2020 Festival of Speed: Goodwood to honour the great all-rounders of motorsport

The theme for the 2020 Goodwood Festival of Speed has been announced.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 3:02 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 1:48 pm

This year’s festival, which takes place from July 9-12, will centre around a theme of ‘The Maestros – Motorsports Great All-Rounders’, paying tribute to those in the automotive world, not just drivers and riders, but teams and manufacturers, who have taken on and conquered motorsport’s greatest challenges.

The first Maestro to confirm his attendance is six-time Le Mans winner, Dakar champion and eight-time Formula 1 race winner Jacky Ickx.

No stranger to Goodwood, the brilliant Belgian’s incredible racing record includes titles in the World Endurance Championship, Can-Am, European Touring Car Championship, Formula 2 and more.

Festival of Speed 2019 at Goodwood. Picture: Derek Martin

Jacky said: “The Duke of Richmond has built up a monument based on respect and with that special touch that we probably call soul. Without doubt it’s touching to have been invited to such a celebration. Years ago, we were freelance in a way: we could race everywhere, in different categories – it wasn’t a narrow path.

“The driver, however good his talent is, only represents the know-how of the entire team. If you receive a good car, as I have often, it is easy to win. My results and my part in the Festival of Speed are recognising that most of the work was done by people you never see, and I am sure that the event will be another fantastic occasion with a special atmosphere.”

Winning in different disciplines has long been the mark of the greatest champions; in the 1930s, former Italian motorcycle champions Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolari continued their thrilling rivalry on four wheels at the pinnacle of grand prix and sports car racing at a time when it was far more common for drivers to switch between disciplines, sometimes competing in multiple different races on the same weekend.

Jacky Ickx is the first Maestro to be announced for the 2020 Goodwood Festival of Speed

There were many homegrown heroes, of course, like John Surtees, still the only man to win world championships on two wheels as well as four, when he switched from motorbikes to Formula 1 and then Can-Am sports cars before successfully running his own team.

Perennial Goodwood favourite Sir Stirling Moss won in Grands Prix, endurance races, saloon cars and even rallying, while his contemporary Jim Clark was twice Formula 1 World Champion, British Saloon Car champion and Indy 500 winner as well as competing in NASCAR and the RAC Rally.

Other British multi-discipline winners include Graham Hill, the only man to win motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’ of Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours – a feat which has become the defining ambition of Fernando Alonso’s career.

Drivers from further afield will be represented at the festival, including American Dan Gurney, who won in Formula 1, sports cars, Indy cars, touring cars, Trans-Am and NASCAR, and the ‘Father of Drifting’, Kunimitsu Takahashi, a Japanese motorcycle champion who went on to compete successfully in Formula 1 and sports cars.

The roster of manufacturers and teams who have competed successfully in multiple different forms of motorsport is also a stellar one.

Names like Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus, Honda, McLaren, Ford, Williams, Penske and Ganassi.

All of these, and many more, will be represented at the 2020 Festival of Speed, with many of the greatest competition cars and motorcycles ever built.

The Duke of Richmond said: “The heyday of the Goodwood Motor Circuit coincided with a time when some astonishing talent could be seen winning in different cars from one week to the next or even during the same race meeting.

“It is this level of artistry which we will be paying tribute to with our 2020 theme: ‘The Maestros – Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders’.

“I am delighted that Jacky Ickx will be leading the celebrations of this very exclusive group at the 2020 Festival of Speed and bringing together drivers, manufacturers and teams who have been captivating motorsport fans of all interests for so long.

“It promises to be another thrilling Festival of Speed, celebrating the absolute superstars of the sport.”