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 story unfolds
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.
The Airfield was created on land that formed part of the Goodwood Estate - home to the Dukes of Richmond for over 300 years - and was donated by the 9th Duke to assist the War effort.
The Circuit Launch
opening of the circuit
The 1948 opening of the circuit was met with a rapturous response as the British public had been deprived of motor racing since Brooklands closed its doors in 1939 as a result of the Second World War.
The huge demand for wheel-to-wheel competition saw 85 drivers and
over 15,00 spectators turning up to Goodwood on 18 September 1948 to support the UK's first professionally-organised post-war motor racing event.
End of a Chapter
Goodwood closed its gates
In August 1966, after 18 years of memorable competition, Goodwood closed its gates to contemporary motor racing, although the circuit remained in continuous use as a testing and track day venue. It was the end of a chapter in Goodwood history, but not the end of the story.
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