Originally scheduled to take place from 9 to 12 July, we already knew the Goodwood Festival of Speed was in the firing line as the world tries to limit the spread of Covid-19. Sure enough, a postponement has been announced today.
A new date hasn’t yet been settled on, however. Organisers of the show, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, say they are “currently exploring potential alternative dates for late summer or early autumn”.
Goodwood Estate owner The Duke of Richmond said:
“Over the last few weeks, we have been working together with everyone involved to understand the viability of the Festival of Speed going ahead in July. Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus threat and not knowing whether the situation will have significantly improved by then, we sadly need to postpone the Festival of Speed in July.”
Postponing until Autumn, assuming large events are safely possible by then, brings with it a number of issues. Firstly, organisers will want the show to be well clear of the Goodwood Revival, although that event is also subject to change. Plans for the Revival “will continue to be reviewed, in the hope that the event will be able to go ahead as planned on September 11-13th,” Goodwood says.
Plus, the motorsport calendar is looking very busy in autumn, with many events originally due to take place through spring and summer - including the 24 hours of Le Mans - postponed to new slots around September and October. This will make it more difficult to attract big-name drivers to FoS.
Hopefully, a suitable solution can be found. The Festival of Speed is a car event unlike any other, offering unparalleled access to some of the most famous cars ever built, being driven by the world’s best drivers. Fingers crossed we’ll still be peering over the trademark hay bales at some point in 2020.