonda and Huayra before it. It, too, is a V12, although here there is no hybrid augmentation, just all-out deliverance of 864PS (634kW)'s worth of pure combustion fury. The looks are growing on us, but to know that the model lighting up the Hill this weekend is equipped with that seven-speed manual gearbox – and that most Utopia buyers have ordered it thusly – fills us with immeasurable joy.


Pagani Utopia debuts at the 2023 Festival of Speed

13th July 2023

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