The Goodwood Festival of Speed showcases the history of motor racing
One of the world’s finest celebrations of car culture and motorsport, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a showcase for the world’s greatest sport where you can get close to legendary cars and drivers.
One of the most notable celebrations of speed, motorsport and car culture, the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place from Thursday July 4 until Sunday July 7 in West Sussex England.
The peaceful parklands and manicured lawns of the stately and historic Goodwood House are transformed for a four day celebration of high octane performance vehicles from the past, present and future.
The festival culminates in the annual Shootout Sunday Hillclimb timed trial (now in its 20th year) to be crowned the Festival of Speed winner—and maybe even smash the course record set 20 years ago.
What are the highlights?
There is a huge variety of features and events over the four days, something for all motorsport tastes and ages.
Goodwood’s Festival of Speed pays homage to drivers from all eras. From historic racing cars that set the standards in days gone by, to the latest F1 models, there are some weird and wonderful cars to see.
Other highlights for the 2019 festival include:
The Arena: A new addition this year, ‘The Arena’ is dedicated to four-wheeled drift cars. Drivers will put them through their paces, with stunts, exciting displays and cars shredding tyres. There will be signing sessions and special guests. This year start-up technology firm Gravity will demonstrate examples of the next generation of human flight—a jet pack suit that looks like it’s out of a Marvel film.
Shootout Sunday: The world’s fastest drivers test themselves against each other to see who comes out on top. The prizes will be presented by The Duke of Richmond and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Fans can take pictures and get autographs of the cars and star drivers.
Central Feature: This year’s Central Feature has an Aston Martin theme to mark the 70th anniversary of the manufacturer’s first race at Goodwood and the 60th anniversary of its 1959 World Sports car Championship. It’s designed by Gerry Judah and will be on show outside Goodwood House.
The Hillclimb: This forms the heart of the festival where vehicles from three separate paddocks; the Main, Supercar and First Glance Paddocks lock horns on the same course. Setting off from the Startline, cars go past Goodwood House, around Molecomb Corner, past the Flint Wall and into the Top Paddock. The Hillclimb has excellent vantage points to view all the action.
The Main Paddock: This includes the F1 Pitlane and is the best place to see the latest F1 cars at the festival. Cars will be getting prepared to take on the Hillclimb in the Assembly Area. This area is also close to the Drivers’ Club—a great spot to get some pictures or autographs.
Michelin Supercar Paddock: Located by the Startline, this showcases some of the most technologically advanced cars. Visitors can get up close to the most inspiring road cars on the planet.
Future Lab: Another new feature for 2019, the First Glance Paddock, alongside the Future Lab, offers a glimpse into the future of car technology and features interactive activities for everyone to enjoy. Included are new models making their first public appearance at the event.
Goodwood Action Sports: This arena is dedicated to extreme sports, so if you want a break from engines but still want to witness thrilling alternative action, you’ll see jumps, stunts and the latest eGaming activities. Extended for 2019 and relocated to a new site with a new course for BMX, FMX, mountain bikers and trail riders and you can even have a go yourself for free.
Forest Rally Stage: This year the Rally Stage course celebrates 40 years since the first World Rally Championship. As well as seeing the best rally cars battling through the forest stage, there will also be a special collection of Björn Waldegård cars, the Citroen WRC works team and other special guest appearances.
If this isn’t enough, there will be action sports shows, air displays, including the world famous Red Arrows, pre-war road racers, special viewings of sports cars, including the Porsche 917, an interview with F1 legend Jackie Stewart and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Michael Schumacher’s first F1 victory.
There will also be iconic Bentley’s put up for auction by Bonhams in Bentley’s centenary year, new model debuts, including the Honda e and 2019 NSX which will take on the Hillclimb, and new design concepts like Kar-Go, an online shopping delivery vehicle. See the full schedule.
We’ll bring you coverage of highlights of the event, with pictures and a full round-up of the festival.
Ben Salisbury is an experienced journalist and has covered the automotive sector for Yahoo! and also writes about the business of selling cars covering the rise of the online marketplace.