Following a successful trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard in 2018, ‘The King’ Richard Petty will return to Goodwood in 2019, leading the cavalry of American legends making the Transatlantic trip.
Having travelled to the event for the Festival’s 25th anniversary last year, seven-time NASCAR champion and driving hero Petty enjoyed his time so much that he has decided to return, again bringing one of the legendary STP-liveried cars along with him.
Petty will not be the only NASCAR champion in attendance at the Festival, with Bobby Labonte, the first champion of the 21st century, also lined up to put some American muscle through its paces up the famous Goodwood Hill.
Labonte, who now competes full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, added to his Cup Series success one year later by winning the 2001 IROC Series, as well as becoming the first ever driver to complete NASCAR’s “Triple Threat” – winning a race in each of the top three NASCAR national divisions – at the same track when he won the 2005 Craftsman Truck Kroger 250, adding to his 1992 Busch Series victory and 2002 Winston Cup trip to Victory Lane.
Al Unser Jr. will also join the list of stateside celebrities, climbing behind the wheel of his father’s 1978 “Triple Crown”-winning Lola Indycar. Unser’s father is one of only three four-time Indy 500 winners, while Jr. himself boasts two Indy successes.
It won't be just American nationals flying the flag for US motorsport, as some of the most successful and recognised names in American motorsport will also be in action at the Festival, including 2003 Indy 500 winner and double CART champion Gil de Ferran, two-time Indy 500 winner and F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi and four-time IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.
The Festival of Speed has a long history of celebrating American motorsport, with classes of cars dedicated to Americana, celebrating the centenary of the Indy 500 in 2011 and, in 2018, the Borg-Warner Trophy, awarded to the Indianapolis 500 winner every year, made a rare appearance outside of the USA in Goodwood House.