Tom Sharp saw one of his motorsport dreams come true last weekend after being invited by Porsche to drive some of the most iconic machinery in the German manufacturer’s history during the Goodwood Festival of Speed (23-26 June).
Sharp got the opportunity to tackle the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb across all four days of the prestigious event in front of over 200,000 fans in attendance, doing so in machinery showcasing both Porsche’s incredible motorsport heritage and its cutting edge range of modern roadcars.
From the past, Sharp got to drive the stunning 1977 Porsche 935 ‘Baby’, as well as two Le Mans 24 Hours winners, the Porsche 936 which was victorious in 1977, and, much to his delight, the Porsche 911 GT1-98, a model which took a one-two finish in the 1998 running.
Sharp also took part in the Michelin Supercar Run, a parade of the fastest and most evocative supercars in the world, with the 24 year old behind the wheel of the brand new Porsche 911R, the latest stripped down, high performance incarnation in the 911 brand.
On top of the hillclimb runs, Sharp was also in action during the event in his IDL Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, albeit at slightly slower speeds as he was one of a quartet of Porsche Carrera Cup GB drivers invited to perform the role of VIP Taxi drivers.
That saw Sharp and co give Porsche’s guests the unique experience of getting a ride into the Festival of Speed aboard a thoroughbred racing car, with some tyre burnouts ensuring everyone who got a lift with the reigning Rookie champion stepped out the car with a huge grin.
Tom Sharp: “The Porsche 911 GT1 is the reason I wanted to get into motorsport. I remember when I was five years old getting up early on Saturday morning to watch highlights of the racing. The cars of that era were so radically different and that’s what grabbed my imagination.
“Unfortunately the majority of people in this world don’t get to realise their dreams, but that’s exactly what happened to me at Goodwood. I just can’t believe it, what an experience!
“It’s quite daunting driving up the Goodwood hill, especially when it’s your first time and you’re driving an irreplaceable piece of history. It’s remarkable to think that when I’m 70 years old I will be able to go to the Porsche museum and see these cars that I drove.
“I would like to say a very special thank you to Porsche and Carrera Cup GB for making it happen.”
Sharp will now be back in action in his IDL, Mardix Group, Imtech, Dome Group and Stevens Construction 911 this weekend (09/10 July) at Silverstone, as he makes a guest appearance in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for a second successive season.
The outing will see Sharp competing once again on the support bill for the Formula One British Grand Prix, meaning over 100,000 fans trackside will be watching on as he takes on some of the best Carrera Cup drivers in the world.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche