I have read the two articles on the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the August issue of MOTOR SPORT, and whilst I would be the first to admit that the entry was first-class, the event fell down in many areas.
Approaching from the north down the A286 we were directed via a rough, narrow track through a small wood, which must have been a nightmare for any wide, low-slung vehicle, even in the dry conditions that prevailed. The five pay booth stations were fine, but immediately after, all five were compacted into one, resulting in the inevitable frustration. Surely it is more logical in these circumstances to park the cars and then pay entry as pedestrians.
The paddock was a horrible, small, dusty place, hardly doing justice to its assembled contents, and sadly, full of poseurs who were there to be seen and not to see what was there.
Viewing on the hill was pitifully limited in view of the attendance, and one felt that the main object of the exercise was to get as much money through the gates as possible and sod the consequences. Standing trackside four deep and jostling for position is not my idea of spectating, and my wife, a mere 5ft 3in tall, sat on the grass and had to watch the star screen to follow the event.
Access across the track was limited to a single, narrow bridge which inevitably ground to a halt as small children and families with push-chairs had to struggle.
Jonathan Palmer was totally correct when he expressed concerns about the safety aspects, especially with many drivers in unfamiliar charges on a less than ideally contoured surface. Surely a more appropriate venue for such an event and gathering of this class would be a current racing circuit like Castle Combe, OuIton Park or Thruxton, all of which have facilities to overcome the above criticisms, and whilst I would dearly love to see Goodwood back in business as a racing circuit, the hill venue did not do justice to the 1994 event.
Denzil Monis, Bristol.