IRDC at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Whilst grand prix heroes' were wowing fans with tyre-smoking doughnuts and autographs on the Goodwood hilclimb, the forest on the hillside above Goodwood House echoed to the sound of both historic and modern rally cars, as the Festival of Speed showcased the best loose-surface driving on its exciting Forest Rally Stage and the IRDC were delighted to contribute to the success of the event by assisting in the running of the stage start and Facilitating Goodwood guest's rides in the rally cars.

With no date clash with any World Rally Championship or Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Goodwood Festival of Speed was again able to bring many protagonists of the sport to the event.

To link in to its 110th anniversary of direct involvement in motor sport, Skoda presented the enhanced Forest Rally Stage this year and demonstrated the latest Fabia S2000 rally car. Skoda also displayed many key vehicles from its long and successful motor racing heritage, including a number of its iconic RAC Rally class-winning cars from the 1960s and 1970s.

The new Mini Countryman WRC is made its Goodwood debut with Kris Meeke at the wheel, whilst American rallying sensation Ken Block was in action in his new 2011 Ford Fiesta. The works teams from CitroŽn, Peugeot and Chevrolet were also very prominent at the Festival.

Alongside the contemporary World Rally cars on the hillclimb are a selection of tarmac specification rally cars from the evocative Group B era. This year marks 25 years since the high tide of the powerful and brutal Group B cars with up to 600bhp, with many of these very much in evidence at Goodwood, including the short-lived Ford RS200, Lancia 037 and Delta S4, MG Metro 6R4 and Peugeot 205 T16.

All in all, throughout the three days of the Festival over 50 cars tackled the demanding rally stage, ranging from early Sixties favourites like the Saab 96 and Mini Cooper S, to the ubiquitous Ford Escort, Lancia Stratos and Skoda 130 RS of the 1970s, as well as awesome fire-breathing Group B monsters like the Audi Quattro S1 and Ford RS200 who shared the limelight with the ultra high-tech machines of today.

International Rally Driver's Club chairman Shaun Martin; who spent the weekend wearing a radio headset and organising the rally stage start said, "it's a great privilege for the IRDC to be offered the opportunity to be able to provide assistance to the Goodwood team in running the very popular rally stage. Many of the driver's taking part are members of the IRDC and we've enjoyed meeting and offering hospitality to the many guests of Goodwood who have been taken around the rally stage in a variety of the works and historic rally cars ".

4th July, 2011