Rally stars remember Richard Burns
- 21st September 2010, 8:52am
The cars which defined Richard's World Rally Championship-winning career were on static display at the Richard Burns Foundation stand and then on parade around the Castle Combe circuit, with 1984 world rally champion Stig Blomqvist and Britain's leading rally driver Guy Wilks at the wheel.
Having taken his title in a fearsome Audi Quattro, Swedish superstar Blomqvist was more than ready to take on the Subaru Impreza WRC which Richard and co-driver Robert Reid used to win the 2001 world crown. For Wilks, the last car Richard drove competitively, the Peugeot 206 WRC beckoned. And the current Intercontinental Rally Challenge frontrunner absolutely loved it.
"It was an honour to get in that car and drive it," said Wilks. "When I was 10 or 11 and growing up dreaming of being a rally driver, it was Richard that I looked up to. He had such an individual approach. He was a great, great character. When I was doing my first ever World Rally Championship round abroad in Sweden, we went out for dinner and he gave me some advice. He was always there for me to call and talk to. The help he gave me was invaluable. He was an inspiration and to have the chance to drive his 206 was a pretty emotional moment and one I won't forget."
As well as offering a big thanks to Guy and Stig for driving the cars, the Richard Burns Foundation also has to thank Guy and Skoda UK Motorsport for offering a seat alongside him for a hot lap of Castle Combe, which was snapped up by an eager rally fan on the day. Similar gratitude is extended to the BP Ford Abu Dhabi and Monster Ford World Rally Teams, who offered the same opportunity, with another fan getting the chance to sit with recent Rally Finland winner Jari-Matti Latvala in Ken Block's Monster Focus. Both fans went home very happy after an unforgettable experience.
The other cars on parade, driven by Richard's friends, were the Talbot Sunbeam in which Richard started his career, the Peugeot 205 GTi in which he destroyed all of his competitors for two years in succession in the Peugeot Challenge; the Peugeot 309 GTi which he used to win his class on the RAC Rally in 1991, just his second ever WRC outing. As well as the Impreza, two Legacys were part of the line-up: the Group N car Richard and Robert used to win the British National title in 1992 and the glorious-sounding Group A Legacy RS which carried them to an unforgettable 1993 British Rally Championship title.
Rallyday wasn't all about Richard's rally cars, however, as the RB320 Owners Club was also in attendance, lining up their stunning black, limited edition Subaru Imprezas for everybody to see. The Richard Burns Foundation would like to thank the RB320OC for its much-valued efforts in raising more much-needed cash.
The Richard Burns Foundation now looks forward to the inaugural Remembering Richard event at Prodrive in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on Saturday September 25. Visit www.richardburnsfoundation.com for more details.
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