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Classic motorsport fans will be well catered for at this year’s fast-approaching Goodwood Festival of Speed, with the news that two big names have joined the line-up.
Prodrive is bringing nine cars to celebrate its four decades in competition, and has invited nine-time World Rally Championship-winning driver Sébastien Loeb, 1981 WRC drivers’ champion and four-time Paris-Dakar winner Ari Vatanen, Jimmy McRae, and Motorsport UK and Prodrive chairman and 1981 WRC champion co-driver David Richards to get behind the wheel at the 8-11 July event.
Vatanen and Richards will drive the 1981 Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2 which they campaigned exactly 40 years ago, winning the Acropolis and Thousand Lakes rallies en route to that year’s titles.
The car is fresh from a two-year restoration. Richards said: “The last time Ari saw this car was 40 years ago on the San Remo Rally, where we hit a wall! I hope he doesn’t drive it quite as hard as he did back in 1981.”
McRae will pilot his son’s 1996 Group A Subaru Impreza, the car in which Colin won the 1996 Rally Catalunya and clinched a second consecutive manufacturers’ title for Subaru.
Another Subaru will be in action, too, the Impreza WRC in which Richard Burns won the 2000 Safari Rally, driven at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by Prodrive’s technical director David Lapworth.
Bringing the Prodrive story up to date, Loeb will be behind the wheel of the 2021 Prodrive Hunter T1 that made its debut on this year’s Dakar, while 2019/2020 WEC GTE drivers’ champion Marco Sorensen will drive his 2020 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
These will be joined by four evocative static displays.
Jimmy McRae’s British and Irish Rally Championship winning 1986 MG Metro 6R4 will be joined by the L555 BAT Impreza in which Colin claimed his WRC crown.
Plus the 2004 BAR Honda F1 car and 2003/4 Ford Falcon V8 Supercar that raced in Australia will be on display, too.
The Prodrive showcase will be in the main paddock, near the Formula One teams.
What’s more, two classic, Gordon-Murray designed cars will be taking to the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021.
One is the first racing car Murray designed after arriving in the UK from his native South Africa, the 1972 IGM F750, and the other is a Brabham Ford BT44B in which Carlos Pace took his only F1 victory, at the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix.
These cars will be driven by Murray and Marino Franchitti, plus Murray has been confirmed as one of the judges at Goodwood’s 26th annual Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance.
The 2021 edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is running as a pilot event, forming part of the Events Research Programme (ERP).