Place yourself next to the track exit at the right times, and you'll be able to be mere inches away from the likes of classic F1 cars as they cruise past you, with the smell of hot rubber and gasoline still hanging around them after a hell-for-leather run up the famous hillclimb track.

The sheer variety of liveries, designs and marques at the Festival of Speed makes it a photographers' paradise, whilst also simultaneously being incredibly overwhelming. Everywhere you walk there is something else to catch your eye; You almost become desensitised due to the insanely high calibre of everything on display. 

A car or bike that would usually take pride of place in the show becomes just another machine that you walk past in search of something 'better' - sometimes you need to take a breather from it all before diving back in head-first into the organised mayhem.

A variety of motorsport disciplines are on display over the course of the event. One such 'niche' that has been gaining more and more traction as the events go by is drifting, with high-speed demonstrations on the track wowing the public and giving fantastic exposure for this highly-skilled sport. 

Arguably one of the most iconic liveries ever to grace a Formula One car, the John Player Special livery is timelessly fantastic.

The historical subjects dotted around the paddocks are crying out for the black and white treatment, especially how well it shows the grease and dirt built up in the lines and crevices of the cars, as well as 'backdating' the photos to match the subject matter.

Of course, one of the biggest draws of the event is the chance to get up-close-and-personal with such historic cars as the ex-John Surtees championship winning Can-Am Lola T70. Many attendees of the Festival of Speed probably grew up watching Surtees compete in this very car; Never would they have dreamed they would be able to get so close to the car outside of a museum environment.

Little details around the paddock hint to the sheer level of history on display at the show.

The sheer level of class and prestige just openly available for scrutiny by the general public is mind-boggling, being able to walk along a paddock row and discover multiple Ferrari 250 variants just sitting there without any cordoning off whatsoever is unlike almost anywhere else. This 250 LM in particular caught my eye; The best looking Le Mans racer of the period dare I say?

Being able to watch the various mechanics and technicians at work fettling these historic machines is a treat, and again is something that is often off-limits to the general public. Here the Honda techs work on the RC116.

More up-to-date racers are just as well represented at the FoS, such as this R8 LMS still sporting its dirt and splattered flies - race cars aren't made to be clean and stand still after all!

It's not all tarmac cars and endurance racers in the paddocks, Historic and Retro rally cars were also well-represented in the hillclimb paddocks, such as the eye-catching (and undeniably famous) Repsol liveried Escort Cosworth...

Along with this ex-Colin McRae Subaru Impreza, surely one of the most iconic driver-and-manufacturer combinations to have come out of the sport? Whilst I do admittedly have a soft spot for Imprezas; I think it's fair to say this is definitely one of the best-looking WRC cars of the period.

Boxy can be beautiful, as shown by the unmistakeable lines of the Group B Renault 5 Turbo commanding a striking presence in the paddocks.

Not content with just having the world-renowned hill climb in his front garden; Lord March also has a private off-road rally course at the top of the hill. This allows for spectacular high-speed rallying demonstrations by a variety of historical cars on a genuinely demanding and technical course, putting on a fantastic show for visitors and doing what they were built to do. 

The angular and imposing lines of the 6R4 are a classic rallying silhouette, and cuts a mean figure blasting through the twisty, narrow track of the rally stage. The design of the track also means that the barking exhaust note reverberated around the trees long after the car had flown past.

The rally stage can also provide spectacular photography opportunities, such as this Celica kicking up dust as it corners hard, wearing the fantastic Castrol livery synonymous with the marque.

The humble Volkswagen Beetle also made an appearance up in the Rally Stage paddocks. Whilst they are best known for being fantastic low-cost runabouts,  the Beetle also had success within the Rally scene, though most notably in 'Baja' Beetle guise for the famous Baja 1000 rallies.

With the sheer scale of the event, and the magnitude of history surrounding you wherever you turn your head; It is almost impossible to sum up the Festival Of Speed without physically being there.. and even then a lot of people struggle to put it into words. The atmosphere is electric and like nowhere else, the show is steeped in history and world-famous drivers mingle with the crowds as if it were the norm. 

Whilst this is but a mere snapshot of two years of the festival, I hope it has provided an insight into the event, and I cannot stress enough how much of a need-to-visit event it is. If you ever get the chance to go, make the most of it and take everything in for yourself.
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