From a brace of ultimate rally Citroëns and a 1990s Formula 1 baptism of fire to the Jaguar D-type that made Jim Clark famous and Travis Pastrana in our ex-Colin McRae Subaru, this was Girardo & Co.’s 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed…
In what was perhaps the most surreal moment of the weekend, Travis Pastrana himself took the wheel of ‘P8 WRC’, our ex-Colin McRae 1997 Safari Rally-winning Subaru Impreza WRC97, around the Forest Rally Stage while Max sat alongside and read the notes/watched in amazement.
Travis’ enthusiasm for rallying is truly infectious and he was pumped to have the chance to drive one of Colin’s old cars – one of a few we saw him peddling over the weekend. Perhaps inevitably, he didn’t tiptoe around. Despite the icy slick conditions, he drove P8 with the confidence and gusto of which we know Colin would have been proud.
Goodwood was also the first opportunity to show off our new Citroën C4 WRC, a car in which Sébastien Loeb won a staggering four rounds of the 2008 World Rally Championship, in the United Kingdom. Max did the lion’s share of the driving and loved every second, especially after he’d located the anti-lag switch.
After Saturday’s run up the hill in the rain, the flame-belching exhaust on idle was setting the wet grass alight. Despite consulting with Sébastien Loeb himself about how to engage the launch control on his old car, Max wasn’t quite able to nail the perfect start. Any excuse to get the car back out for another go!
What a privilege to share arguably the most original WRC-era rally car, ‘W25 SRT’, with the public once again. Richard Burns drove this Subaru Impreza WRC 2000 to a stunning victory at the Network Q Rally of Great Britain in Wales in 2000 and it has been carefully preserved in almost the exact same state in which it crossed the finish line ever since. The car’s originality is mesmerizing and it stands as a magical tribute to the late, great Richard Burns, England’s only World Rally Champion.
Goodwood was a place close to Richard’s heart and it felt very special to be able to take this incredibly special slice of rallying history up the hill. The Festival of Speed was the first time Marcus had driven the Subaru in ‘Stage’ mode and, to put it bluntly, he was gob smacked.
There’s nothing like a last-second call-up. On Sunday afternoon, Max received a phone call from a very generous client asking whether he’d like to drive the ex-Damon Hill 1992 Brabham-Judd BT60B up the hill. Naturally, Max obliged and hot-footed it to the assembly area for what was perhaps the quickest intro to an F1 car in history.
Within 10 minutes of the phone call, Max was headed off down to the start line to join the likes of Lando Norris and Jackie Stewart, Judd V10 screaming in his wake. This Brabham was the very first Formula car raced by the 1996 World Champion, and while it by no means the quickest car on the grid, it looks and sounds fantastic today. Max had never driven an F1 car before and despite the baptism of fire, was naturally giddy with excitement when he climbed out. Tough gig, eh?
We were honoured to exhibit the 1981 Alfa Romeo 179C we’re currently offering for sale as part of the class celebrating the wonderfully diverse career of the great Mario Andretti, who was present at the Festival of Speed all weekend and as enthusiastic and graceful as ever.
Positioned between a JPS-liveried Lotus 77 and Martin Overington’s Porsche 962C, the Alfa garnered so much attention over the course of the weekend. Under the Works Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo banner, Andretti wrestled this very car to a crowd-pleasing fourth place at the season-opening Long Beach Grand Prix in 1981.
Travis Pastrana wasn’t the only famous face to drive ‘P8 WRC’ over the weekend – our Subaru was also driven by Catie Munnings, the British rally driver who’s currently competing in the new electric off-road series Extreme E under the Andretti United banner.
Catie was presenting Goodwood’s official television coverage of the Festival of Speed and the segment filmed with our Impreza will be used to open the show. That meant reading a script to camera from the driver’s seat, which would have been a lot easier if the Forest Rally Stage wasn’t as slippery as sheet ice. Nonetheless, Catie took the car by the scruff of the neck and slithered around with aplomb!
It wasn’t quite as last-minute as the Brabham, but on Friday, Max was invited by a very important client to drive his ultra-special Jaguar D-type. Known by its registration number ‘TKF 9’, this is the car which helped to launch the Formula 1 career of the late, great Jim Clark.
Under the famous Border Reivers banner, Clark raced this D-type on 20 occasions in 1958 and won 12 of them. Isn’t it fantastic to see such a significant and desperately beautiful piece of motorsport history being shown and driven for so many to enjoy?
Having only received our Citroën ZX Rallye-Raid from France last Wednesday, Goodwood was a journey of discovery for us. Marcus drove the three-time Paris-Dakar veteran up the hill the most over the course of the weekend and it didn’t take long for him to get to grips with the turbocharged titan.
“Like most rally cars it’s a bit of a pig when it’s cold, but once up to temperature, it’s nowhere near as intimidating as it looks,” he explains. “The sand-optimised ratios take some getting used to, as does the astonishing boost once the turbo spools up – it’s a seriously fast thing which belies its size. I’m not sure how keen I’d be to do 500 miles a day across the desert in it, but as a driving experience, it’s about as fun as it gets!” We were overwhelmed with the reception the ZX received at Goodwood – a real crowd pleaser, especially with its siren horn!Photos: Robert Cooper