Rally Stage Success at Goodwood Festival

Every summer for the past twenty years the three-day Goodwood Festival of Speed gets bigger and seemingly better! Motorsport, show business and, in recent years, a real-time showcase for the motor manufacturing industry in its vital UK market.

This year to mark its 20th anniversary the festival, organisers seem to have pulled out all the stops and secured a selection of the top F1 drivers, stars of endurance and saloon car racing as well as celebrities from the motorsport world past & present rubbing shoulders with other well-known 'petrol heads' from stage & screen. The legendary Peter Fonda even rode his 'Easy Rider' bike up the hill to tumultuous applause!

Promptly at 09:30 on a hot and sunny Friday morning the small forest at the very top of the stunning Goodwood estate echoed to the sound of competition exhausts as the popular rally stage, designed by 1983 world champion driver Hannu Mikkola and introduced to the Festival in 2005, opened for business and the International Rally Driver's Club started the first of three busy days facilitating passenger rides for guests of Goodwood and event sponsor, Black Rock Finance

Working from the IRDC gazebo positioned near the start line, IRDC Chairman Shaun Martin and his loyal team of helpers were not only providing a cordial meet & greet service to guests but also kitting out would-be co-drivers with overalls, helmets, boots and gloves, in addition to calming frayed nerves as guests, some of whom are completely new to rallying, waited for their turn to be driven around the challenging 1.2 mile stage.

Fast forward to 5:30 pm and the first day has passed without any drama and the rally stage clock has just stopped on the final competitor of the day; Mikko Hirvonen mading a late bid to take fastest time of the day, but the timing clock did not actually stop so we're all waiting for the outcome! Hot and dusty marshals start to drift off to the campsite for a well-earned beer or two and the final guests return overall and helmets, elated with their first competitive run through a forest stage.

Roll-on Saturday - only two days of the 2013 Festival of Speed left to enjoy now ...

13th July, 2013