England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the biggest events on the automotive calendar, and now organizers are trying to replicate it in the United States. Instead of an aristocrat’s estate, the American Festival of Speed will be held at a country club racetrack in the heart of the U.S. auto industry.
The festival is scheduled to launch in fall 2021 at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, about 20 miles north of Detroit. It’s envisioned as an expansion of the Woodward Dream Cruise held annually in the Motor City, The Detroit News reported last week.
The event will be paired with another new event called the Woodward Dream Show. The two events will be coordinated under the Pontiac Motorsports Exposition banner, and modeled after the twinned Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, according to The Detroit News.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed features an eclectic mix of cars tackling the hill climb on the estate of Lord March. The competitors encompass everything from vintage race cars to the latest production models. The Goodwood Revival is a retro event centered around vintage races on the estate’s racetrack, with attendees decked out in period clothing.
1966 Chaparral 2E
Opened in 2016, the M1 Concourse is situated on 87 acres off Woodward Avenue, where the annual Dream Cruise is held. It features a 1.5-mile racetrack, a 2.5-acre skidpad, event space, and onsite condos.
The inaugural American Festival of Speed will honor racing driver and car constructor Jim Hall, who will bring three of his legendary Chaparral race cars for demonstration runs. The event will also feature timed runs of supercars around the track, similar to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, The Detroit News reported. The event is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2021.
Prior to that, the inaugural Woodward Dream Show is scheduled for Aug. 13-15, during what would normally be Woodward Dream Cruise week. However, it’s unclear if the event will be able to go ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused the cancellation of the Detroit auto show and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.