The Goodwood Festival of Speed, widely considered as the UK's leading automotive event, won't take place in 2020, due to the social-distancing requirements currently in place.
The event was scheduled to run at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex from 9-12 July, before being pushed back to an unconfirmed later date as the UK entered a state of lockdown in late March. Organisers have now stated that the Festival of Speed won't go ahead at all in 2020, nor will the annual Goodwood Revival classic car event.
Tickets for the 2020 events remain valid for the 2021 editions, but customers are also eligible for refunds, which they can choose to pledge to the newly relaunched Goodwood Supporters' Association, which has been formed in an effort to recoup some of the lost revenue from this year's cancelled events.
The Goodwood Estate said the lockdown has had a "catastrophic impact" on its ability to operate, and that it is "doing what we can to salvage a future for our events".
The organisation added: "We rely on our headline events to generate all of our operating profit, their absence places not only future events but even the long-term future of the estate under considerable strain. It is our hope that, with the renewal of the Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA), our members and the wider motorsport community will stand beside us as we weather this storm and preserve motorsport at Goodwood."
Donors will be recognised with souvenirs including engraved nameplates at the Goodwood Estate, a tree planted in their name in a new woodland area at the Goodwood Circuit and a GSA-branded badge.
The Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood Estate, said: “For a business like ours, which is all about bringing people together to enjoy the things they love, social distancing has had an unavoidable impact on our ability to operate. The Festival of Speed and Revival events will return in 2021 and, in the meantime, we're delighted to give our incredibly loyal members and dedicated followers a unique opportunity to increase their connection to Goodwood by becoming part of our new Goodwood Supporters Association initiative.”
“In addition, we're still hoping that we may be able to keep the flame alive with a ‘behind closed doors’ motorsport occasion later this year for motorsport fans and enthusiasts worldwide to enjoy at home and look forward to making an announcement in the coming weeks.”
The Festival of Speed is the latest in a slew of delayed or cancelled automotive events. Following the last-minute cancellation of the Geneva motor show in March, the New York and Beijing motor shows, both scheduled for April, were delayed. As it stands, the Los Angeles motor show is still on track to take place in late November.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the absence of a successful British motor show, the appeal of dynamic vehicle appearances on the famous circuit and a very British garden party atmosphere that's starkly different to typical exhibition-hall shows.
Last year’s highlights included public debuts for the Mercedes-AMG A45, Mini Electric and BAC Mono R. The Volkswagen ID R racer made a triumphant return by beating its own EV record in the Goodwood hillclimb and taking the outright record, which had stood for 20 years, in the process.