No ID.R Record Attempt: VW Bows Out of Goodwood SpeedWeek

The coronavirus’s second wave has led Volkswagen to cancel its planned appearance at Goodwood SpeedWeek. The event—itself a replacement for the corona-canceled Festival of Speed and Members Meeting—will take place this coming weekend, October 16-18.

Although Volkswagen Motorsport had planned to run the ID.R around the Goodwood Motor Circuit, where it has not run before, and perhaps set another track record, the safety of the team and rising case numbers around the world and in the UK, have led Volkswagen Motorsport to pull out.

“We deeply regret not being able to attend Goodwood this year, but the health of our employees is of paramount importance,” says Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “After lengthy internal discussions, we are convinced that this is the right decision in the current situation.”

Although cases were tapering down in the summer, the UK’s second wave has been larger than its first. From April to June, numbers were maxing out at a little over 6,000 new cases a day. On October 4, the UK saw 22,961 cases. Although that number remains a peak, the country registered more than 17,000 new cases yesterday.

“We would obviously have loved to compete against the opposition at Goodwood Motor Circuit, but this is unfortunately not possible for us at the moment,” said Smeets. “It is not appropriate to bring such a large team from Germany to the UK at a time when measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus are being ramped up significantly in all European countries.”

As of today, Goodwood’s organizers are still planning the event. Though outdoors, the wisdom of attending at a time when new cases of the virus are accelerating is questionable. With the event less than two days away, though, it seems unlikely that it will be canceled.

“Even though we are unable to attend, we wish the organizers and the many SpeedWeek participants a successful event and really hope that we can compete in Goodwood again in 2021 under different circumstances,” said Smeets. “This weekend we will all be watching the live broadcast at home instead!”

Perhaps we should all be like VW’s team.