The Easter traffic was as bad as ever, and when Blomqvists gearbox broke his service crew were stuck in it and he had to retire. For the Welsh Rally the big news was that Vatanen was back, and soon leading, chased by Pond. Instead the Quattro broke its steering arm – again – on the first corner of the first stage. But before the event disappeared into oblivion it earned itself immortality as the only international rally to end in tie. His first encounter with the scenery dropped him him to third, but his second put him out. With Ford officially on strike both Mikkola and Clark would be in private Escorts. Airikkala crashed out, leaving the Scotsman with a smug grin.
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The man left standing when the music stopped was Open Champion Pentti Airikkala. As they raced through the northern forests Vatanen retired with a broken driveshaft handing the lead to Blomqvist, who then retires with head gasket failure.
Russell also won the Granite City, and Jim Clark events that year. This is a Trofeu model. Everyone else lost time due to the ice and all but one of the stages ended up being cancelled, but Pond was still out. The pattern of previous years had to be altered when it became known that forest stages would be unavailable, and so from a night and day event the rally finally took the form of a normal Saturday night thrash.
He took the opportunity and ran with it, and became the World Rally Champion. This left McRae with a comfortable lead over Brookes, which he held to the end. He spent several years as Ford’s chief test driver, developing new rally cars, including the short lived RST and RS models. The clever men in Stuttgart had also been fettling their bloxhxm, and the Quattro was no longer such a dog on tarmac.
Bloxham/Harper, Triumph Dolomite
Rohrl fought back once the sun rose again but couldn’t catch the Brits. He described via his rally driving son who I exchanged correspondence with that the Lancia Fulvia was totally unreliable so was ditched part way through the season. The world and his wife came to battle it out on the Open. A big car with squared off arches it resembled the Fiat Abarth, which had never gone well in Britain, so people had their doubts.
Dealer Team Vauxhall appeared to have finally got the Chevette HS to really fly, at least on tarmac, and Airikkala raced to an easy win, ably supported by McRae until mechanical failure put him out.
No matter how many times he put his car off the road jonh could drag it out of the ditches or trees and still go on to win the rally anyway – he won, blxoham Talkland, COI, Scottish and Manx events in The season saw Colin win every stage bar two on every rally in the British championship in his Rothmans backed Legacy securing his second British Championship title Vauxhall Sport, Pirelli, Scottish, Ulster, Manx and Elonex.
This time, with a more manageable engine, Mikkola had the edge and led from stage one. Pond managed to lead again on the Manx, only for the gremlins to again get the car. It overheated, then wouldn’t stay in gear.
WSSCC Rally – Page
Mikkola also expired – on rslly very first stage, and Airikkala was out too. This selective claimed another victim when the beautifully prepared Triumph 2. Electric problems eventually slowed him down, but we’d be seeing a lot mor eof him in years to come. Unique in every way, of the highest quality, this book is a drawback to the days of a supremely tough rally championship that was conceived and supported by the leading ralliests and works teams of the s and s.
A technical solution to this could undoubtedly have been devised but, unfortunately, this was not to happen. I can’t find positive confirmation Colin won any BRC events outright in although there is some suggestion that the Bolton, Vales and Express and Star rallies were BRC events and he won those so the car modelled here is 3rd place overall from the Scottish Rally.
Three such vehicles FHP C were entered in the Monte Carlo Rally and, despite being pitted against considerably faster and more exotic machinery, Roy Fidler bloxam to take 14th place overall. Opel had been busy too, although problems had delayed the homologation of the Manta and they’d have to ojhn the season with the old Ascona.
This left the event as a duel between Russell Brookes jonh Jimmy McRae, the first of many to come over the next decade. Evan Hughes decided to come out as well, and at the last minute his brother Gordon joined us for the flight. A new team joining the top table was Opel, with their Ascona Available through www photohistoric com.
The series stayed on tarmac for the opening day of the Welsh, before leaving the Epynt ranges and returning to the forests. I chipped the paint with the jack handle in Wales on the first event.
British Rally Championship Champions Collection
Stephen Mills The models here are the Texaco Rally winning 1. Bank to bank transfer is my preferred method of payment, alternatively cheque eally order. In Ulster they somehow crammed stage miles into 24 hours.