WRC » 31 July 2006
Q&A: Robert Reid - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins
Richard Burns' former, co-driver Robert Reid was one of the stars at the 2006 Rallyday recently and like all those at the event, at mid-day, he fell silent to remember Burns and Michael 'Beef' Park - both of whom passed away at the end of last year, the latter while competing on the Wales Rally GB, while the former lost his battle against cancer in November.
Recently the Richard Burns Foundation was launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in memory of both Burns and Park and to help 'raise resources and awareness of projects that help people of all ages in their fight against adversity'.
Here Reid speaks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about the RBF, its second event at Castle Combe and his role as the director of the MSA British Rally Elite programme and the MSA British Rally Academy, both schemes created to help British talent rise to the top of the sport and eventually emulate the achievements of the likes of Burns and Reid, who of course took the FIA World Rally Championship together in 2001 with Subaru.
Robert, how are you enjoying the Rallyday thus far?
Yeah it is great. It is a fantastic day and when you see the people and the cars and the crowd here, it really is an amazing day.
We had the minutes silence at mid-day for Richard Burns and Michael Park - it was nice to see that all-the crowd respected that. It was quite a poignant moment wasn't it?
It is - this was Richard's last public appearance. Last year we came with his cars and had various drivers' driving them around. For me there was definitely a bit of a lump in my throat with the whole thing. It is great to see so many of the RB5 owners club at the event too, I think we had 55 or something out of the 444 cars ever sold and Richard's dad, Alex, was driving chassis number one, which Richard personally owned - until today it hadn't actually been out. So yeah - it was a really special moment.
The Richard Burns Foundation is here as well, which was of course launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed recently. How did that go there?
Goodwood was great and like this event it is phenomenal to see some many enthusiasts together and it was good opportunity to launch the Richard Burns Foundation. There are several things with that - it includes the Michael Park Fund, as well. Richard and Michael were two of my closest friends and to have lost them within a couple of months of each other last year... it wasn't the nicest two months of my life. So it was a natural thing to try and do something with it. What we are trying to do is make it truly international and not just rallying, so Goodwood was a great place to launch.
Any idea how much money was raised from the Goodwood Festival of Speed?
Everyone tells me they are still counting, which I am taking as a good sign. I don't know precisely at the moment, but I think in excess of £50-60,000, so that was good [it has since been confirmed that £50,000 was raised – ed]. We also had money raised at the Beef memorial event in Estonia. I have had several people come up to me today saying we have been doing things and we have got a cheque for you and we have got cash for you, so it is fantastic.
How can people actually support the Richard Burns Foundation?
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