Goodwood Festival of Speed to Celebrate Circuit’s 75th Anniversary

The 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival will celebrate the circuit’s 75th anniversary, event organizers announced.

The overarching celebration is that of the motor circuit, which reaches its 75th anniversary in 2023, event officials said. Australian fighter pilot Tony Gaze, who was based at RAF Westhampnett during the Second World War, first suggested to the 9th Duke of Richmond that the airfield’s perimeter track would make an excellent race circuit. Officially opened on Sept. 18, 1948, the very first meeting was attended by 15,000 spectators, who gathered to watch 85 drivers, including Stirling Moss, who won his first ever race that day, Goodwood officials said.

Between 1948 and 1966 – the years celebrated by the Goodwood Revival – the circuit hosted World Champions Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Juan Manuel Fangio, Giuseppe Farina, Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, Jochen Rindt, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees along with a host of other stars. Following the cessation of racing in 1966, some of the biggest and best-known racing teams, including Brabham, Eagle, Honda, McLaren, Toleman and Tyrrell, continued to test their cars at Goodwood.

In the early 1990s, the Earl of March (now the 11th Duke of Richmond) began looking into the possibility of reopening the circuit, and in 1993, the very first Festival of Speed took place. The two-day event welcomed an estimated 25,000 spectators who watched nearly 100 cars and motorcycles in action on the Hill. Competitors and attendees included Tony Brooks and Roy Salvadori who went up together in an Aston Martin DBS3, George Harrison in his Rocket sports car, Nick Mason in his V16 BRM, Gordon Murray in a McLaren F1, and John Surtees, who was an event patron and organized the motorcycle entry. In 1998, the motor circuit reopened for the inaugural Revival, and also saw the launch of the Goodwood Road Racing Club, the organization said.

Goodwood 75 will be the theme of the 2023 Festival of Speed. A dedicated Goodwood 75 hill climb batch will showcase cars and bikes from the track’s 75-year history including The Racing Years (1948-1966), The Testing Years (post-1966), 30 Years of the Festival of Speed (1993-2023), Racing Returns (1998-2023) and The Next 75 Years, Goodwood representatives said.

The Revival will see a gathering of cars that originally competed in 1948, and will honor Carroll Shelby, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2023.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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