Castleton rally driver competes at Goodwood

Ryan Champion in his 18-year-old Subaru Impreza
Ryan Champion in his 18-year-old Subaru Impreza
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Castleton rally driver Ryan Champion was back in action at the weekend after being invited to take his ex Subaru World Rally Team Subaru Impreza 555 to the world famous Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The event attracted over 150,000 people over its four days and featured the Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari Formula 1 Teams with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving over the weekend.

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb was also in action and Ryan said it was an amazing event in which to be involved.

“The Festival of Speed is now probably the world’s biggest motorsport event and it is great to be asked to take a car there and demonstrate it,” he said. “The rally stage is quite tricky and definitely saw a lot of spectacular action over the course of the weekend.”

Fastest on the rally stage over the weekend was current world rally star Dani Sordo in his factory Hyundai i20 WRC with Loeb second fastest in a Citroen DS3 WRC.

Hillclimb winning Peugeot 208 T16. Champion set sixth fastest time on the stage. “Not bad for an 18-year-old car!” he said.

His Subaru Impreza was built in 1996 by Subaru Rally Team Prodrive for Colin McRae’s team mate Piero Liatti to use in the World Rally Championship.

It was recently featured in a documentary about the life of McRae in which it was driven by Gold-medal winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy – one of the drivers who came to grief during the Goodwood Festival when he went off the famous hillclimb course his Nissan GTR.

Also driving on the Goodwood rally stage was Brotton’s Chris Birkbeck in a rare Group B Mazda RX7.

Just six of these cars were built for the 1985/86 WRC seasons.

Champion hopes to be back in competitive action with the Subaru later in the year on the Pickering-based Rally Yorkshire where the action takes place in Dalby and Cropton forests.