A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 with work, as part of the Communications team at Siemens. I just thought I would share my experience and what my role there entailed.

If you don’t know the Festival, it’s a car show that ran this year from Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th July, with enthusiasts ascending to a field in Chichester and indulging in their love of cars.

Aren’t we a beautiful bunch?Β  Credit: Bill Page / Zest Communications

I’d been working on Goodwood for a while before the Festival, and wrote the press release revealing our autonomous Mustang that we took up the fearsome and famous hillclimb track. It was a stressful few weeks, but was great to finally see our efforts paying off whilst on-site.

Thursday was the Press Day, where interviews and lots of other media activity was happening, so in my role in PR I was much needed. If you know me, you know that mornings really are not my thing – but crew briefing was 6:45am, so a 5am start was needed. Arriving on-site at 6:15, as you may have seen from my Instagram stories, I was taking so many pictures and videos to try and show what it was like being so quiet and early.

That changed quite quickly – the show opened at 7am and it was all hands on-deck, as everyone was assigned to their stations and the day’s schedule for us PR people was in full swing. Can I just say, the Goodwood Estate site is huge and very difficult to navigate if you don’t know where you’re going – my sense of direction is shit at the best of times, let alone amongst 12,000 acres and not many signs. It’s no surprise I kept getting lost, and would eventually bump into one of my colleagues who would point me in the right direction. If you’re all reading this, thanks for helping me out.

My job on the Thursday entailed helping out on the Press tour with both British and foreign journalists, who interviewed different spokespeople and saw the different exhibits we had at the Festival, which included a Renault 2027 Vision car and an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Car, alongside its digital twin, displayed in the FoS Future Lab.

It was great meeting people from different publications such as The Guardian, Sunday Times and The Manufacturer. The day was so busy and there was a whirlwind of people to talk to and find around the site, trying to get them to their interviews on time. As well as the press tour, the autonomous Mustang was having its first hillclimb run ever, featuring the BBC, the FT and our CEO Juergen Maier. It went smoothly and thankfully everyone came back down the hill in one piece.

Aston Martin Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner (who’s married to a Spice Girl!) came by and signed some autographs for people crowded around our stand. Sadly I missed it as I was running around looking for someone, but others said it was great and there were lots of people there which is awesome to hear.

Christian Horner with our UK CEO Juergen Maier. Credit: Bill Page / Zest Communications
Throughout our time at Goodwood we got use of the Media Centre, where Mel & Jane from our Digital team were uploading all the videos and pictures to our social channels. They looked great and reached a lot of people – if you didn’t see them, feast your eyes below to see some of their great content.

Once the show was over, it was time for the evening press event in the Future Lab. I wasn’t actually intending to go, but travel circumstances meant I had to stay. Actually it turned out to be quite a nice end to the day, as we all went to the other exhibitors’ stands and saw what they had to offer.

Samsung had a cool stand, where you could partake in a bit of car racing, using VR and a simulator thing (the video below will make more sense). Also on their stand was a Scalextric-type track and little cars, but instead of controllers to guide them, it used AI to get a map of the track, with you controlling it from one of their S9 phones. There were rumours that Chris Hoy, Olympic cycling champion was in attendance but I never got to see him.

As Thursday ended, Friday started. I didn’t have much on the agenda that day, so got a little bit of time to explore. Every car maker you’ve ever thought of was exhibiting – Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes being just a few. There’s so many cars and different exhibits it’s hard to see them all, but I did see Mini’s stand and that was a really unique one for me as it involved music – basically there was a turntable with some records next to it, and whichever song you chose to play on the turntable corresponded to a car that you could find out information about.

I got to see the Mustang go up the track and in the First Glance paddock, where it was situated between runs. Some really cool concept cars were placed there too – the one that stills blows my mind to this day is a V8 Aston Martin Cygnet, which is basically a suped-up Toyota iQ. I have a Toyota iQ and anyone else who does knows that they’re TINY, so how they got a V8 in there I will never know.


The trip wasn’t without its drama though – I ended up having a panic attack on Friday night, which you may have seen if you are following me on Twitter. I was OK, but it was pretty terrifying, and I went into Saturday still very physically shaken up. Luckily everyone was really understanding and making sure I’m OK, which was lovely of them (if you’re reading this, thanks a million!), with priority access to the golf buggy we had for the event so it wasn’t all bad!

Saturday was my last day at the Festival, but a great one as my Dad came down to spend the day with me for two reasons: 1) to enjoy his birthday as I’d got him a ticket and 2) I needed a lift home. It was so nice exploring the site with him and introducing him to all the team members, whilst showing him our exhibits. He also got to see the Mustang live in action from the big screens placed inside the Future Lab.

Once we were finished exploring, it was time to head home. I loved every single minute of the Festival (apart from the medical dilemmas) and will never forget it – it’s definitely been a highlight of my PR internship with Siemens. I’ve got a little highlights video that’s embedded below, enjoy watching!

A K Jones

Disclaimer: All photos are my own unless credited.

1 Comment on Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018

  1. Great blog Amy, I can see why the event was a highlight of your internship. You were a real asset to the media and wider team. Like your writing style too, maybe someone like milkround would be interested in sharing this blog

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