General News

Goodwood Was Good!


The Stamp of Approval, Thursday morning, 21st June

The R4 was officially ‘log-booked’ at the Motor Sports Association HQ in Colnbrook this morning. That means it’s now legal to go rallying – once all the team are happy with it. The plan now is for more development and testing work, then some endurance testing, and who knows it might just hit the tarmac roads of Ulster or the forest stages of Perthshire before the year is out!

Making An Impression, Thursday evening, 21st June

At the Goodwood Ball late on Thursday evening, an announcement was made to all assembled guests that there would be a small but select ‘stars and cars’ procession outside Goodwood House, and asked guests to gather outside the house to watch them cruising past, popping and banging, at slow speed. The drive-by included a number of exotic sports cars and GT racers – and one McRae R4 driven by you know who.

Never one for observing the niceties of etiquette, C McRae Esq let a gap build up between himself and the cars in front then burst into view at an illegal rate of knots in front of the house, executed two perfect 360 ‘do-nuts’ and disappeared in a cloud of tyre smoke to wild applause and an uproar of sheer enjoyment behind him.

Goodwood was Good! 22/23/24 June

It was also very wet, and in between the heavy rain showers, there were lighter showers. It almost felt like home! Well, at least the weather did. As for conditions on the Goodwood Special Stage, Colin remarked that the last time he saw conditions this slippy was in Indonesia. The crushed-chalk based roads at Goodwood were very reminiscent of surfaces previously experienced over there.

That meant no heroics although Colin did set fastest time of the weekend in Petter Solberg’s Subaru Impreza, but to give some idea of the conditions, his times were 1 minute slower in the wet than they were in the dry, and that was over a 1.75 mile stage!

As for the R4, the whole team learned a few more lessons in the ongoing development process, particularly in the suspension department as Goodwood staff had built a ‘jump’ into the test to tantalise the spectators. The back end of the R4 was kicking up a bit so some fine tuning of the dampers and altered settings are required. Overall, Colin was pleased with the performance, both acceleration and braking, and also the turn-in and general handling.

Many visitors also spent time with the team looking at the car including Petter ‘Hollywood’ Solberg himself who is an old mate of Colin’s, but one of the first to pester Colin for a run in the car was Paddy Hopkirk. The man who helped to put rallying and Mini on the world map loved it. Who knows, maybe he could be persuaded to make a comeback!