Pastrana just misses out on King of the Hill at Goodwood

The Subaru Motorsports USA driver was second to Rob Bell's McLaren


Travis Pastrana finished second in the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb timed shootout on his first visit to the famed UK event, competing against a plethora of machines from all eras of motorsport.

His time of 46.20 seconds up the 1.16-mile course during Sunday’s competitive element represented a 1.9s improvement on his table-topping qualifying time from Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to beat McLaren factory driver Rob Bell who took overall honors in a McLaren 720S GT3X with a time of 45.01s.

Early in the weekend Pastrana and Subaru already claimed a notable scalp, with his second practice run on Thursday battering Mark Higgins’ best time in the Prodrive-built Isle of Man Subaru WRX from 2017. Higgins’ best from four years ago was a 48.25s, while Pastrana continued to lower the benchmark as the weekend went on.


On Saturday Pastrana topped qualifying with a time of 48.10s. Running late on in a session that began in changeable conditions, he was aided by a delay in proceedings due to an earlier incident, which meant that he had a mostly dry course during his run.

It was an opposite scenario on Sunday, as the competition began in the dry, then got delayed by a heavy crash for Jack Tetley in his NASCAR Xfinity series Chevrolet Camaro. Drops of rain started to fall as the clean-up progressed, although the weather didn’t end up influencing the result in the end.

Pastrana began his run well, holding an advantage of over a second early on thanks to his Subaru’s impressive launch. By the first intermediate split however that has slimmed to just 0.08s and in the second half of the course he lost more ground to the winning McLaren, not helped by a slight moment towards the end.


Second was still a good return on what was not only the first appearance for the VT20G ‘Airslayer STI’ Subaru outside of the US, but also the car’s competition debut after starring in last year’s Hoonigan Gymkhana film.

Subaru Motorsports USA was effectively using Goodwood as preparation for the Mount Washington hillclimb which takes place next month. Pastrana will be driving the car at the event, the oldest in the US, in a bid to better his record-breaking time from 2017.

Elsewhere in the field, BMGsport boss Ian Gwynne competed in the ex-Marcus Grönholm, Olsbergs MSE-built Ford Fiesta Pikes Peak, which is owned by DirtFish founder Steve Rimmer.

Running the car in anger for the first time since it climbed Pikes Peak in 2009, Gwynne’s time of 54.96s put him 15th overall in the final standings, two spots and just 0.41s behind Matthew Wilson in the prototype M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car that was publicly unveiled on Thursday.