Arrow Electronics' SAM Car Makes Goodwood Festival of Speed Racing Debut

Aug 25, 2021 1:00 PM ET
Press Release

Centennial, Colo. August 25, 2021 /3BL Media/ – The Arrow Electronics SAM Car marked a new milestone last month, making its international debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. The Arrow SAM Car is a Corvette modified with electronic interfaces to allow quadriplegic former race car driver Sam Schmidt to drive at racetrack speeds with head and voice controls.

More than 100 professional race car drivers competed in a variety of vehicle classes at the festival, held July 8-11. Schmidt was the only disabled driver and the only one to use head-only controls. He made a total of five runs on the festival’s hilly racecourse driving Arrow’s modified 2020 Corvette C8 over four days.

Schmidt reached a top speed of 106 miles per hour, taking an average of 64 seconds to complete his runs on the narrow track lined with straw bale barriers. In comparison, Rob Bell, the event’s fastest driver, completed the course in 45.01 seconds in a 710-HP McLaren 720S GT3X.

“I’ve always just looked at this event from afar, thinking I’d love to just go and be a spectator, but to be able to come here and actually participate is a total dream come true,” said Schmidt. 

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual 1.86 kilometer hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles held in the 12,000-acre grounds of Goodwood House. The course runs directly in front of the historic Goodwood House, which dates to 1600.

Schmidt took his first demonstration laps in the SAM Car at the 2014 Indy 500. Since then, he has driven the car in amateur races, on Colorado’s Pikes Peak and on public streets in some of the nation’s largest cities. 

While a full schedule of race cars competed at this year’s festival, attendance was reduced due to COVID-related protocols.

In addition to competing in the Festival of Speed, Schmidt completed a number of demonstration drives to raise awareness around mobility-enhancing technologies and met with disability organizations, including the Global Disability Innovation Hub, a research and policy center in east London dedicated to accelerating the adoption of accessible design and technologies.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 180,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2020 sales of $29 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at FiveYearsOut.com