For ten years now, the Forest Rally Stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed has allowed some very special rally cars to have their own time to shine in the Goodwood forest. As the Goodwood Festival of Speed has expanded, so has the number of quality rally cars taking part.
Located at the top of the hillclimb course, the Forest Rally Stage sees off-road racing cars of all ages and type go head-to-head on a circuit that mixes flat out bends with tight, challenging corners.
It was truly a magical display of loose-surface action by multi-championship winning machines and rally legends. Whilst in the paddock, famous liveries were proudly on display.
There were so many treats in store – such as a range of classic Group B Audi’s, Fords and Lancia’s and more amazing cars from the 1960’s till today. One of our favourites was this 1983 Lancia Rallye 037. This beauty was driven by Vic Preston Jr to victory at the African Championship.
One of the greatest treat for rally fans came on the hillclimb route when Paddy Hopkirk and Mini Cooper S were reunited – 50 years after winning the Monte Carlo Rally. A spine-tingling moment.
The Goodwood Forest Rally Stage offers the chance to not just see the best rally cars in the world, but to witness them being put through their paces as they were designed, and to make comparisons about different eras and types of car as they race by in front of you.
There were plenty of signs everywhere that we were in the presence of rallying royalty.
Rare cars like this MG Metro 6R4 were a great sight. This particular car competed in three WRC rounds in 1986.
Originally driven by Harri Tolvonen and Malcolm Wilson it still wears its competition livery.
This Nissan Sunny GTI-R packing 300hp from its twin cam 2.0 litre, was originally piloted by Stig Blomqvist in 1991 and 1992. His best result was a third in the 1992 Swedish rally. But in Group N, G de Mevius won the ’92 Championship.
A rally god if ever there was one. Hannu Mikkola drove this Audi Sport Quattro to win the 1986 Welsh Rally.
A machine that is trully alive. The punchy turbo 5 cylinder rasped and echoed through the Goodwood Forest.
This light 90bhp Lancia Fulvia 1.3S was driven by Hannu Mikkola, Pat Moss, Sandro Munari, Rauno Aaltonen and more. The Fulvia was a front-wheel drive, featuring a good power to weight ratio with a low slung V4 engine.
This well-prepared 1960 Beetle has been rallying since new. First campaigned by Bob Bengry, it has been rallied since 1965 by Bob Beales using a 1200, 1300, 1500 and 1600 engines over that time.
Hannu Mikkola won the 1000 Lakes Rally in this Escort. This well used twin-cam beast was rallied from Monte Carlo to Ireland, Corsica and Kenya.
Driven by Christopher Daykin this Group N Impreza is a regular sight on the British rally scene.
1974 Fiat 131 Abarth was privately built to works specifications. This car won many rounds of the ‘Motoring News’ series in the mid seventies.
This Skoda Fabia S2000 elegantly tackled the corners of the circuit, highlighting just how advanced and composed the Rally machines are of today.
This Rover SD1 Vitesse started life as a camera car, and was later driven Nigel Mansell among others. Later the car was purchased by Russell Gooding, who entered it into the 1985 RAC Rally.
The four-wheel drive Corrolla, impressed in its first WRC season. It would have won both Driver’s and manufacters titles had Carlos Sainz’s car not broken down just before the finish in the RAC in Wales.
Primarily built for historic events, this 1972 911 featuring a 2.9 litre flat four was driven to victory on the Safari Classic by Bjorn Waldegard.
It was a real thrill to see this Lancia 037 on the startline. Lancia outflanked Audi to win the 1983 World Manufacturers title by two points helped by the 037’s consistency and great tarmac handling.
The raw sound of this machine was electrifying.
The legendary RS200 was another unforgettable sight. Despite not great rally success, this car remains an icon of the sport. Formula One’s Tony Southgate designed the Kevlar monocoque, Cosworth 450bhp mid-engine 4WD Rs200 which was capable of 0-100 in 2.3 seconds. On its first appearance it finished in third in Sweden- its best Rally finish.
Before the Stratos entered the Rally scene, Fiat entered the 124 Spider with increasing success. This works car has 236bhp 16V engine that revs to 9000rpm.
The “Happy People” livery on this Porsche 911ST really stood out. Freshly restored, this car scored Porsche a fourth place and its first ever points in a gravel rally at the 1978 Swedish 1000 Lakes Rally.
Inspired by the success of the Austin Healey ten years earlier, Nissan meticulously prepared its 240Z for rallying.
It proved reliable and robust, winning the Safari Rally in 1970, ’71 and ’73 and the Welsh Rally in 1971.
Carlos Sainz rolled this Celica GT out of the 1992 Acropolis Rally, but went on to win that year’s World Championship. The ST185 remains Toyota’s most successful Rally car.
The Rally Paddock was a great place to explore the amazing range of cars. When not tearing up the dust this where the cars were hiding.
Resting in all their glory.
The period livery on these Audi trucks really set the scene. The Number 5 car was Built to A1 spec from a genuine 1983 quattro.
Specialist AM cars spent 7 years building this replica of the quattro Hannu Mikkola drove on quattro’s first WRC event, the ’81 Monte. Mikkola led during the rally and although he didn’t finish, the end was in sight for any rear wheel drive cars still in the competition.
The Lancia Rallye 037 looks quick sitting still. The 2.0 litre supercharged 4 cylinder proved reliable on the WRC circuit. The lighter Evo spec cars with a 2.1 litre engine won the ’84 Tour de Corse and the 1985 Italian Championship.
It would have been good to see this Mazda Rx7 Rotary in action.
When Group B was banned in ’86, Ford’s Evolution 550bhp RS200 Evo found a new lease of life in Rallycross. Martin Schanche took the 1988 and 1991 division 2 European title in the Ford RS200.
The ST205 Celica GT4 won just one WRC title in 1995, before the team was banned for using an illegal turbo. Armin Schwarz went on to win the 1996 European Rally Championship, but the ST205 never matched the more successful ST185 model.
The Rothmans Rally Team Mk2 Escorts were remarkably successful throughout the early eighties. Art Vatanen campaigned this car, first winning the 1980 Acropolis Rally then the 1981 World Championship.
We really love these Lancia Fulvia’s, particularly with rally spec guards and stance.
Timo Makinen and Paul Easter campaigned this Healey 3000 for the 1964 season. With a best result of second in the RAC rally of that year.
Colin McRae took three wins to finish a close second in the 1996 World Rally Championship, helping Subaru claim the manufacturers title. More consecutive manufacturer titles followed for the hugely effective four wheel drive Imprezza.
After eight years with Subaru, McRae defected to Ford in 1999. He was joined by Carlos Sainz for 2000 and 2001, yet the title was still elusive. With Nicky Grist, McRae won the 2001 Cyprus and Acropolis rallies in this car, on the way to a close second in the driver’s championship.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see this Stratos in action. But we did enjoy the privilege to view at it up close. With its Bertone styling and Ferrari engine the Stratos was the first purpose-built rally car.
Its legend status as a rally car cemented by winning the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
With its amazing rally cars of true pedigree, the Forest Rally Stage added to the amazing experience that is the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
We hope you too have enjoyed our coverage of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Forest Rally Stage. We have loads more content on the way. Be sure to “Watch this Space.”