Goodwood has announced that the theme for the 2024 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard will be ‘Horseless to Hybrid – Revolutions in Power’, celebrating the essence of our love affair with motorsport. From the birth of organised competition, 130 years ago, with the Paris-Rouen Trial of 1894, the quest for speed has gone hand-in-hand with developments in engines, propulsion and power. The 2024 Festival of Speed will celebrate the many thrilling advances that have propelled us to where we are today, and look at what new ideas may drive us into the future.
The entry list for that Paris-Rouen event, on Sunday 22 July 1894, included vehicles powered by everything from steam, petrol and electricity, to gravity, compressed air and hydraulics, reflecting the fact that, in the early years of the ‘horseless carriage’, there was no consensus as to the best power source. After a century dominated by the internal combustion engine, we once again find ourselves at a crossroads, with electric, hydrogen, hybrid and sustainable fuels all offering potential solutions for a greener future. As well as remembering how far the automotive and motor racing industries have come in the past 130 years, ‘Horseless to Hybrid’ will, crucially, look ahead at what comes next. The theme will be reflected throughout the event, from the cars and drivers taking to the renowned Goodwood hill to immersive experiences in Future Lab presented by Randox, exhibiting some of the most innovative new technology.
The Festival of Speed has long championed emerging technologies. In 2023 we welcomed four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel as he drove his ex-Nigel Mansell 1992 Williams FW14B and ex-Ayrton Senna 1993 McLaren MP4/8 on sustainable fuel. Vettel brought his “Race Without Trace” campaign to Goodwood, encouraging the adoption of alternative fuels by both the motorsport industry and wider world. In 2024 the Goodwood Revival will serve as a landmark moment in motorsport history, as the entire weekend of historic racing is set to take place using sustainable fuel. The theme for this year’s Festival of Speed emphasises Goodwood’s commitment to the future of mobility at its headline motorsport events.
Alongside this central theme, the 2024 Festival will mark a number of other significant anniversaries. We will remember the incomparable Niki Lauda, in the year he would have celebrated his 75th birthday, as well as 50 years since his first grand prix victory and 40 years since the last of his three World Championships. We will also honour the legendary Shadow team, 50 years after they won the final Can-Am championship, and Joest Racing, 40 years after their first Le Mans win, with many more celebrations to be announced in the coming months.