JKS Incorporated’s Founder, Will Spencer, and Fabricator and Motorsports Coordinator, Ed Berrier, have returned from their eighth visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Since 1993, the Festival of Speed has been held in the beautiful countryside surrounding Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. The event, which is the only of its kind that showcases more than a century of racing history through competition, is well-known for its 1.7-mile-long Hillclimb Track.
“The infamous run features a series of challenges,” said Will. “[There’s] an average gradient of 4.9%, a left-handed Molecomb corner, a sweep around the daunting Flint Wall, and a narrow rush to the finish line.”
Thanks to Mother Nature, this year’s race included a new set of obstacles.
“The Festival of Speed takes place over the course of a weekend,” said Will. “Typically contestants have the opportunity to take practice runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning before the timed runs start on Sunday afternoon. This year, however, we got rained out of Friday’s practice and wind kept everyone off the track on Saturday.”
Because of this, Ed was only able to get reacquainted with the Hillclimb Track on Thursday and briefly Sunday morning before the timed runs began.
“There was an abundance of things keeping us away from the track,” said Will. “Ed usually opts out of the Sunday practice run ever since a few years ago when he crashed into a wall of hay bales at 120-miles-per-hour and took himself out of the timed race. But, given our inability to practice on Friday and Saturday, Ed took the chance.”
Ed finished Sunday morning’s practice run in 76.66 seconds. Just a few hours later, he managed to cut 19.61 seconds off his time and finish the Sunday Shoot-Out in 57.05 seconds. This time put Ed in 26th place overall, and fifth in his category (Saloon & Stock Cars).
“Because of the weather, everybody was off by three to six seconds compared to what they ran last year,” said Will. “Ed crossed the finish line at 122.2-miles-per-hour. Had he run the last leg of the track 10-miles-per-hour faster, he probably would have been closer to last year’s finishing time of 51.38 seconds. Ed told me that a shaky steering wheel was to blame for his slower finish—I told him he should have held on tighter.”
Will also mentioned that it should be noted that Ed’s car was the only NASCAR running on slicks. Everyone else in his category had treaded tires.
Off the track, Will and Ed enjoyed having the chance to celebrate NASCAR’s 75th anniversary amongst a collection of some of the sport’s finest vehicles. In addition to Ed’s No. 75 2022 Chevrolet Camaro, the guys brought a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to exhibit.
“Every decade of NASCAR was represented in some shape or form,” said Will. “The Charger Daytona and No. 3 Monte Carlo were on loan from The Winston Cup Museum and the 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 came from The Richard Petty Museum in Randleman. There was a Harry Gant car that also crossed the pond, Hendrick Motorsports sent over a few Garage 56 cars, and some of our U.K. friends had a No. 43 Cheerios car, an Afleck car, and a No. 5 Tide car.”
In addition to representing NASCAR’s diamond anniversary throughout the weekend, Will also wore the patch of his friend Brett Stauffer.
“I met Brett at the beach a few years ago,” said Will. “After 20 years in the Naval Air Force, Brett has one of the most impressive resumes I’ve ever seen. When he gave me his patch I told him I’d be adding ‘wings’ to my firesuit.”
While the weather may have dampened the weekend and added a few seconds to Ed’s final run time, it’s pretty evident that the guys still had a blast and are eager to be invited back to the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed.