78MM Rally Sprint course, Solberg and cars confirmed

02nd March 2020
Ben Miles

We’ve teased you with mentions of the Rally Sprint presented by Cooper Tires at the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting enough over the past few months. And now the time has come to announce both the full route of the course and some of the stars and cars you will see in action.


The spectator-friendly route will see Group 4, Group B, Group A and WRC-spec cars battle on a twisting course laid out between Woodcote Corner and the Start/Finish Line, including a full-pelt blast down the pit lane!

At 6:45pm on the Saturday, with daylight fading, cars will be invited to make their way from their specially-prepared paddock near the Old Control Tower, through Goodwood’s famous tunnel, before congregating in parc fermé – which will act as the rally sprint’s assembly area.

After they are called forward to take part, each car will line up under the famous Members’ Meeting banner, facing the wrong way down the start/finish straight, ready for the off. After the green flag is waved, cars will blast toward the chicane, taking it in the reverse direction, before heading down to Woodcote. There, after entering the run-off area, they will face a tricky triple-hairpin combination, two in the run off area before a final hairpin sends them back through Woodcote, this time in the normal direction, and back toward the chicane for a second time.

At the chicane the cars will execute a loop, taking the usual left/right combination before looping back around to take it again. From there they face a fast right/left chicane before accelerating hard down the pit lane, executing a final handbrake turn and blasting across the start line in the opposite direction to normal.


Each car will do three runs on the course, with two of them (one on each day) counting toward the final standings. On Saturday evening the cars will run twice – the first an untimed practice, before the first timed run. Uniquely, these Saturday runs will be undertaken in full darkness, with headlights blazing, brake discs glowing and exhausts spitting flame!

On Sunday morning the cars will complete their final run, this time in the daylight, with the final positions set by an aggregate of the two times.

While more cars and drivers will be confirmed as the weeks count down to the 78th Members’ Meeting, some of the most exciting highlights include Petter Solberg in Richard Burns’ 2000 Rally GB-winning Subaru Impreza, house captain Emanuele Pirro piloting a stunning Ferrari 308 GTB, five-time British Champion Jimmy McRae in his own Vauxhall Chevette HSR, and 14-time WRC stage winner Kalle Grundel in the Ford RS200.

Before each run there will be a demonstration of the latest WRC machinery, as former WRC star Matthew Wilson blasts around the course in the brand new M-Sport Fiesta WRC, acting as the ‘zero car’. A long-running feature of each WRC stage, the ‘zero car’ is a vital part of each rally, running through the stage to make sure it’s ready for the competitive cars following shortly behind. While the WRC car will not be running timed, Wilson, a veteran of 92 WRC starts between 2004 and 2017, is sure to hold nothing back as he flies around the specially-designed course.

FAQs – what you need to know

When will the rally sprint take place?

Twice on Saturday evening, as the sun sets and the party is getting going, then again on Sunday morning. The first run on Saturday will be a shakedown for the cars, the second a proper timed run. Sunday’s run will be the first competitive action of the day and will be timed, with no extra practice for the drivers.


Where is best to watch?

The whole sprint takes place between the start line and the entrance to Woodcote Corner, allowing incredible viewing the whole way round. You’ll be able to see the cars blasting away from anywhere on the start line or the inside of the chicane, and the chicane banking will also afford two chances to see the cars tackle the right/left combo. Woodcote grandstands and the area around the Super Shell building will allow viewing of three spectacular hairpin turns while the roof of the pit lane allows viewing of most of the course. For those who want to see some flame-spitting, light-glaring action, the Saturday run in total darkness is not to be missed, while Sunday’s run will almost certainly be the quicker one, with drivers competing in full daylight and with extra knowledge of the course. And don’t forget to see (and hear!) the cars coming through the tunnel! Although this won’t be part of the timed competition, it should still be quite a sight…


How will the winner be decided?

The sprint will be decided by an aggregate timing system, with the times from Sunday morning’s run added to the times from Saturday night. With winners crowned in four* different classes: Group 4, Group B, Group A and WRC.


Who is driving?

We will confirm the full entry list closer to the event, but today we can confirm an exciting quintet of drivers who will take part. Petter Solberg, the only man to win both the WRC and World Rallycross titles, will be competing alongside five-time Le Mans winner, and Goodwood House Captain, Emanuele Pirro, five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, 2003 Le Mans winner and 2011 American Le Mans Series Champion Guy Smith and former Group B star Kalle Grindel.


What cars can I see?

We’re several weeks away from the event and the entry list is already looking incredible. Already confirmed are Group B Audi Quattros, a Peugeot 205 T16, a Ford RS200 and a Metro 6R4. From Group A you can expect to see Subaru Imprezas and Lancia Deltas, Group 4 brings the howling Lancia Stratos, while the WRC-spec action includes a stunning ex-Colin McRae Ford Focus.


Will the cars have co-drivers?

No, the event will be run to sprint regulations, and given that the course isn’t the length of your average WRC stage, co-drivers would only slow the cars down.


Will the cars go off road?

While they will venture off the track, using both the run-off area at Woodcote and the pit lane itself, they will not leave the tarmac.


Where will the cars be when they are not competing?

During the day the cars will be in their own specially-designed ‘service park’ paddock area in the gravel area near the Old Control Tower, but for a special treat after the Saturday night stage the cars will make their way to the entrance to the party and park there for all to see. 

Tickets for the 78th Members’ Meeting are still available for GRRC members and those part of the Goodwood Road Racing Club Fellowship. If you’re not part of the GRRC community, then fear not – it’s easy to join, and once you’ve joined you can get your tickets for 78MM!

  • 78MM

  • Members Meeting

  • WRC

  • Group B

  • Group A

  • Rallying

  • Petter Solberg

  • Richard Burns

  • Rally Sprint

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