It was a fantastic experience, I’ve driven the course hundreds of times but this was the first time in an electric car and actually the first time I’ve been entered into the Shootout so I was very excited. It was super quick off the start line, a lot like a train leaving a station, and I was pushed back into the seat like nothing else I’ve competed with. I got instant traction and it just kept going from there. We beat some serious competition including a classic F1 car so I was delighted.
The Mach-e 1400 is unreal, I was gob smacked when they asked me to drive it. It’s the only one in the world, it was a collaboration between RTR & Ford Performance, its 1400hp and completely bonkers. I’ve driven some really powerful cars before but this was something special – it has seven motors, three to the front and four to the rear. The guys at Ford asked if I could demo it in the drift batch, which was really tricky on such a narrow course but I had great fun and even managed a cheeky donut outside Goodwood House.
I managed to catch a bit of the most recent race in London. I found the rules a bit confusing to a beginner as they have to conserve energy in order to make the finish but it is very close competition and something that is only going to grow as we get used to electrification.
I do still compete occasionally, I’ve kept the car I won the championship in and I also have a classic Mk2 escort which I use for tarmac rallying. Having now driven so many electric vehicles and our success in the Goodwood Shootout in the Mach-e, I have no doubt I’ll be competing in one again very soon.
Presently the challenge is the weight of the batteries vs combustion engine vehicles but as with any new engineering developments we continue to improve the performance through competition. In fact, I’ve no doubt that the technology is already there.
Whenever we are asked by a manufacturer to showcase a new vehicle we spend a few days with the team in the workshop working out its capability. The switch to electric has been a big learning curve for us but we are lucky to have the support of the Ford Performance team at Dunton.
I think that the industry as a whole is just playing catch with the manufacturers. I went to college for four years before I qualified so I guess we will be seeing the future engineering wizards streaming through with completely new ways of thinking about passenger vehicles. Personally I think the new generation of electric vehicles are so good it will only take a quick test drive to convince the unconverted.
Well I’ve just been presented with a bottle of Verve Clique for winning in the Mach-e GT so I might be biased but I do genuinely love it, it’s a great looking car, full to the gills with tech, super quick but practical as an everyday family car.
It’s probably dispelling a lot of the myths around EVs. It’s clear that they are better for the environment, they can be as much fun as a combustion engine car and cheaper to run, however the upfront investment could be a hurdle for some too.