GOODWOOD has announced a new three-day motor sport festival that combines elements of the famous Festival of Speed and Revival events, both of which have been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Goodwood Speedweek won’t be open to public spectators; instead it will be conducted behind closed doors at Goodwood Motor Circuit and “optimised for broadcast”, with the elements broadcast via the Goodwood Road and Racing website, as well as social media channels and via partner websites, free of charge.
The organisers claim that, “without spectators present, the action can be faster, more extreme and even more spectacular than ever,” and “will redefine the experience of watching motor sport at home,” with interactive elements in which fans can take part.
There will be historic racing on the track with the usual great and good of the racing world taking on driving duties. A rally competition will see cars weaving their way “on, over and even under” the circuit, while a ‘Goodwood Gymkhana’ promises Ken Block-style hooning around places within the grounds that are normally strictly out of bounds.
The Festival of Speed has become the unofficial British Motor Show in recent years, with elaborate manufacturer stands last year hosting the global launches of vehicles such as the Ford GT Mk II, De Tomaso B72, Radical Rapture and Land Rover Defender (albeit camouflaged). Speedweek will also allow car brands to show off their latest metal, and the circuit venue will mean new supercars can be displayed at full chat.
Another Festival of Speed feature, the FOS Future Lab, will also feature at Speedweek. The building promises “a tantalising glimpse into the mobility of tomorrow”, with everything from jetpacks to autonomous vehicle and flying car tech on display in recent years.
Bonhams, an ever-present Goodwood partner since the very first Festival of Speed in 1993, will hold an online auction over the weekend, with viewing by appointment only at Goodwood on Wednesday-Friday.
Sunday will feature the climax of the festival: a “never-to-be-repeated competition of the fastest cars in motor sport history vying for honours in a winner-takes-all shoot-out over one lap”.
This could mean tumbling lap records, with some car previously deemed too powerful or too modern going flat out around the track. If beaten, the official Goodwood lap record, which has stood for 55 years, is unlikely to be unsurpassed for the next 55 years, the event organisers predict.
The Duke of Richmond said: “Having taken the heartbreaking decision not to hold the Festival of Speed and Revival this year, we were determined to find a way of bringing motor sport to Goodwood in 2020. Speedweek will be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion – the fastest, most exciting and spectacular event we have ever staged. I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and support offered to us by our partners and friends.”
He added: “An event unlike any that’s gone before, Goodwood Speedweek will be a fitting celebration of the spirit of the Festival of Speed and Revival, both of which will return, bigger and better than ever, in 2021.”
Goodwood Speedweek will take place from October 16-18, 2020. The programme of events and full driver line-up will be announced over the coming weeks and months.