Classic cars starting a race at the Goodwood Revival

Goodwood announces ‘landmark moment’ in motorsport with comprehensive use of sustainable fuels for the 2024 Revival

Four-time F1 champ Sebastian Vettel’s particularly happy…

The 2024 Goodwood Revival, due to be held in early September next year, will provide a “landmark moment” in motor sport history as the entire event will be run exclusively on sustainable fuel.

Every vehicle competing at the historic motor sport pageant will compete with at least 70 per cent of the fuel used having to come from sustainable sources – or, in other words, not from fossil fuels.

‘Eco’ 1925 Bentley beats the rest

Goodwood is committed to various forms of sustainable and environmentally sound motor sport, and the 2024 Revival will not be the first time that vehicles have run on sustainable fuel at the Sussex venue.

Goodwood Revival 2021

At this year’s Revival, to mark 75 years of racing at Goodwood, the Fordwater Trophy was held with a field of 30 pre-1966 Porsche 911s, all of which were running on sustainable fuel. Drivers for this race included 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and nine-time F1 race-winner Mark Webber.

And a 1925 Bentley Speed was victorious at the Rudge-Whitworth Cup at the same meeting, beating conventionally fuelled competitor cars to the flag in the hands of Ben Collins and Gareth Graham.

However, this is the first time the entire Revival weekend will require every competitor in all races to use fuel featuring a “minimum of 70 per cent advanced sustainable components” – which typically means a biofuel or synthetic fuel, mixed with regular petrol or diesel.

The 70 per cent rating is in accordance with the FIA’s current requirements for sustainable fuel in motor sport.

None of the cars competing will need to be modified to accept the sustainable fuel and there is said to be no compromise on their race performance either, so fans should get the same blend of thrilling classic motor sport competition that they have had in previous Revival years run on traditional fossil fuels.

Estate champions various forms of green motoring

Goodwood’s “Revive & Thrive” ethos championing sustainable fuel is just one of the ways the venue wishes to ensure motor sport can continue into a greener age. It will reinforce the 2024 Revival’s message earlier in the year, too, by ensuring the Ken Miles Cup and the Gordon Spice Trophy at the 81st Members’ Meeting (to be held in April) will mandate the use of sustainable fuels across the event.

And its showcase of electric vehicles (EVs) and all manner of alternative fuels, known as “Electric Avenue”, will also return to the 2024 Festival of Speed that will take place in July.

Former F1 driver and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is a big supporter of Goodwood’s decision to run the 2024 Revival on sustainable fuels.

He has long had an interest in environmental activism, and cited the hypocrisy of him championing ecological causes in his personal life while jetting around the world with the F1 circus as one of the reasons behind his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2022 season.

Vettel also drove two sustainably fuelled old F1 cars, namely the 1992 Williams FW14B that was formerly raced by Nigel Mansell and the ex-Ayrton Senna 1993 McLaren MP4/8, at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

He said of the 2024 Revival announcement: “It was clear to me at the Festival of Speed that the team at Goodwood share my love of motor racing. I enjoyed sharing my ‘Race Without Trace’ initiative with the fans at the Festival of Speed and having the opportunity to show that sustainable fuels are a fantastic way to ensure a possible future pathway for the sport that we love. It’s great that Goodwood is leading the way in promoting the use of sustainable fuels at historic racing events.”

Ex-F1 drivers praise the decision

Other leading lights of the motor sport world chipped in to commend Goodwood for its decision. Karun Chandhok, former F1 and Formula E driver, said: “The Duke of Richmond and his team have done a brilliant job at bringing motor racing to a new audience whilst celebrating the history of our beloved sport. I’ve been a very vocal supporter of sustainable fuels alongside electrification of motor sport, and I think it’s hugely important to show the public that older high-performance cars can run successfully on new fuels. This is an exciting and innovative step to ensure that we can all still enjoy these fantastic cars in a socially responsible way for the future.”

Karun and Kushant Chandhok at the 2023 Goodwood Revival

For his part, Button – who as previously stated raced in the “green” Porsche 911 race at the 2023 Revival – added: “It was great to be a part of the Fordwater Trophy which brought together classic cars and the very latest in sustainable fuel technology. What’s so exciting about these fuels is that they can guarantee the future of historic racing, enabling us to enjoy combustion engine cars for years to come.”

And the man behind all the events in question, the Duke of Richmond, explained: “Goodwood has an illustrious motor sport history and one which we are delighted to continue with the announcement that at next year’s Revival, all of our races will run on sustainable fuel. I am proud that we are the first to be mandating the use of sustainable fuels at the event, and would like to thank all of the participating owners, drivers and preparers for their support.”

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