Sir Jackie Stewart will be honoured at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, scheduled for 4-7 July at Goodwood House and the 1.16-mile Goodwood hill climb in England.
This year marks 50 years since Sir Jackie won his first Formula 1 World Championship, and this summer, the famous Scot will also celebrate his 80th birthday. Goodwood will celebrate both occasions by featuring a number of his most famous cars on the Hill. The list will include the first car he ever raced: a Marcos Xylon Special, and the BRM P261 he took his first Grand Prix victory in.
“The gathering of the very best road, race and rally cars in the world makes the Festival of Speed one of the great events in our country,” said Sir Jackie. “This year, I am very proud that The Duke of Richmond has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my first British Grand Prix win at Silverstone in 1969 and, in the same year, my winning the World Championship for the first time.”
“This June also, almost unbelievably, celebrates my 80th birthday. Goodwood has assembled a number of special cars from my career, and I hope to drive as many as I can over the weekend. These include the first car I ever raced, and the BRM in which I won my first Grand Prix. It’s a very special celebration which I thank His Grace for,” continued Stewart.
Born in Dunbartonshire in 1939, Stewart entered his first race in a Marcos in 1961. He won several races in 1962, including one at Goodwood in a Cooper T49. By 1964, Stewart had been signed by Ecurie Ecosse, and early that year he came down to Goodwood after the track manager, Robin Mackay, had seen him testing and tipped off Ken Tyrrell about the new talent. Stewart came down to test alongside Bruce McLaren in the new Cooper T72-BMC, a car Stewart had never seen before. Despite this, he was quicker than McLaren and Ken Tyrrell signed him on the spot to the Formula 3 team.
Despite numerous offers from Formula 1 teams, Stewart opted to stay in Formula 3 and Formula 2 before making his Formula 1 World Championship debut in 1965 for BRM, winning the Italian Grand Prix and finishing the season third. Three world championships would follow, winning in 1969 for the Ken Tyrrell-run Matra squad, before a brace of titles for Tyrrell Grand Prix in 1971 and ’73.
While Stewart is known for his success on track, he is equally synonymous for his work in improving safety in motorsport, kick started after a crash at Spa-Francorchamps in 1966 left Stewart trapped in his car for 25 minutes. He was eventually freed from the car by fellow drivers, using a toolkit borrowed from a spectator, and was put into a van before an ambulance finally arrived. The ambulance subsequently got lost on the way to the hospital, despite a police escort.
After this Stewart campaigned, against strong opposition, to ensure that safety measures were improved, including boycotts of races at Spa Francorchamps, the Nürburgring and Zandvoort. Stewart’s safety crusade helped make safety measures such as pit crash barriers, seatbelts and full-face crash helmets mandatory. He is directly responsible for countless lives being saved over the last few decades in motorsport.