Motor sport returns to Goodwood today, as the picturesque English countryside welcomes a one of a kind spectacle. From Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October, Goodwood SpeedWeek will celebrate more than a century of motor racing, showcasing the evolution of automotive technology, wheel-to-wheel racing and legendary sporting heroes. In line with its long-term commitment to motor sport, Rolex supports Goodwood SpeedWeek in 2020 as the Official Timepiece, and as Title Sponsor of the Rolex Virtual Drivers’ Club.
The highly anticipated event is to be held behind closed doors and will combine popular elements from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Goodwood Revival and the Goodwood Members’ Meeting. Rolex Testimonee and three-time FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart said: “I very much enjoy visiting Goodwood each year. The Duke of Richmond hosts the finest cars, as well as the best drivers. I am sure Goodwood SpeedWeek will continue that tradition.” Reflecting its close affinity with motor sport since the 1930s, Rolex supports Goodwood and the Duke of Richmond’s quest to preserve and pay tribute to the history of the sport at Goodwood SpeedWeek during this unprecedented year.
In an exhilarating test of speed and accuracy, the long-standing official Goodwood Motor Circuit lap record will be contested, having been held jointly by Sir Jackie Stewart and the late Jim Clark since 1965. “To have set the same time in my BRM as Jim in his Lotus, stretching the very ability of the timekeepers, still gives me great pride,“ said Sir Jackie, reflecting on a memorable weekend during his first Formula 1® season. “Jim was one of my very good friends and one of the greatest drivers of all time.”
An array of pioneering modern cars that have never previously raced at Goodwood will compete for the prestige of setting the fastest lap on Sunday afternoon during The Shootout. Notably, the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R will vie to make history, having claimed records at last year’s Goodwood Hillclimb and the Pikes Peak in 2018. Sir Jackie added: “Nowadays, the aerodynamics, the carbon fibre construction and the sophistication of new materials give cars more grip and therefore much more speed than in my day. But even back then, it was a speed-loaded weekend. I am very excited to see who comes out on top.”
Some of the world’s most admired race and rally machines will gather at Goodwood SpeedWeek, and, with a focus on the future, the spotlight will be on new car launches and innovative supercar debuts. Recognizing design and engineering achievements of the past, Goodwood Revival favourites, such as the St Mary’s Trophy and the RAC TT Celebration, will provide an abundance of enthralling on-track action. “When I travel to Goodwood, I always have butterflies as I eagerly look forward to seeing which car I will be given to race,” said Rolex Testimonee Tom Kristensen, who will compete over the weekend. “Goodwood is very important as it keeps the heritage of our sport at the forefront. I always look forward to learning about the history of the cars and seeing how they feel on track – it is such a tremendous feeling driving an old-school circuit with vintage cars.”
Taking part in The Shootout, Kristensen will be reunited with the 1997 TWR Porsche WSC-95 in which he took the first of his record nine victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Goodwood SpeedWeek will honour the past, present and future of the automobile, as well as the courage and determination of the sporting legends who drive them, demonstrating the technological progress and know-how shared from one generation to the next.