Grassroots to Goodwood Part 5 – Pre event nerves

Two weeks have passed now since we made our triumphant return to Goodwood Festival of Speed and I still have a sweet taste in my mouth of burnt tyre rubber and Verve Cliquet champagne. It’s a strange combination but one I am happy to get used to as we now become a regular fixture at the event I once dreamed of being a small part of.

The week running up to the event was possibly the most stressful of my life. We had been offered the opportunity to take a space in the premier row of exhibitors and between myself and some of our top sponsors it was an easy decision to make. However, due to many reasons we were slowly let down by various suppliers like domino effect of one falling after another.

Just two days before the event we had yet to pay the balance of costs, we had little branding and stand equipment and we were not even sure how things would look on set up in terms of those joining us and those being part of our team showing.

It was an awful experience, one I am not looking at having next year that’s for sure. We had already been blessed with our competitor invite for Bob Beales and his incredible VW Beetle and Lord March had sent us our invites to the amazing Saturday Night Ball once again so we should have been heading down to Goodwood with a sense of incredible excitement.

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I didn’t sleep a wink that night, I felt like breaking down in tears but the fear of what may happen brought determination to succeed on what we had planned. I called Ian Fowler the following morning, he is one of the organisers of the fantastic Classic VW Challenge Series which we are competing in with our VR6 Golf. He was excited and ready for Goodwood but I broke the news to him very quickly of the disaster that had unfolded leading up to this phone call. He was stunned but calm and gave me the reassurance I needed “Hey, we are in motorsport, this industry thrives on doing things fast pace, against the odds and last minute. Leave it with me and we will sort this!”

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What followed was an incredible outpouring of support from people across the country offering there help in any way they could. I couldn’t believe it ! We managed to sort the costs and through Lemon Signs of Derby had an incredible stand display set up being produced which I collected on route to Goodwood the following day.

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It was a long journey. Picking up all our stand graphics from 4 locations across the country followed by collecting our Sponsorship Director and close friend of mine, George Clarke from Heathrow Airport. George had not been to Goodwood since 2011 and his last memories were spending time with Christian Horner of Red Bull in the Drivers Club discussing how to build a successful race team. George loves Goodwood the same as I do and when I collected him I really felt at ease and became excited to be so close to the event of the year.

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We arrived at Goodwood in the evening that Wednesday to find the amazing Ian Cook of PopBangColour had already set up his area within our stand to create some fantastic images over the weekend, including one of the Beetle to commemorate its 25th Anniversary since Bob Beales drove from Glasgow to Monte Carlo to compete in the first Historic WRC event.

We pulled together a stand that was welcoming, showcased our brand well and presented the Classic VW Challenge series to the huge audience Goodwood attracts.

We welcomed SeatSkinz UK ltd to our stand to showcase their incredibly detailed seat covers and their director Pete Hampson took the time over the weekend to fit their covers into the VrDMotorsport Passat CC Safety car on the stand live in front of the thousands of Goodwood revellers enjoying their lunch directly across from us.

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GoldStar Onboard in car cameras were our other partners on the stand who showed their skills and products in capturing footage from some of the Motorsport Industries greatest events, including footage of Bob in the Beetle on the Forest Stage during the weekend.

We finished building the stand late into that evening and thought there was nothing else we could do but to now enjoy the show. We sat on the grass across from the entry point looking at what we created with a sense of pride. I couldn’t believe how far we had come as a Motorsport Project focused on inspiring young people to follow their dreams. Ten years to the day when I walked into Goodwood as a fan I was sat in a glorious sun set on the lawns of Goodwood looking at the VrDMotorsport Stand stood proudly alongside the major manufactures of the motoring industry.

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We made the journey in the cars to the Rally Stage where Bob and Mark Murphy (Smurf) had set up the camping area in the Paddock alongside some of the finest rally stars of decades past whom we would share a cold drink or two with during this incredible event.

We sat together and chatted till the early hours about memories of old and how we were going to take Goodwood by storm this year.

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Could this be the best Goodwood yet ? We were ready to give it a go!

Story and Images by David Vardy

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