RALLYCROSS CELEBRATES FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY AT LYDDEN HILL
The sport of rallycross is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, an occasion that is being honoured at the fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill, where the first ever event took place in 1967.
Each of the sport’s five decades are being marked by a wide range of rare rallycross cars, led by the Porsche 911 that won the first ever event, driven by Vic Elford. John Taylor’s 1973 European Rallycross Championship victory is remembered with a Haynes of Maidstone Ford Escort Mk1 and the similar car of Roy Edwards, who competed in the first ever event on February 4 1967 and Belgian Jos Sterkens in another Escort. Another of the original rallycross drivers, Jeff Williamson is driving one of two Minis in the weekend’s on-track celebrations, accompanied by Lance Foster’s version of the iconic car. France’s Michel Gambillon is present with his Simca 1000 Rallye 3.
Representing cars from the 1970s, France’s Gustave Tarriere and Belgian Florent Hontoir are in attendance with a pair of Renault Alpine A310 Polytechnics, and John Wheeler’s original Alpine A110. Barry Stewart is driving the Porsche 911 that won the first British Rallycross Grand Prix in 1982 and the ex-John Sampson is in a Triumph TR7 V8. Jordan and Stewart Bowes will share driving in a Mini, and Paul Smith will complete the 70s era in a Volkswagen Polo.
The Group B period of rallycross from the 1980s incorporates an exciting line-up, including Pat Doran’s Ford RS200, Will Gollop’s BiTurbo MG Metro 6R4 and Rob Gibson in a similar car. David Halford’s Herbert Breiteneder short wheel-base Audi Quattro replica is on display, and France’s Philippe Tollemer will be on track in his Peugeot 205 T16. Belgium’s Roger Lippins is driving his Ford Escort Mk4.
More recent cars, from the 1990s include Laurent Terroitin’s Citroen Xsara Supercar driven by Mark Watson, Will Gollop’s Ford Focus Supercar driven by Andy Grant, Barry Squibb’s Ford Escort Supercar driven by Derrick Jobb.
A selection of the historical cars joined a range of current World RX Supercars and drivers for a photo call on Friday evening on the famous Lydden Hill tarmac.
Front centre: Vic Elford, first ever rallycross winner (Porsche 911)
Row two, left to right: Mattias Ekstrom (Audi S1 EKS RX quattro), Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Focus RS RX Supercar), Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar), Andrew Jordan (Ford Fiesta RX Supercar), Petter Solberg (Volkswagen Polo GTI Supercar).
Row three, left to right: Pat Doran (Ford RS200), Herbert Breiteneder (Audi Sport Quattro S1), Will Gollop (Metro 6R4 BiTurbo), Timur Timerzyanov (Ford Fiesta RX Supercar), Philippe Tollemer (Peugeot 205 T16), Janis Baumanis (Ford Fiesta RX Supercar), Guy Wilks (Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar) Rob Gibson (Metro 6R4), Ian Sandwith (Green and White MINI).
Back row, left to right: Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta RX Supercar), Barry Stewart (Porsche 911), Kevin Eriksson (Ford Fiesta RX Supercar), Michael Gambillon (Simca 1000 Rallye 3), John Taylor (MkI Ford Escort), John Wheeler (Renault Alpine).