Mario Andretti to be Festival of Speed Maestro
Goodwood has confirmed that one of greatest all-round racing drivers of all time, Mario Andretti, is to be celebrated at the 2020 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, taking place from 9th-12th of July.
Mario, who celebrates his 80th birthday on 28th February 2020, was the original inspiration behind this year’s Festival of Speed theme: “The Maestros – Motorsport’s Great All-Rounders”. His skill behind the wheel and sheer passion for all forms of motorsport made him a winner on dirt ovals, superspeedways, road courses and street circuits. To celebrate his long and illustrious career, Goodwood will be assembling some of Andretti’s most famous competition cars on the Hill.
The middle weekend of July usually sees Andretti giving high speed VIP rides in a two-seat Indycar but he said the Maestro theme was too good to pass up: “The invitation for Goodwood this year is very welcome. Charles [Duke of Richmond] has asked me many times over the years, but it’s always clashed with my commitment to the Toronto Indycar race where I drive the two-seater. This year I am not going to go to Toronto because of the theme you are having and it will mean a great deal to me to be there. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Andretti has fond memories of his Festival appearance in 1998: “It’s the ultimate compliment when people are interested in you, your career, and it’s always been a tremendous pleasure to meet them, sign the photos, and give them a memento of the day.
“The British fans are the most educated when it comes to motorsport and that’s just great to see. It’s a wonderful event from every standpoint and I enjoyed being there tremendously.”
“We could not have honoured racing’s great all-rounders at the Festival of Speed without having Mario here,“ said The Duke of Richmond. “The breadth of his abilities and love of competing are unsurpassed and his achievements in so many forms of motorsports will probably never be matched. We cannot wait to celebrate his glorious career on the Hill.”