Former world champion co-driver Robert Reid said he had no problems returning to the right-hand seat of a World Rally Car for the first time since 2003, when he and Markko Martin won last weekend’s Richard Burns Memorial Rally in Britain.
Martin and Reid shared the Subaru Impreza WRC2008 which Petter Solberg drove on last month’s Rally New Zealand and guided the car to a six-minute victory on an all-asphalt event at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The event was organised to raise money for the Richard Burns Foundation and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
After setting fastest time on every one of the two-day event’s eight stages, Reid said he was delighted with the way the rally had run.
“It was a great weekend,” said Reid, who won the 2001 world title with Richard Burns. “It was quite strange how everything came back to me so quickly. I’ve done a lot of rallies in these kind of cars, but I was surprised how comfortable I felt in the car straight away. Everything, right from pulling the overalls on on Saturday morning, felt normal.
“Obviously there were some different emotions on the event, but seeing all of the marshals clapping the whole field through the final stage was amazing. It was then that you realise how much all of this meant to everybody. The event ran really well, I think the RAF were particularly pleased.”
Reid says he hopes the event will now become an annual event and attract more people who played a part in Burns’ life.
“I think there is scope to make this an annual event,” he said. “And I think it could make a really good event. Okay, there were some parts of the venue which were not quite so interesting, but the perimeter roads were mega. There’s plenty of roads in there. It would be nice to see more of the people who Richard had been involved with coming along to support the event. I’ll certainly come back, but whether I would co-drive again is another question. I’ve had a very good weekend and it was great to sit alongside Markko - something I’ve never done before - and it was great to be back experiencing a World Rally Car first hand again.
“One of the things doing this event reminded me about was how privileged we are. When you see the interest this car caused at Marham, it reminds you how little access the public gets to these things. It was fantastic to see so much interest - and to be able to give the Impreza WRC2008 its first win - and what a win!”