Memories of the late Richard Burns abounded when the car which launched him on the path to WRC glory almost 30 years ago returned to action at Britain’s Goodwood SpeedWeek last weekend.
The Peugeot 205 GTI which Burns drove to the 1991 Peugeot Challenge title appeared at the three-day motorsport festival in the hands of former Junior WRC driver Tom Williams. He was co-driven by father David, who backed Burns in the early days of his rally career.
“I grew up hearing stories about this car,” said Williams Jr. “It was quite emotional for dad to be co-driving me in it. It was also the car that dad put so much – in physical terms – into. I’ve seen so many videos of dad in there washing that car, working on the graphics and everything.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to get the car out and drive it and hear some more stories from people who were at Goodwood and actually competed against Richard and Robert [co-driver Reid] at the time.”
SpeedWeek was a behind-closed-doors blend of Goodwood’s famous Festival of Speed and Revival events, which fans streamed live into their own homes rather than flocking to in their usual tens of thousands.
Other iconic rally cars turning wheels at Goodwood Circuit were a range of Group B exotica including Audi Quattros, a Lancia Delta S4, MG Metro 6R4s and a Ford RS200.
M-Sport Ford WRC 2 driver Rhys Yates dominated the event’s Super Special rally.
Driving a Ford Fiesta Rally2 MkII with a split livery (Yates also won the four-wheel drive section of Goodwood’s drift-oriented event, hence the part-rally, part-drift colour scheme), the Englishman won all seven rally stages.
Yates, who beat team-mate Adrien Fourmaux in the Rally2 class at M-Sport’s gravel road Back to Rallying Stages in August, showed similar pace on asphalt.
“I’d never been to Goodwood before so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he said. “It was mega! OK, the stages weren’t the longest, but they really made the best out of what they’ve got – and there were some really special cars out there as well.
“We came here to join the show and make a bit of noise, so to go away with two wins is great.”