Following Ford’s highly successful 100th Anniversary celebration at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, spectators at this year’s Festival will see another impressive display of cars representing the company’s motor sport heritage.

The latest Ford Focus World Rally Car will be a strong contender for honours in the Rally Car class. In keeping with this year's Festival of Speed theme, "Young Chargers, Old Masters", it will be driven by 17 year-old Matthew Wilson, son of M-Sport Managing Director and former Ford works rally team driver Malcolm Wilson. Sharing the driving of the Focus with Matthew will be Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Richard Parry-Jones.

On Saturday and Sunday, Richard Parry-Jones will also drive the exciting new 550bhp Ford GT, which, with its 205mph top speed, is the fastest production Ford ever. This fabulous car, closely based on the Le-Mans winning GT design of the mid-sixties, has been universally acclaimed by the world’s motoring press, and just 101 examples will be sold to European customers. It will be driven on Friday by former F1, GT, and Can-Am driver Jackie Oliver, who piloted the original GT40 to its final Le Mans victory in 1969.

Making its third appearance at Goodwood will be the mighty Cologne RS Capri, double winner of the European Touring Car Championship in the early seventies. At this year’s Festival Ford will reunite the car with the two drivers who drove it with such verve to consecutive ETC Championships.

On Saturday it will be driven by German touring car star Dieter Glemser, the 1971 ETC champion who was also German Racing Champion in 1973 and 1974, and was a winner of both the Spa 24 hours and Tourist Trophy races. Former McLaren F1 driver and Le Mans winner Jochen Mass will drive the car on Sunday. Hugely gifted in touring cars as well as F1, Jochen was ETC champion in the RS Capri in 1972.

A somewhat slower and rather quieter Ford-built machine has been entered for the annual Goodwood Soapbox Race. Latest in a series of "Gravity Racers" designed and built by Ford’s Engineering Graduate Group at the company's Research and Engineering Centre at Dunton, Essex, the all-new EGGbox has been under development by team manager Kyle Shearer and his crew for several months.

The Cartier lawn vehicle display will include several famous Fords that have featured in major film and television series, including the new FAB1 that stars in the latest "Thunderbirds" film. In supporting roles will be cars representing the "Starsky & Hutch" Gran Torino, the "Bullitt" Mustang, the "Cannonball Run" Shelby Cobra, and a Ford Model T100 similar to the Model Ts that starred in many early films such as "Keystone Cops" and the Laurel & Hardy movies.

As well as these official entries, privately entered Ford and Ford-powered competition cars will feature in almost all categories at the Festival, which normally receives more entries from Ford-powered cars than from any other marque.

Ford will also be exhibiting models from the current range on its infield exhibition stand, and will support the Festival as usual with vehicles to assist the smooth running of the event. These will include ten Ford Transit flatbed trucks to transport the soapbox racers back up the famous Goodwood hillclimb after their downhill sprints.

Published : 26/06/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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