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Nestled at the foot of the Sussex Downs, with the sea often visible just a few miles in the distance, the track is the only classic circuit in the world to remain entirely in its original form, after being lovingly restored over a six-year period from 1992 to 1998. Every year the Goodwood Estate hosts two of the world's most significant motorsport events: The Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival, which takes place at the circuit every September.

The origins of the Goodwood track derive from an ex-military airfield. RAF Westhampnett, named after the village bordering Goodwood, served as a Battle of Britain base during the War and was the station from which RAF legend Sir Douglas Bader flew his last sortie.

The traditional nature of the circuit means that the run-off areas are small and often only a thin strip of grass separates the track from the barriers, so it is important to approach with caution and remember that the attraction of Goodwood is that it offers a unique opportunity to enjoy your supercar in a beautiful venue that is steeped in motorsport heritage. Goodwood is not the track at which to push yourself to the limit and take risks - this should be saved for other tracks with more modern layouts. Keep your sessions short, and keep within the limits of your car and your ability at all times.

 


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TURN 1 - MADGWICK

This long right-hand corner is a great way to start the lap. The approach is fast having just completed the start/finish straight and the grip level is low so maximum concentration is required here. This is a triple-apex corner (the apex is the clipping point on the inside of the corner), but you should aim to take a slightly wider line in the early and mid sections of the corner, only bringing the car close to the third and final apex. This approach ensures that you achieve the best exit and don't risk running our of track. 

CORNER FOCUS

  • On the approach bring your car back to the left hand side of the track
  • Use the long approach to prepare yourself and look ahead into the corner
  • Look out for cars joining the circuit from your right hand side
  • Apply the brakes lightly and, as with all fast corners, ensure you have finished braking before you turn into the corner to avoid destabilising the car
  • Turn into the corner smoothly, don't bring the car to the inside too quickly as a wider line in the early and mid-sections of the corner will help you later in the corner
  • By the time you reach the turn-in point you should already be looking ahead to the first apex
  • You should aim to be in the middle of the track at the first apex
  • Apply a the power gently and avoid accelerating too aggressively, look ahead to the second apex
  • Having been in the middle of the track at the first apex, you should aim to bring the car within a car's-width of the second apex. there is a bump in the track at this point so it is important that your car is stable and that you don't turn or accelerate to aggressively here. Look ahead to the third and final apex
  • Keep turning smoothly and aim for the third apex on the right hand side
  • After the apex, don't allow the car to run too wide on the exit as there is no exit kerb and very little run-off
  • Apply the power gently and accelerate onto the straight

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TURN 2 - FORDWATER

This high-speed corner might look straightforward at first, but is one of the most demanding of the whole track. The approach is fast and, like all corners at Goodwood, the run-off is minimal so better to take a cautious approach. A dip in the track just after the apex adds to the challenge.

CORNER FOCUS

  • This is a fast section of track so look as far ahead as possible
  • Braking will be required in most powerful cars
  • Brake early and smoothly, and release the brakes before turning to ensure the car is stable as you enter the corner
  • At the turn-in point you should already be looking ahead to the apex. If you have entered the corner correctly you should only require light application of the throttle
  • Turn smoothly and aim for the apex on the right hand side
  • Just after the apex the track falls away into a considerable dip which can push your car towards the outside of the corner. It is important to anticipate this and enter the corner at the appropriate speed and not accelerate too aggressively or too early. If you enter the corner too fast and have to lift off the gas when the track falls away, this will almost certainly destabilise the car and potentially cause a spin
  • Once you are confident that your car is in the correct position and that you have negotiated the dip, accelerate smoothly and look ahead to the next corner

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TURN 3 - ST MARY'S

This is a very challenging corner sequence. The first corner leads straight into the second, so some compromise is required in the right-hander to ensure that your car is positioned correctly for the left-hand corner that follows. As before, negative camber and an undulating track surface mean that maximum concentration is required throughout St Mary's.

CORNER FOCUS

  • This is a very fast section of track so look as far ahead as possible
  • Braking will be required in most powerful cars
  • Brake early and smoothly and, once you have reduced the speed sufficiently, release the brakes before turning to ensure the car is stable as you enter the first, right-hand, corner
  • At the turn-in point you should already be looking ahead to the apex.
  • Turn smoothly and aim for the apex on the right hand side
  • You should only require light application of the throttle
  • Don't use the full width of the track on the exit of the first corner because you need to bring the car back to the right hand side for the left-hand corner that follows immediately. There is some negative camber (track falls away towards the outside of the corner) at this point which makes it even more difficult to keep the car from running wide. The solution is to make sure that you enter the right hander at the appropriate speed and avoid accelerating too aggressively between the two corners
  • Bring your car back to the right hand side of the track and prepare for the first left-hand corner of the lap
  • Apply the brakes lightly and, as with all fast corners, ensure you have finished braking before you turn into the corner to avoid destabilising the car
  • The apex of Turn 3 is not immediately visible due to a crest in the track during the approach
  • Turn smoothly and aim for the apex on the left hand side
  • Apply the power gently and avoid accelerating too aggressively
  • After the apex, don't allow the car to run too wide on the exit as another dip in the track can make the car run wide on exit. It is important to anticipate this and enter the corner at the appropriate speed and not accelerate too aggressively or too early. If you accelerate too much initially and have to lift off the gas when the track falls away, this will almost certainly destabilise the car and potentially cause a spin

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TURN 4 - LAVANT

Turn 4 is one of the slowest sections of the track. A 90-degree right hander is followed by a long, curving acceleration zone which leads onto the Lavant straight.

CORNER FOCUS

  • After Turn 3, bring your car back to the left hand side in preparation for Turn 4 which follows after a very short straight
  • Use the short approach to prepare yourself and look ahead into the corner
  • Brake hard initially, you can then begin to release pressure on the brake pedal as you approach the turn-in point
  • By the time you reach the turn-in point you should already be looking ahead to the first apex
  • Try to avoid slowing the car too much on the approach. Slowing the car excessively usually results in the driver then accelerating too early to regain the lost speed. Accelerating too hard and too early can cause the front of the car to slide (understeer)
  • This is a long corner sequence so be patient when applying the power. As you approach the first apex apply only a light amount of throttle, which can increase gradually as you progress through the corner
  • Use all available track width on the left hand side of the track as you exit the first section of the corner and immediately look ahead for the second apex on the right hand side
  • Continue to accelerate smoothly and gradually as you exit the corner and join the Lavant Straight

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TURN 5 - LAVANT STRAIGHT

The Lavant "Straight" features a left hand kink at the start and a left/right kink at the end just before Turn 6, all taken at high speed. Your approach to these kinks will depend on the car you are driving and the conditions on the day, but if you need to reduce speed for these kinks then remember the following rules which apply to all high-speed corners.

CORNER FOCUS

  • Look as far ahead as possible and plan your approach
  • If braking is required for a high-speed corner, brake early and smoothly and ensure that all braking is finished before turning to avoid unsettling the car
  • If you only require a very small reduction in speed then sometimes a slight lift off the gas is all that is needed. As with braking, this should be done smoothly and during the approach to the corner to avoid destabilising the car
  • By the time you reach the turn-in point, you should already be looking ahead to the apex, apply a light and balanced (constant) throttle
  • As you approach the end of the corner and are beginning to straighten the steering wheel, apply the power smoothly and gradually taking care not to run too wide on the exit

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TURN 6 - WOODCOTE

This challenging double-apex right hand corner follows a high speed approach from the Lavant Straight. Braking is required and, in order to achieve the best possible exit, you should aim to miss the first apex by approximately one cars width before aiming for the second apex, straightening your line, and accelerating through the exit.

CORNER FOCUS

  • On the approach position your car on the left hand side of the track
  • Use the approach to prepare yourself and look ahead into the corner
  • Brake hard initially, you can then begin to release pressure on the brake pedal as you approach the turn-in point
  • By the time you reach the turn-in point you should already be looking ahead to the first apex
  • Turn into the corner smoothly, don't bring the car to the inside too quickly as a wider line in the first part of the corner will help you optimise your exit later in the corner
  • You should aim to bring the car within a car's-width of the first apex
  • Apply a light balanced throttle and allow the car to use the full width of the track on the left hand side to allow a wide approach to the second part of the corner. Avoid accelerating too aggressively, look ahead to the second apex
  • Keep turning smoothly and aim for the second apex on the right hand side
  • Apply the power gently and accelerate onto the short straight that follows

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TURN 7 - Chicane

This is the slowest section of the Goodwood Circuit and presents a unique challenge. The corner has been created by the introduction of tyre barriers on the track so, although this is a slow-speed section, any mistakes will be punished with the potential for damage to your vehicle. We advise that you don't take liberties at this corner, better to keep things tidy and think ahead to the start of the next lap.

CORNER FOCUS

  • On approach position your car to the left hand side
  • Use the short straight beforehand to think ahead and prepare
  • Brake hard initially for this corner then release pressure on brakes as you approach the turn-in point.
  • Ensure that you have finished braking before you turn to maintain stability and a controlled entry speed
  • Once you have turned into the corner and established that you are in the correct position you can start to apply the power smoothly between the two apexes. If you are able to start accelerating before the first apex, then you have probably slowed the car too much in the braking zone
  • Avoid using the exit kerb and accelerate onto the pit straight for another lap of Goodwood Circuit
  • Be prepared for cars in front of you to slow as the pit lane entry follows immediately after Turn 7

We hope that you found this Circuit Guide to be useful. Always remember to drive safely and always build up speed gradually over the course of the day.