Honda to light up Goodwood


Honda has announced a mouth-watering selection of racing motorcycles spanning five decades, together with some state-of-the art racing cars, that will compete in this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed near Chichester in Sussex, United Kingdom – 11th-13th July, 2008.

The earliest motorcycle will be a four-cylinder RC163 that took Jim Redman to the 1962 250cc world championship, winning all nine races along the way. This original will be ridden by Luigi Taveri, Switzerland’s three-time 1255cc world champion and winner of 30 Grand Prix races.

A replica version of the RC163 will also be ridden by multiple GP, TT and North West 200 winner, Tommy Robb from Northern Ireland.

A Honda RC173 – four-cylinders, 500cc and similar to the one campaigned by Mike Hailwood in the 1966 world championship – will be demonstrated by Bob Heath, who contested more than 50 Isle of Man TT races, finishing on the podium on three occasions.

A replica of the stunning 297cc, six-cylinder Honda RC174 from 1966 will also make a deafening appearance at Goodwood in the hands of Stuart Graham, winner of two Grands Prix in 1967.

Two former Honda world champions and die-hard Goodwood fans will also be riding once again this year, although their machines are yet to be confirmed. Ralph Bryans won 10 Grand Prix races during a career that also netted him the 50cc world title in 1965; and six-time world champion on 250cc and 350cc Honda machinery, Jim Redman, will also be making a welcome return to the Festival of Speed.

From the modern era, 13-time Isle of Man TT winner and former British 250cc champion, John McGuinness, will be riding the 2007 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. It’s the machine that propelled the Lancastrian rider to an astonishing new lap record during last year’s Senior TT when he lapped the 37.73-mile TT course at an average speed of more than 130mph.

Meanwhile, this season’s British Superbike championship Honda riders, Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow, will ride the very latest HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade at Goodwood.

Of course, the Festival of Speed – the world’s largest annual celebration of the history of motorsport – is as much about four wheels as it is about two, and Honda’s track record in racing cars is as impressive as any manufacturer.

Powering the Honda F1 team’s 2008 challenger, the RA108, this year will be Goodwood favourite, Jenson Button. Meanwhile, Honda’s British Touring Car Championship ‘tintops’ will also feature strongly, with the 2000 Accord piloted by Tom Chilton and the 2007 ‘giant killing’ Civic Type-R getting a Goodwood outing in the hands of ‘Flying Scotsman’, Gordon Sheddon.