For all but one of the 46 years between 1973 and 2019, the World Rally Championship visited British shores religiously. Every fall they came, they saw and they conquered the mud, the minds and the hearts of fans from across the country’s four corners.
Then? Nothing. COVID came and went, but the WRC stayed away from Wales. British fans were left with nothing to look forward to, no hint of the world’s best cars and drivers.
Granted, Goodwood’s Festival of Speed might not rival Dyfi, Dalby or Drummond Hill in terms of outright rallying spectacle, but the news that all three factory Rally1 cars are coming to Britain for the first time ever is exceptional.
Based at the opposite end of England, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will field a Ford Puma Rally1 for Ott Tänak and Adrien Fourmaux to share.
Team principal Richard Millener told DirtFish: “Goodwood is always a very, very special event in the global motorsport calendar. To see the WRC at the heart of this year’s Festival of Speed is fantastic for us and probably even better for the British fans – it’s been a tough few years with no WRC in the UK.”
Tänak made his Goodwood debut in 2010, when he first met DirtFish owner Steve Rimmer. He and then mentor Markko Märtin drove Rimmer’s MG S2000 on the Forest Rally Stage.
Defending world champions Toyota will run the GR Yaris Rally1 with a Hyundai i20 N Rally1 also present although details of who will drive and when are yet to be confirmed.
In addition to the current WRC stars, Steve Rimmer will, as usual, be supplying cars from his collection to run on both the hill and the Forest Rally Stage.
Full details of the lineup of BGMsport-run cars will be announced soon.
Rimmer said: “Goodwood is a date that’s always in the diary. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to see cars and stars from just about every generation of rallying and, of course, the wider motorsport world.”
Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from July 13-16.