Last weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed has been hailed as the best ever, with a record number of car enthusiasts attending the annual event.

The West Sussex motor circuit said more than 185,000 people travelled to the latest edition of the famous motoring extravaganza, comfortably beating last year's total of 181,000.

With more than 140 star racing drivers, riders and celebrities also in attendance, the 2012 Festival of Speed proved to be an unsurprisingly memorable occasion for the car lovers who made the trip.

Highlights of the event included two UK debuts from Ferrari, which showcased the all-new Ferrari 458 Spider and the new Ferrari California 30.

Both vehicles set impressive times on the 1.16-mile hill-climb route, while a 2009 F60 single-seater driven by Scuderia Ferrari's Marc Gene also took to the track.

"We have brought the car here because it won in 2009 and we like to bring F1 to the fans here in England. The Festival of Speed is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – events in the world," Gene commented.

The festival kicked off on Friday June 29th with an array of more than 30 supercars, including the official British debut of the new Maserati GranTurismo Sport MC Shift.

Celebrity chef and classic car collector James Martin was the first one to drive the luxury Italian manufacturer's new coupe, which boasts a 4.7-litre V8 engine delivering zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds.

There was also a special Diamond Jubilee car display to honour the Queen's 60-year reign at Goodwood this year. The overall winner was named as The Prince of Wales' Aston Martin DB6 MkII Volante, one of the rarest and most sought-after Aston Martin cars ever made.

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Posted by Mark Thompson

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