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The long-awaited arrival of the great British summer can mean only one thing: the Goodwood Festival of Speed is right around the corner. Team Girardo & Co. is out in force with seven historically significant road and racing cars – here’s what you need to know…

Who doesn’t love the Goodwood Festival of Speed? It’s an automotive extravaganza like no other – a unique event which blends the quintessentially British summer garden party with a motorsport gathering of peerless breadth and quality. We’ve been working closely with the Festival’s organisers in recent months and, after what’s felt like an eternity, are thrilled to finally share with you the seven cars we’ll be bringing to Goodwood this weekend.

The entire Girardo & Co. team will be at the Festival of Speed throughout the weekend and we’d love to catch up and meet as many of you as possible. Below you’ll find a short description about each of our Goodwood star cars in addition to where you’ll be able to find them – and in turn us – on the Festival site. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on Instagram, where we’ll be keeping our followers abreast of all the action with photos, in-car footage and behind-the-scenes snapshots.

Here at Girardo & Co. we have had the pleasure of being able to rehome some of rallying’s most successful and historically significant cars from virtually every era of the sport’s rich history. But this 2004 Citroën Xsara WRC is perhaps the greatest of them all.If you are wired remotely like we are, think rallying in the 2000s and two distinctly French names will instantly spring to mind: Sebastien Loeb and Citroën. It’s difficult to over exaggerate the historical significance of this particular Citroën Xsara WRC, not only in the context of rallying but of wider motorsport in general. It was with this very car that Sebastien Loeb solidified his peerless career and ruthlessly forged his reputation as the greatest rally driver of all time.

This single chassis took Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena to nine podium finishes and a staggering six World Rally Championship victories: New Zealand, Greece, France (where, unbelievably, the duo were fastest in every single special stage), Spain, Italy and Japan. It therefore played an instrumental role in Loeb’s second and third drivers’ titles and Citroën’s third and fourth constructors’ championships.It tells a success story of a man and a brand (and, in many respects, a country) at the very peak of their powers – an era of decisive domination, the like of which we will perhaps never see again. It goes without saying that chassis 32, among the most successful top-flight rally cars extant, would be welcomed with open arms to the world’s most prestigious motorsport events.

This Xsara WRC will be tearing up the Duke of Richmond’s driveway all weekend as part of Batch 2 – Ultimate Rally Cars. You’ll be able to find it located in the Cathedral Paddock. 

Ahead of the 1999 Goodwood Festival of Speed – which, despite being in its relative infancy, had already established itself as one of the world’s biggest motorsport events – its founder the Duke of Richmond planned a very special showdown.

Great Britain’s rallying superstars Colin McRae and Richard Burns were poised to take their fight from the World Rally Championship special stages to the world-famous West Sussex hill climb. McRae was armed with his current Ford Focus WRC while Burns took to the Goodwood start line with S10 SRT, this very Subaru Impreza WRC99, which Juha Kankkunen would subsequently take to second overall at both Rally GB and the Safari Rally. ⁣Rather amusingly, behind the scenes Burns and his Prodrive-run Subaru outfit had been taking Goodwood a little more seriously than their Scottish opponent. According to Burns’ then-codriver Robert Reid, great lengths were taken to ensure this Impreza was optimised for the hill climb – reportedly the car was right on the minimum weight limit and was riding as low as possible, for example. Subaru had even conducted a test at the MIRA proving ground in advance of the Festival of Speed.⁣

Great Britain’s rallying superstars Colin McRae and Richard Burns were poised to take their fight from the World Rally Championship special stages to the world-famous West Sussex hill climb. McRae was armed with his current Ford Focus WRC while Burns took to the Goodwood start line with S10 SRT, this very Subaru Impreza WRC99, which Juha Kankkunen would subsequently take to second overall at both Rally GB and the Safari Rally. ⁣⁣Suffice to say, the preparation paid off – Burns smoked McRae, crossing the line in 51.08 seconds, an astonishing five seconds quicker than his rival. Prodrive chairman David Richards maintains that this victory, albeit a minor one, was a turning point in Richard Burns’ career – a pivotal moment at which the World Rally Champion-to-be ‘broke through’ and showed the world he meant business.Returning ‘S10 SRT’ to Goodwood for the first time since that incredible showdown is going to be really special – you’ll be able to find the car stationed in the Cathedral Paddock and on the hill as part of Batch 2: Ultimate Rally Cars. ⁣

We appreciate it’s been a long time in the works, but the definitive book we’re producing about the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive is edging closer and closer to publication. And rest assured the wait will be worth it – the last V12 Ferrari to win at Le Mans deserves the best.Ferrari turns 75 years old this year and Goodwood intends to celebrate the anniversary in a fashion only the Duke of Richmond and his excellent team could pull off. The list of Prancing Horses poised to take to the hill is frankly mouth-watering, ranging from the sultry Gran Turismos of the 1960s to the dominant Formula 1 cars of the 2000s.

We’re very proud to say that among them will be our Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive, the car in which the late great Colin McRae made his sole appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following said appearance, during which McRae and his codrivers Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell finished third in the GTS class, chassis 03 made an appearance at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed. We hope it will be received as fondly this weekend as it was back then!Our Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive is part of Batch 3: 75 Years of Ferrari, which when it's not on the hill-climb can be found in the Main Paddock.

One of last year’s biggest Festival of Speed crowd favourites was the 1990 Citroën ZX Rallye Raid Evo 2 we brought along. We were taken aback with the overwhelmingly positive response to the car – it proved a serious hit both at the event and on social media throughout the weekend. Goodwood itself even produced a great video with Max Girardo talking through the ZX, which you can watch below or by clicking here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the organisers at Goodwood have invited it back for a second year on the bounce. We know we’re not alone when we say we were swept up in the excitement of this year’s Dakar Rally - the jaw-dropping vistas, brutally challenging terrain and the will-he won’t-he anticipation as the nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb chased his first Dakar victory.

This particular ZX, which was a Works Citroën Sport entrant in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 Paris-Dakar rallies, is one of the rare few which escaped the clutches of the factory and wound up in the possession of a private owner – somebody who had the foresight and respect to invest in a comprehensive restoration to return the car to its former glory. Goodwood (where it will be located in the Cathedral Paddock) will be this car’s final public appearance before it jets off to its fantastic new home on the continent.

Group C racing and its American equivalent IMSA GTP were loosely defined formulas of motorsport known for encouraging designers and engineers to push the technological envelope further than it had ever been pushed before. The Nissan NTP-90 GTP is a car which perfectly embodies that ‘free-radical’ spirit.⁣The successor to the 1989 IMSA title-winning GTP ZX Turbo, the NPT-90 was designed and developed by Trevor Harris and Nissan Performance Technology Incorporated (NPTI) – a full Works-supported outfit based in California and, at its zenith, comprising a 200-strong workforce.⁣⁣

In the capable hands of Geoff Brabham, Bob Earl, Chip Robinson and Derek Daly, Nissan dominated the 1990 IMSA GTP Championship, winning both the drivers’ and the manufacturers’ gongs. And the NPT-90s repeated the feat the following year. Simply put, they were untouchable!⁣There are myriad astonishing figures associated with Nissan’s final IMSA GTP prototype, but one really sticks in the mind and that’s the 950HP produced by the three-litre twin-turbocharged four-valve V6 engine.⁣This fabulous example, chassis 90/08, will be thundering up the Goodwood hill-climb throughout the weekend as part of Batch 3: 40 Years of Group C. Needless to say, Max has got his work cut out threading all 950 horses through the narrow funnel of hay bales ascending the hill-climb.

Cast your minds back to last year’s Festival of Speed and you’ll remember we tackled the hill-climb with ‘W25 SRT’, the Subaru Impreza WRC 2000 in which England’s only World Rally Champion Richard Burns won the 2000 Network Q Rally of Great Britain – his third consecutive Rally GB victory.This Impreza is particularly special because rather than being sold by Prodrive to a privateer outfit and put through its paces on domestic rally championships, it was sold to a man who, from the outset, wanted to preserve the car exactly as it raced.

As a result, ‘W25 SRT’ is unique. Not only is this car the only two-door Impreza sold into private hands with its factory-mapped paddle-actuated semi-automatic gearbox still equipped, but it’s also in the exact cosmetic state in which it won Rally GB, battle scars and all.

This year, Prodrive itself asked if it could borrow the car to be exhibited alongside P25, the Oxfordshire company’s forthcoming Subaru Impreza restomod, which we at Girardo & Co. have been entrusted with selling. P25 makes its global dynamic debut at the Festival of Speed and will no doubt garner an enormous amount of attention over the course of the weekend. It feels fitting to have ‘W25 SRT’, among the most special Imprezas of them all, sharing the limelight.

Photos: Tom ShaxsonYou can keep up with all the action from the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed by FOLLOWING GIRARDO & CO. ON INSTAGRAM. We’ll be posting live from the festival all weekend.