Romain Dumas and Volkswagen have won the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed shoot out with the German manufacturer’s cars taking first and second. Their all electric ID-R looking dominant with Petter Solberg’s Polo Rallycross car taking the second fastest time.
It was a Solberg family 2-3 with his son Oliver taking third place.
The shoot out started in damp conditions with the surface drying as the runs progressed. The difficult conditions meant that for a large amount of the shoot out, there was a Bugatti 35B driven by Julian Mazjub at the top of the standings as the experienced historic racer put in an astounding run and was still in the top half of the field in eighteenth by the time the shootout ended. Even Lorina Mclaughlin’s Benetton B192 Formula 1 car was eclipsed by the astounding run.
The later runners were helped when there were a couple of red flag delays which allowed the track to dry. Initially one of the Euro Nascars of Todd Gililand broke down but a few runs later, Japanese driver Katsuaki Kubota crashed the March Cosworth 761 just after the flint wall ripping parts of the rear of the car off including one of the rear wheels. The driver wasn’t hurt but the recovery required a long stoppage. When things resumed, it was clear the surface was now much faster and the times rapidly tumbled with each new runner usurping the previous competitors time but it was looking likely that the VW wouldn’t be beaten.
The ID-R had taken the fastest ever time on Friday and then Dumas beat his own record on Saturday with a time of 39.90 seconds. With the changeable conditions several competitors, including Dumas had opted to head to the line with a wet setup and so with an almost totally dry track, the team weren’t sure how much this would slow them. With the Solberg’s both setting incredibly fast times, the pressure was on.
Oliver Solberg had set his lap in spectacular style, cutting across the grass and getting sideways at several points but this was always at high speed so this enabled him to beat the time James Cottingham in a Dallara Judd Le Mans Prototype. Jeremy Smith had one of the scariest moments without an off on his run when he got his 1993 Penske Indycar very sideways after the Flint Wall but someone how he got it back pointing the right way and didn’t hit anything.
Solberg Senior was one of the last to go and smashed his son’s time, much to the younger Solberg’s obvious disappointment. Nick Heidfeld, the record holder from 1999 was in the shoot out with a Second Generation Formula E car and had his run delayed with technical issues. It seemed they may not have all been fully fixed as he ended up only eighth.
So Dumas then flashed up the hill in a time of 42.32 seconds, outside the record but easily the fastest time of the shoot out and of the day. The fact that he did that on wet tyres with a less than ideal set up shows just how impressive the electric Volkswagen is.
Initially there was some debate in the Goodwood commentary team on if the VW actually has the record as some have claimed the record time must be set in the shoot out. But it was later confirmed that the time set on Saturday will now stand as the all time record time for the Goodwood Hill climb course
It’s been another successful year for Volkswagen and Romain Dumas. They have won the shootout for a second successive year and they also have gone faster up the hill than anyone has ever before.
It’s been a spectacular four days of action and displays at Goodwood and the shoot-out was a fitting ending to a special event. By Marc Waller