Speedweek was the Goodwood Estate’s behind-closed-doors stand-in for the cancelled Festival of Speed and Revival motoring extravaganzas. Hosting a wide variety of road and race machinery of all ages, the event was held at the Sussex site's race circuit, rather than along the route of the Hillclimb, and open only to drivers, engineers and the media.
We caught up with estate owner and event organiser the Duke of Richmond to find out how 2020 will shape the future of motoring at Goodwood, and what positives there are to take from the year's upturned motoring calendar.
What were the challenges of organising Speedweek?
“The Members’ Meeting was built and ready to go, and it was that weekend the crackdown came. So we just had to take it all down again, and it never happened. Then we were heading towards the Festival of Speed and it was fairly obvious - quite quickly - that wasn’t going to happen. So we thought: what can we do? We dreamed up this idea to do a ‘Speedweek’ here at the circuit, bringing FoS and Revival together, and celebrating them both in a really innovative way.”
Why at the circuit, rather than the house?
“We can’t run the races in front of the house; it’s much easier to do it here - there’s quite a lot of infrastructure in place. The Festival of Speed is very challenging because it all has to be built from the ground up - so it’s a huge commitment.
“We realised we wouldn’t be able to have a crowd, but for horse racing we’ve been running without crowds all year, so we know a little bit about it. We’d been pushing [our digital platform] GRR very hard for a long time and we have a huge following around the world, so we felt there was a huge opportunity to do something different and to try something out. We designed the whole event for TV.
“Looking back on it now, September would have been quite good to have done this behind closed doors, because things are getting more difficult now.”
How do you appeal to both crowds?