Future forward at Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Goodwood Festival of Speed (13-16 July) is always a celebration of past, present and future, but this year, looking forward is very much the theme as the Festival champions the future of mobility and automotive technology.
In 2023, multiple exhibitors will use the Festival to showcase a range of propulsion technologies. It is part of a concerted effort to promote and encourage a greater use of sustainable, alternative fuels within the motorsport and wider automotive industry going forward. Motorsport UK also plays a part in this, with their 2020-2025 Sustainability Strategy setting out the bold ambition to achieve substantial change within the sport and, in turn, actively contribute to global sustainability.
Approximately 20% of the vehicles running at the event will use hydrogen, electric or synthetic fuels, grouped together as ‘alternative fuel sources’ – that is, propulsion which is not based on fossil fuels.
One of the headlines will be quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who will drive Nigel Mansell’s championship-winning Williams FW14B from 1992 and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8 from 1993. In a radical departure from their original power, Sebastian will drive both cars on 100% fossil-free synthetic fuel; the ethos of his initiative Race Without Trace, which aims to demonstrate that e-fuels are a valid way of racing.
Elsewhere, Toyota will display its hydrogen-powered concepts. The Japanese manufacturing and racing giant will be representing its multi-technology path for carbon-neutral motorsports with a hydrogen-powered GR YARIS H2 rally car and GR H2 Racing Concept on display.
The GR YARIS H2 rally car is a natural evolution from the current hybrid FIA World Rally Championship contender, which made its non-competitive debut on the stages last August at Rally Belgium. Motorsport UK Chair David Richards will revisit his co-driving days when he sits alongside three-time Le Mans winner Kazuki Nakajima in the Yaris on Saturday.
The GR H2 Racing Concept was unveiled by Akio Toyoda at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. A hydrogen category is set to be introduced to the legendary race in 2026, running to the same level as the current top-class Hypercar category.
Toyota will also have the Mirai Sport Concept, a study for a sports version of the fuel-cell electric road car, and a GR Supra GT4 EVO running on e-fuel will take to the famous hillclimb course.
Electric vehicles will be in the spotlight in Electric Avenue. Launched in 2021, Electric Avenue has quickly become one of the most popular areas of the festival as it showcases current and future EVs.
Future Lab presented by Randox will make a return for its sixth year, located in the heart of the Festival of Speed. Future Lab was conceived in 2017 as a platform to introduce wider stories of technology and science innovation. This year’s exhibition aims to spotlight ‘Technology for a Better World’, and within this mission, presents four themes which feature a curated line-up of over 20 pioneering international companies, laboratories, and innovators.
All the projects are part of a concerted effort to promote and encourage the motorsport community and the wider automotive industry to consider the impact of its actions and how to minimise their impact on the world.
To find out more on Motorsport UK’s sustainability strategy, click here.