The Earl of March is planning to relaunch the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit with a spectacular Historic Racing Festival at the end of August 1998, exactly 50 years after his grandfather opened the gates of the World War II RAF base at Westhampnett to the sport.
Having established the world renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed on the family estate in 1993, Lord March last autumn won a 28 month battle for planning permission to bring pukka racing back to the 2.4mile circuit, which closed in 1966.
His proposal, which attracted vociferous local opposition, but was eventually endorsed by Chichester District Council by a margin of two-to-one, includes the provision of environmental screening to reduce noise, and a reduction to five days of unsilenced circuit use per year.
Recognising the drawing power of the Goodwood name, and delighted with its sponsorship of the Festival of Speed, American motor giant Chrysler has signed to be the circuit’s first major corporate partner.
“I’m delighted that Chrysler has joined us at this early stage,” said Lord March. “Its commitment to, and passion for, historic motorsport makes it an ideal partner in what is going to be a very exciting year for the circuit”
Chrysler, enjoying unprecedented sales success in Europe, is also using the BRDC’s Coys Festival and the Nurburgring’s Oldtimer Grand Prix as stylish marketing vehicles.
Goodwood Motorsport will promote racing in association with the British Automobile Racing Club, of which Lord March is president. The BARC ran the race meetings at Goodwood before the track’s closure, whereupon it moved to Thruxton.
Recreating the unique atmosphere of the venue will be a prority, and a Goodwood museum is also planned.