Last weekend saw Renault F1 Team test drivers Allan McNish and Franck Montagny in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. An unforgettable experience for them both! The Goodwood Festival of Speed is something out of the ordinary, and has to be...
Last weekend saw Renault F1 Team test drivers Allan McNish and Franck Montagny in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. An unforgettable experience for them both!
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is something out of the ordinary, and has to be seen to be believed: certainly, that was the view of test driver Franck Montagny, making his first visit to the event. "The thing it reminds me of most is a music festival, with all the stalls, the different areas and especially the atmosphere!" commented the Frenchman.
After his first run up the unfamiliar hill, his verdict was simple: "Narrow, isn't it?" he said smiling. The second run was a little more "enthusiastic", and the engineers were left with some raised eyebrows when the checked the maximum speeds... "Fantastique!" was Franck's conclusion.
Allan, who took the wheel on Saturday and Sunday, is an old hand at the Festival, and loves the experience. "There is nowhere like this in the whole world," he enthused. "It is a brilliant event, and everybody has a wonderful time, from the fans to the competitors to the teams." For Allan, the weekend was marked by runs in everything from the 1902 Paris-Vienna winning car to last year's R202, and having some fun with it.
"The team gave me a new set of tyres for the last run, and the challenge was to see how much rubber would be left on by the end..." he explained. One smoke-filled run later, with the traction control switched off, and a smiling driver admitted "I think I passed the test...!"
Variety, though, is the spice of Goodwood, and Allan was also lucky enough to get a run behind the wheel of Renault's first turbo car, the 1977 RS01. "We've moved on a long way in 25 years!" he joked. "Seriously, though, it was a real privilege to get behind the wheel of such an important part of Renault's F1 history. The hill isn't the perfect place to get used to a new car, but it gave me a feel for what the drivers had to contend with in those days."
The F1 drivers' presence was also complemented over the weekend by former F1 star René Arnoux, Le Mans winner Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and rally ace Jean 'Jeannot' Ragnotti.