Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 preview: star drivers, classic cars and where to buy tickets
‘Motorsport’s Record Breakers’ head for the famous Hillclimb as the event celebrates Michael Schumacher’s 50th birthday
There are few events in the world of motorsport quite like the adrenaline-fuelled Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Chichester-based celebration of all things fast opens its gates to the public in just a matter of days, and those attending can expect to see many of their heroes – both drivers and machines – from contemporary and historic motorsport series.
Each year, Charles Gordon-Lennox, Duke of Richmond and the owner of the Goodwood estate, selects a theme for the event. These often celebrate the anniversary of a car manufacturer, racing series or motorsport hero.
This year’s theme is Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers. To mark the occasion, the duke has invited record-breaking drivers and owners of some of the world’s greatest racing cars to put on a show for fans up the hallowed Goodwood Hillclimb.
Here are the stars and cars fans can see next week, as well as how to get your hands on tickets:
The Festival of Speed runs from 4 to 7 July. Each day is packed with cars to see both on and off the Hillclimb, but the Saturday and Sunday runnings of the event usually attract the bigger names from the motoring world.
Thursday is by far the cheapest day of the show, with prices starting at £39. Tickets for Friday kick-off at £58 and prices then jump to £70 for either Saturday or Sunday.
There’s also a four-day pass for £169, which we recommend for diehard car fans. The Festival of Speed has grown considerably in recent years and it’s impossible to see everything in one day alone.
All tickets can be ordered directly from Goodwood’s website. It’s best to be quick, though, as weekend tickets are short in supply.
Which stars are driving up the hill?
The Festival of Speed is one of the only events in the motoring calendar where the public can rub shoulders with racing drivers and team bosses. It’s not uncommon to stroll through one of the many paddocks and see the likes of 1996 Formula 1 champion Damon Hill or nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen chatting with fans.
Attendees can expect to see both of those drivers at this year’s event, The Daily Telegraph says. Hill is due to pilot his championship-winning Williams F1 car, while Kristensen will drive one of his many Le Mans-winning prototypes.
While Lewis Hamilton won’t be attending this year’s event, new Renault F1 signing and former Red Bull Racing star Daniel Ricciardo will take to the Goodwood hill, as will rookie F1 drivers Lando Norris and Alex Albon.
Double world rallycross champion and 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg will also be present, while drifting legend Ken Block will be “cremating tyres galore as he serves up his own brand of automotive mayhem”, the newspaper notes.
And what about the cars?
Whether you’re a fan of blisteringly quick F1 machines or elegant vintage grand tourers, there’s something for everyone at the Festival of Speed.
A host of Michael Schumacher’s F1 cars will mark the 25th anniversary of the first of the German driver’s seven F1 championships and his 50th birthday, Motor Sport Magazine reports.
Expect to see the two Benettons that he piloted to the championship in 1994 and 1995, plus the five Ferraris that dominated the sport between 2000 and 2004, the magazine adds.
A number of manufacturers are due to unveil new models. Ford is gearing up to reveal a radical version of its GT supercar and Porsche will bring its flat-six 718 Cayman GT4, says Autocar. The German carmaker has also confirmed that it will be bringing its all-electric Taycan prototype to Goodwood, too.
But it wouldn’t be the Festival of Speed if it weren’t for the classics. We’re expecting Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason to bring along a few models from his collection, such as his Ferrari 250 GTO, and it’s almost a given that a swarm of historic Le Mans machines will take to hill.
The Festival of Speed may be known for allowing fans to get up close to ultra-rare racing machinery and motoring icons, but the event now showcases cutting-edge technology that may one day work its way into our lives.
This year, Future Lab will be home to a single-seater flying car called the Airspeeder Mk. IV, The Sunday Times reports. Built by Australian engineering startup Alauda Racing, the Airspeeder Mk. IV is an F1-inspired “octocopter” that the company hopes will form the basis of a flying car racing series in 2020.
FutureLab will also showcase a new Mars rover that has been specially designed to hunt for life on the red planet. Space fans can tour the International Space Station in virtual reality, too.