Saturday, 19th June 1993, was a momentous day for Goodwood: it was the opening day of the very first Festival of Speed, aimed at bringing motorsport back to this historically important venue. No barriers, no wire fences, a paddock open to tall, and a Hillclimb that snaked to the top of Goodwood Park. From the beginning, it was ‘the garden party of the Gods’.
On the manicured lawns of an English stately home, the tranquil sophistication of a summer garden party is shattered by a piercing wail as a Formula One car screeches up the front drive, wreathed in tyre smoke. It’s an unforgettable experience: a visceral assault on the senses; an intoxicating display of speed and power; a unique joining of the past, present and future of automotive. Welcome to the Festival of Speed.
In what’s become an annual tradition at the Festival, the catch-all theme creates numerous opportunities to celebrate motoring’s and motorsport’s greatest pioneers and heroes, as well as the most iconic road-going and competition machines – on two and four wheels.
And in 2018 we’re all set for a dramatic celebration of the event itself. ‘Festival of Speed – The Silver Jubilee’ will, of course, remain faithful to the event’s heritage by bringing together racers of all shapes and sizes – on the hill and forest rally stage – from more than 100 years of motorsport endeavour, but will feature extra dimensions that reflect the best moments from the past quarter of a century.
Detailed plans are already underway to take a deliberate and nostalgic journey back over the event’s past 25 years, charting its humble, single-day debut on June 20th 1993, to the massive global televised phenomenon it’s become.
Event host the Duke of Richmond will choose his 25 favourite moments from the first 25 events – personal highlights that he considers landmarks in the Festival’s history. His choices and the cars and drivers that created them will be woven into the programme in July.
Further exciting celebrations and memorable moments, involving the brands, manufacturers, teams, cars and drivers that have shaped the event, will be announced in the coming months.
The 2018 season will be a bumper year of celebrations for Goodwood as we also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of both the GRRC (Goodwood Road Racing Club) and the Goodwood Revival at the Motor Circuit, which takes place on September 7-9.