Grassroots to Goodwood Part 9 – The FoS Rain washes away memories of old with a new beginning on the horizon for TeamVrD.

It has been some time since I last put words to paper in the Grassroots to Goodwood Story. Following on from an incredible Goodwood FoS 2015 we had the most amazing 12 months anyone could ever wish for in Motorsport. The highlight being able to compete at the WRC Finale in Wales and come away as class winners was one of the highest moments of my life.

Bob Beales / David Vardy Volkswagen Oettinger GT
Bob Beales / David Vardy Volkswagen Oettinger GT

The media frenzy erupted following this victory, but not without effort. Spending every night working on proposals and press releases. Building relations across multiple media houses, it consumed my home life but we were set a challenge by our sponsor to hit as many magazines as we could and I look back now knowing that we succeeded on that mission.

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As 2016 came in with pace I got time to focus on our most talented young star to date, Jordan Rushby. Being able to be part of his journey has been inspiring to myself as it takes me back to why we began this Motorsport journey in the first place, supporting young people achieve their dreams.

Thundersport GB Round 1 March 2016
Thundersport GB Round 1 March 2016

To be part of Goodwood in the way we are, is no mean feat. We begin planning around Christmas and several months of ideas are put through their paces. Unfortunately for us we did not anticipate the amount of rain that would welcome us to the Festival of Speed this year! #LessonLearnedTheHardWay

For various reasons I had not had contact with Team Colorado since Rally GB. The events the Beetle would take part in on the early part of 2016 clashed with my daughters birthdays and I had to travel overseas with work meaning I could not partner Bob at the Spanish Rallye Festival earlier in the month. This was a great shame on my part but it allowed Team Colorado to find their own way in what they loved to do which meant by the time Goodwood arrived this year they had everything in place from there point of view.

The theme for Goodwood this year for VrDMotorsport was to try and inspire a generation. With the Olympic memories resurfacing this year we took the opportunity to bring a group of individuals with us to the event and show them what hard work and determination can bring with being part of such a Global Event.

Goodwood FoS Bridge Selfie
Goodwood FoS Bridge Selfie

We managed to keep Nick Holmes with us throughout the event. An up and coming race driver who made the most of the four days by experiencing everything he could. “I just want to come back here and compete on that hill!” was his parting words. We hope we can help him achieve that dream in years to come.

The Great British weather kicked in very early and the thunderstorms on Wednesday night were biblical to say the least. Only the brave would survive the nights in tents without waking in a foot of water. Thanks to our Monster Factory Campervan Tent my socks would be the driest of all the crazy campers that night !!

The famous Forest Stage at Goodwood would take the worst hit. The stages are a mix of soil and clay with other materials including large rocks bound together to make an almost tarmac surface in the very dry but sheet ice in the wet.

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Bob would have no fear and push on with runs on every day as much as possible. The times were much slower than previous years but looking at the overall classification each day we could look down on much more higher powered machines like the Ford RS200 and mk1 Escort contingent to name but a few.

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This surface required drivers who had a thirst for living on the edge of superior pace and near catastrophe. It just so happened that a new Irish following had come to Goodwood this year with a lorry full of rear wheel drive machinery and they did not disappoint !

Because of the severe weather in the evenings we relaxed at the Goodwood Hotel under cover and on most nights in the company of ARCH Motorcycles Keanu Reeves! Such a humble guy who has been at the top of the world for most of his life. Along with our sponsors Trimsport we managed to chat to the Hollywood A Lister on a few occasions throughout the weekend.

Keanu Reeves and Dave Vardy at Goodwood FoS 2016
Keanu Reeves and Dave Vardy at Goodwood FoS 2016

As the weekend came, the glorious sunshine returned to Goodwood House and the show really kicked off finally. This meant we could finally make use of our fantastic Sunwise Sunglasses and push on with the #LiveSunwise and #VrDFullThrottle competitions. A winner will be finally announced over the coming weeks!

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Our favourite part of Goodwood right now is the drifters and watching the likes of Mad Mike take the hillclimb by storm is something every petrolhead must experience once in their life.

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Our Falken Sponsored Team Mate and multiple European Drift Champion, James Deane returned with his incredible Nissan S14 and the amazing Drift King, World Champion, Vaughn Griffin Jr also brought the tyre shredding from North America to the quiet surroundings of southern England.

James Deane #TeamFalken
James Deane #TeamFalken

Overall this was a fitting end to the chapter now closing. The weather dictated the fun we could have had but we still managed to make the best of such a fantastic event that has become our heartblood over the past 8 years.

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On returning from Goodwood we received news that Team Colorado would like to make their own memories moving forward so it is with great sadness that this was the last time I will ever get the chance to sit in the Yellow Peril. But to go out with so many great memories I can only look back on an amazing three years of racing and meeting some great folk along the way. On behalf of everyone at VrDMotorsport we wish Bob and his crew the very best for the future.

The last ride in the Yellow Peril #FoS2016
The last ride in the Yellow Peril #FoS2016

A period of time was needed to reflect on the sudden changes in the team dynamics and a plan began to form as we saw a bright future ahead.

My thirst of Rallying and Motorsport dipped but has resurfaced with pace. I am now looking forward even more so to be given the chance to make use of My Rally Drivers licence. Co-Driving will always be in my heart and after striking up a great partnership with Howard Skelton I am sure there will be some events coming up in the not to distant future here.

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I have been blessed with some great backers to now also allow me to take my ARDS licence with the Motorsport School very soon. This will allow me to really push on my technique on tarmac as I look to compete on the black stuff moving forward

There have been some fantastic meetings going on in the background and we have two major announcements, one involving Mission Motorsport and one involving WRC History, to bring to the table over the coming months once all the dots and crosses have been made, so watch this space folks !!!!

What we can do is let you know we have been in communication with a company in Germany who have finally sent us the contracts to build an official version of their Rally Car that graced the world stage back in the 1980’s. This has been a result of a lengthy negotiation process and some great relationship building with our new partners and we will be delighted to announce the project officially very soon.

Before all of that we have one focus, with Jordan Rushby currently second in the Thundersports Elite Championship there are 225 points to still play for over 3 rounds before the title is decided. VrDMotorsport is now fully back to were it started, inspiring and supporting others to reach their ambitions. We take a step forward now into our latest chapter and we hope you will all follow us in 2016 to wish Jordan the very best to become a champion on 2 wheels before a very exciting 2017 beckons!

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