Woodside relishes British return
He caused quite a stir when he thundered into last year's Circuit of Ireland Rally in a mighty Porsche 911 R-GT but Robert Woodside is joining the increasing band of drivers switching to the in-vogue R5 cars which now headline the British and Irish Tarmac championships.
Woodside heads to Wales today for a shakedown run in the R5 Ford Fiesta he will drive in the opening round of the British series at the weekend before lining up for next month's Circuit, a rally his dad Ian won in 1963.
The Karcher-backed Fiesta will be run by Scottish specialists Dom Buckley Motorsport. Woodside, a transport company director from Ballyclare, said: "The Porsche was fun but the move to R5 cars has fired up interest in British rallying and I wanted to be a part of it again.
"The last time I did a round of the BRC was in 2002 but we've been targeting a comeback since the revamped championship was announced. The Mid Wales Rally will be a learning curve but I'm looking forward to the Circuit."
A top sprint and hillclimb driver as well as a rally winner in the past, Woodside has been competing on and off over the last couple of seasons, including a strong run on last year's World championship Rally Catalunya.
As a warm-up, he and co-driver Allan Harryman finished second on the Zandvoort Rally in Holland in a Mitsubishi last weekend.