The Doctor was, regrettably, in the house that was the 2015 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard for just the one day, but what a day it was and what an impression he did make.
Video: Valentino Rossi drives the awesome Porsche 962C at FOS 2015
The Festival crowd was pleased enough to hear the news that the fabled MotoGP superstar had won a hard-fought victory at the Dutch TT at Assen on the Saturday, but by the time he’d flown to Goodwood and ridden a specially-liveried version of his Yamaha M1 up and down the hillclimb course and straight into Goodwood House through the front door a day later, something resembling mass-delirium occurred.
Having posed with 14 other world champions of two wheels, chatted with Lord March and had an interview with Suzi Perry, the ever-popular Italian turned his attention to cars. Well, three cars in particular …
Rossi hopped into the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, which he loved. In addition to the wailing rotary masterpiece he also drove a Lancia Delta S4 and the rather special racing motor car from Weissach you see here.
Alas not a Le Mans winner, chassis 004 was one of the three works 962s and bagged pole position at Le Sarthe for the 1986 race before retiring. Still, judging by Mr Rossi’s affectionate gaze at the car after he’d parked it up at the top of the Hill we don’t think this bothered him one bit. In fact, the car’s owner shared with us that Rossi said of his drive in the 962C “it was a dream come true to drive the Rothmans Porsche”.
Bear in mind that he’s never driven the car before and that he races bikes for a living and we’d call this an impressive run.