Tarquini savours Honda Formula One heritage at Festival of Speed

Castrol Honda World Touring Car Championship team's driver was invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to drive the famous Honda RA272 Formula One car.

It is usual for a race driver to test a new machine before the actual competition but the very first acquaintance that Gabriele Tarquini had with the famous Honda RA272 Formula 1 car of 1964 was on the start line at Goodwood's wonderful Festival of Speed motoring pageant this morning. "I didn't even get to drive it from the paddock," smiled the experienced Italian who leads the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Championship team. "I got into the car and the mechanics started the engine and what a magic sound. It is just such a wonderful engine note, its sweet to hear and so crisp. I really wanted to take my ear-plugs out to hear the sound pure and clear!"

Gabriele Tarquini, Honda RA272
Gabriele Tarquini, Honda RA272

Photo by: Dave Dyer

Gabriele has been invited by the Honda Collection Hall, the company's heritage collection in Japan, that maintains a living record of production models made by Honda as well as the many winning machines of two and four wheels used in the varied disciplines of motorsport over past decades. Tarquini, who raced Formula 1 cars early in his long racing career and took the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2009, is making his first appearance at Goodwood and is revelling in the atmosphere. "There are so many beautiful cars, so many different cars of all types, racing, rally, roadcars, special cars and also many, many car fans so the whole show is a joy for me. I was on holiday in Italy but for this invitation I just had to be here."

With the 1.5-litre, 12 cylinder engine warmed up and sounding magnificent up to 10,000rpm Gabriele set off up the Goodwood hill. “The six-speed gearbox gives a nice feel but you have to be slow on the changes for it to be happy. You can’t rush the changes and also need to get the revs correct to make the change sweet. Of course it has an H pattern change and it’s a long time since I drove with one of those. It’s a dry clutch so you have to be gentle with that too but it all works superbly. The engine has so much power – if you think that each tiny cylinder is just 125cc each with four valves per cylinder it is so wonderfully small. It’s like racing a fine Swiss watch! This is a 1964 car so I’m feeling the real racing of that time. It’s strange to feel the floating sensation of that period. The seat is not made to fit the driver so well as now and the belts are not as big so as the car gets steering loads you actually move around in the cockpit also on braking. It’s a remarkable experience and I am so happy to be driving this very famous Honda for the first time.”

Gabriele Tarquini made further runs each day of the Festival of Speed this weekend.

Castrol Honda World Touring Car Championship team

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series WTCC , Vintage
Drivers Gabriele Tarquini
Article type Breaking news
Tags 1964, england, fos, goodwood, honda, ra272, tarquini, wtcc