Behind the wheel at Goodwood in the tyre tracks of racing heroes

Kimi Raikkonen at last year's Festival of Speed
Kimi Raikkonen at last year's Festival of Speed
  • F1 stars Raikkonen, Rosberg and Massa among the drivers
  • Bike superstar Valentino Rossi making his festival debut
  • Up to 200,000 spectators expected over four days
  • Red Arrows and Eurofighter Typhoon will perform aerial displays
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Tens of thousands of car fans have begun converging on the Goodwood estate near Chichester for the world’s biggest car culture event.

The Festival of Speed was being launched today with the Moving Motor Show, where the public can take test drives in road cars on the same stretch of track used by their motor racing heroes.

A host of major manufacturers including BMW, Honda, Ford, Mercedes, Porsche and Ferrari are offering people the chance to get behind the wheel of their latest models and experience the famous 1.16-mile hillclimb that runs past Goodwood House and is the festival centrepiece.

Those with tickets for today can also get a sneak preview of the three-day festival proper that begins tomorrow and is expected to attract around 180,000 motorsport fans from around the globe.

They are able to visit the supercar and racing car and bike paddocks, as well as the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance and an aviation exhibition.

Tomorrow track action gets under way and aerial displays from the Red Arrows and a Typhoon are scheduled, plus a Bonhams auction of cars and automobilia.

This year’s theme is Flat Out And Fearless: Racing On The Edge and celebrates some of the most spectacular drivers and moments from motorsport’s past and present

Rally cars will be in action on a special forest stage, plus top BMX and motorbike stars perform amazing stunts in the Goodwood Action Sports arena.

Among the drivers on the hill tomorrow will be Ferrari F1 star Kimi Raikkonen, who was lucky to escape unhurt in a dramatic crash with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. He will pilot a 2010 Ferrari F10 GP car.

Other racers joining the party over the weekend include Valentino Rossi, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Damon Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss, plus Olympic cycling champion-turned-racing driver Sir Chris Hoy, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and TV chef James Martin.

This year’s theme is Flat Out And Fearless: Racing On The Edge and celebrates some of the most spectacular drivers and moments from motorsport’s past and present.

Admission to the Festival of Speed is by advance ticket only.

Don’t miss The News tomorrow, Saturday and Monday for stories and pictures from the festival, plus there’ll be updates over the weekend at Portsmouth News website.

You can also follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag #fos.