Hi everyone,

Well, what can I say? If you ever have a chance to get to the Goodwood Festival of Speed over here, you simply must do it!

It is just fantastic. For me, it was an amazing opportunity and I certainly hope I will go back and see it again – well, see a lot more of it than I did this time.

There are legends of motorsport everywhere you look. It’s everyone and everything that you can think of in motorsport, all together in the beautiful grounds of Goodwood House. They call it the ‘world’s largest motorsport garden party’ and it’s true.  This year they were celebrating 100 years of Indy, so they had every Indy car imaginable there. They also had Formula One cars, World Rally cars, motorbikes, Le Mans cars – it was just unbelievable.
And gazillions of people everywhere! I have no idea what the official attendance figures were but I know they were sold out every day.

I didn’t actually get to see it all because we spent most of our time driving up the top at the forest rally stage area.  Mind you, a broken driveshaft on Saturday morning meant we had Saturday afternoon off as we couldn’t get a replacement until Sunday morning, which wasn’t such a bad thing in the end because it meant we could go and have a look around.  But the festival is so big that you really do need the full three days to see it all.

I was invited to the event to do demonstration runs on the forest stage, which also included taking corporate clients, sponsors and official guests for rides. It was all about putting on a good show for them and for the spectators and I really enjoyed it.

The rally stage was quite a tight, twisty track, lots of sliding and handbrake turns. I’d like to think I scared a few people, but I don’t think I did as the track itself wasn’t very high speed. My dad was over here helping with everything and I took him for a run too, and I couldn’t frighten him. I’m very disappointed, because I really did want to scare him!  He’s not a very good passenger and had been making feeble excuses about not going for a ride with me, but I’d organised him a MSA day licence and he had no way of getting out of it.
As a bonus, I was awarded with a Driver of the Day award, which is presented for entertainment and sportsmanship. It’s judged by the marshals and organisers and the prize is a medal and a bottle of vintage Veuve Cliquot which was presented to me by Lord March!  Dad kept telling me that champagne goes off and that we should drink it, but I shut him up by buying him a £3 bottle of red on special instead.  I think I will pack the champagne away for when I have my first major win!
Anyway, the weekend was so much fun but since then we have been absolutely flat out. We had a seven-hour drive home from Goodwood and then had to get the rally car, the recce car, the service van and the trailer all organised, because we had to put it on a freight ferry on Tuesday night to Helsinki ready for a rally in Estonia.

That meant packing the service van, prepping the rally car, loading it all up and driving it down to the ferry terminal at Hull, about three and a half hours away. And then driving home again. Luckily I had dad and our friend Mattie Hendry here to help. We were all running around like headless chooks and didn’t get home till midnight.  Dad reckons he needs to go home for a holiday! I am very tired and it was bloody hard going to work the next morning, I can tell you.

So now I’m at work for the rest of this week, and then head off to Helsinki on Monday to pick the vehicles up from the ferry and jump straight on another ferry to Estonia.  The next month is pretty full on with the Estonia Rally (July 16-17), then Rally Finland (July 28-31) followed closely by some tarmac testing prior to Rally Germany.  Busy days ahead!


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