Michael Bailey’s Goodwood detour during mid-season break
One driver missing from the grid at Queensland Raceway was GT Trophy Class contender Michael Bailey driving the popular early specification Bentley Continental GT3.
This beast is one formerly driven by Peter Edwards, John Bowe, David Brabham and others, but Bailey swapped this for a rare Ford RS200 Group B rally car to go up the famous hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Returning to Europe for the first time in three years where Bailey owns a large collection of rally variants comprised of mainly Fords, but MG Metros and Lancias also feature.
Encapsulating his experience of Goodwood, Bailey was blown away as one of his highlights was enjoying champagne with Nigel Mansell.
“Goodwood is probably one of the best motorsport events in the world, it’s just got everything for everyone,” Bailey described.
“It’s got rally cars, supercars, Formula 1, old bangers, pre-war models and everyone has a really good attitude.
“Everyone is there for the right reason, they just love motorsport.
“Going up the hill is quite exciting, with cold tyres and brakes, with lots of horsepower behind your back in an 850 kg car is quite exhilarating.”
Although business commitments have restricted his racing this year, Bailey hopes to dust off the Bentley for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS finale on the streets of Adelaide.
“The Bentley is like an arm chair on wheels,’ he explained.
“It was unfortunate at Bathurst, I hit some oil in a similar spot to Chaz Mostert and I really wanted to show that thing off there. Potentially we’ll bring it out for Adelaide, depending on whether I’m in the country.
“We want to get it out there and make some noise, people tend to love that big arm chair going around.
“It’s such a bizarre car, it lost 1000kg between production and racing spec, it’s just unbelievable and it looks really good with the livery. I so love the car and I do it for fun, the Bentley makes the adrenaline pump, while I find the engineering behind it very interesting.”
The racing completed in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS has prepared Bailey well to contest the Barcelona 24 Hour with Hofor Racing in its Mercedes-AMG GT3 on September 9-11.
Sandown hosts the next round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS as part of the SpeedSeries on September 16-18.