Motorsport

Military Drivers Remember Team Manager's Legacy At This Year's Goodwood Festival

Military drivers paid tribute to Flight Lieutenant Steve Partridge, who lost his 17-year battle with cancer last month.

Military drivers were out in full force at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Armed Forces Rally and RAF Lightning Rally teams were in attendance as the event returned for 2021 following a 12-month break because of the pandemic.

The Armed Forces Rally team at the festival were paying tribute to former team manager Flight Lieutenant Steve Partridge, who lost his 17-year battle with cancer last month.

"He's been a member of this team for 25 years," said Major (Retired) Alan Paramore, Director of the UKAF Rally team.

"There's a big, huge hole in the team that Steve used to fill and everybody is feeling it.

"Steve would have wanted us to be here and would have wanted us to prosper, develop and go on in the spirit in which he ran the team.

"We will continue running the team in that spirit. Steve will always be part of us," he added.

Corporal Matt Duncan has taken over the role as team manager and believes he has some big shoes to fill.

He said: "Steve was incredible with the amount of work he used to do for us.

"It's a very big learning curve to take over that and I'll try and do it the best I can."

Commander Bryony Carpenter, Chair of the team, added: "He will be up there looking down and seeing all that he worked so hard for is carrying on.

"His name and all that he has done will carry on in the UK Armed Forces Rally Team for a long, long time.

"The immense work and everything that he gave is not going to be easily forgotten. This is his legacy."

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the biggest motorsport events of the year.

The RAF Lightning team was flying the Air Force flag at the event, led by Chris Daykin.

He revealed: "Normally being invited to Goodwood is phenomenal. To be invited to Goodwood post-COVID, we're like spring lambs, we're all coming out!

"We're mindful that there is still a threat out there of COVID so everybody is being sensible and it is really well organised.

"But we're out and we're happy, so double grins," he added.

The first full-time high-performance RAF athlete in motorsport, rally co-driver Phil Hall, was in attendance mentoring athletes at the festival.

"We're using this as an opportunity to develop future talent for RAF Motorsport and RAF Rally in particular," he said.

"It's a really good environment where we can do a bit of training.

"The stage is quite short and it's really accessible."

The Red Arrows made an appearance, ensuring there was plenty of military involvement at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed.