The West Sussex-based Goodwood Motor Circuit originally opened its gates to the public on September 1948 to host Britain’s very first post-war motor race meeting at a permanent venue.
Twelve years earlier, Goodwood’s very first motor sport event was staged when a hill climb meeting was held for a small group of pre-war Lancia enthusiasts, hosted by the 9th Duke of Richmond, Freddie March.
The origins of the Goodwood track derive from an ex-military airfield. RAF Westhampnett, named after the village bordering Goodwood, served as a Battle of Britain base during the War and was the station from which RAF legend Sir Douglas Bader flew his last sortie.
On 18 September 1998, exactly 50 years to the day since the Goodwood circuit first opened, the 9th Duke’s grandson, the present Earl of March, re-enacted the opening of the track at the very first Goodwood Revival meeting in the same Bristol 400 that his grandfather had used half a century earlier on the same track, untouched by the modern world.
Prior to the first Revival meeting in 1998, the circuit was painstakingly restored to look exactly as it did in its heyday, down to the very last detail. Goodwood’s other famous motor sport event, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, was established in 1993 and has gone on to become the world’s largest celebration of motoring culture. Staged in summer in the grounds of Goodwood Park, the Festival attracts the best drivers and vehicles on the planet, including most of the current Formula 1 teams, plus Le Mans winners, racing motorcycles, supercars, and much more besides.