Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Good Life at Goodwood

Couple of nice stories from the PR monkeys at Goodwood - the second one on the guy who lost his leg marshalling, is a fine testimony to our love of motorsport: Macmillan also deserve our support.

But first up is a flying Fiat (above), once the fastest car in the world (though it was a long time ago...) that'll run at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - more on both stories below

The Fiat S76, unofficially the fastest car in the world in 1911, will turn a wheel for the first time in over 100 years when it tackles the Goodwood Hillclimb at the Festival of Speed on June 26-29.

Just two S76s were produced by the Italian manufacturer, with the aim of snatching the records for the flying kilometre and flying mile from the ‘Blitzen’ Benzes. The S76 achieved the mile record with Pietro Bordino at the wheel at Saltburn Sands in 1911 and was officially recorded at over 135mph on a kilometre attempt at Ostenede in Belguim, only to be denied the record as it was unable to complete a return run within the specified one hour.

While one car was dismantled by Fiat after the First World War to prevent rival manufacturers obtaining their technical secrets, the other was purchased by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov and eventually made its way to Australia after WW1, where it was modernised and campaigned it as a ‘Fiat Racing Special’.

Bristol-based enthusiast Duncan Pittaway, who will drive the S76 at Goodwood, brought the chassis back to the UK in 2003 and reunited it with the original 28.5-litre, four-cylinder engine from the dismantled car. The machine has spent the past 10 years being restored to original specification with Roach Manufacturing of Southampton helping with the bodywork.
Duncan Pittaway, owner/driver, said: "After restoring a Bugatti T35, I was looking for a new challenge and the S76, which is one of the more maligned cars of its generation, fitted the bill nicely. All of the original S76 components that have survived have been restored, from the chassis and engine down to the suspension, axles, pedals, steering box, etc, with the gearbox, radiator and bodywork being created using the original Fiat drawings. As the last and largest of the huge-engined Edwardian monsters, it should be sensational to see."


Goodwood Motor Circuit will play host to an ambitious World Record attempt this weekend as disabled motor sport Marshal Steve Tarrant bids to go further in 24 hours than anybody else in history – on a Mobility Scooter!

Tarrant, 53, from Poole in Dorset, lost a leg in an accident while marshalling 14 years ago, but has maintained his passion for motor sport by regularly donning his orange overalls at some of the world’s greatest circuits – including Goodwood – in the seasons since then.

In addition to his motor sport exploits, Tarrant was a medal-bearing gamesmaker at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and was presented with a Big Society Award from Prime Minister David Cameron afterwards.

Attempting to secure a place in history is nothing new for Tarrant. He previously succeeded in breaking the existing 170-mile distance record for the distance covered in 24 hours, only to see his effort unratified for official purposes on a technicality.

This time he is aiming to complete 200 miles of a specially-devised Tarmac circuit at Goodwood while at the same time raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support. His vehicle will be a TGA Breeze S4 GT Mobility Scooter, capable of 10 miles per hour.

Tarrant’s will begin his world record attempt at 1800 on Saturday, 17 May and is scheduled to finish at 1800 on Sunday, 18 May. Spectators are welcome to come along and show their support from 1800-1900 on Saturday and after 0800 on Sunday.

Steve Tarrant said: "It’s fantastic to have such an historic location as Goodwood to make this record attempt. The course I’ll be using is a hard Tarmac surface, which will provide a consistent level of grip throughout the day and night and should put me in good shape to break the record. In theory, 215 miles is the maximum distance possible on a 10mph vehicle, so 200 is quite ambitious. Reliability permitting, however, I’d say I’m in good shape."

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