WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD | IMAGES BY PHD PHOTO
Goodwood is all about making magical memories, and it couldn't get much more special for Emanuele Pirro this year.
Pirro is one of the cornerstones of Goodwood. He attends every event, drives more cars than almost anyone else, and yet still finds time in what little he has remaining to engage with the fans.
Over the years, he's been able to drive a wide variety of machinery at various Goodwood events, but at this year's Festival of Speed he got to drive a car very close to his hear.
"I don't miss one bit. I come to all three events every year. It's wonderful," Pirro explained to The Pit Stop.
"This year is very special for me because I'm driving again the 1990 McLaren that I was the test driver and I hadn't driven since 1990.
"So it's very special and that very car is the chassis that Senna crashed Alain Prost in Suzuka and won the championship. It's very special. Very, very special."
Pirro never raced for McLaren in a grand prix, but yet he was still an instrumental part of the Woking-based outfit in the late 1980s and early 1990s, helping them win several championships.
In 1990, Pirro raced for Scuderia Italia, joining the team for the third round of the season, and spent the rest of the year with them.
It wasn't an overly competitive year for the Italian. He only managed to finish on three occasions and his best result was 10th in Hungary.
But while success was lacking on race weekends, the work he was doing for McLaren behind the scenes paved the way for them to claim the driver's and constructors' championship that year.
"Four years I was this driver for [McLaren]. Even during my current season because three years I drove Benetton and Scuderia Italia, but I kept testing for McLaren because we had a good relationship.
"At the time, McLaren - even now - but at the time McLaren was a really special team, with two special drivers, Prost and Senna.
"So it was a privilege to be a part of the team and great memories."
And those memories came back to life last weekend, when Pirro was given the opportunity to drive the car again.
Naturally he loved it, and it reinforced his view that everything has to be done to ensure the Festival of Speed remains on the motorsport calendar for years to come.
"The car is exactly as it finished the Grand Prix. So very original and I felt home, I felt good.
"This is special and we have to keep Goodwood alive for many years because it's a privilege for everybody this event to happen every year. It's really a privilege so we have to work for it."
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