FROM THE ARCHIVE, RALLYCROSS LEGEND: WILL GOLLOP
Rallycross Legend: Will Gollop
The next instalment in a series looking at some of the legendary drivers to have starred in the first 50 years of rallycross
Name: Will Gollop
Country: Great Britain
RX Highlight: 1992 FIA European Rallycross Champion
Englishman Will Gollop began his rallycross career competing in the UK, in Minis and front-wheel drive Saabs. He used a Saab to win the equivalent of today’s Supernational Championship in 1986, which propelled him to a move into four-wheel drive machinery with an Austin Rover MG Metro 6R4 at the start of the sport’s Group B era.
Initially racing an ‘international’ specification naturally aspirated 6R4, Gollop was fourth in the European Rallycross Championship in 1987, finishing on the podium on three occasions. He claimed his first European Championship victory in Holland on his way to third overall in Euro RX, in 1988, and repeated the result in 1989 and 1990. In 1991 Gollop won four rounds (in France, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium) and finished second to Martin Schanche in the points. The following year, the English driver and engineer claimed the biggest prize, racing a BiTurbo 6R4 to European Championship glory, and is the most recent English driver to lift the crown.
As the technical regulations changed, Gollop’s G-Tech team built an unsuccessful Peugeot 309 for the 1993 season, replacing it with a Peugeot 306 in 1994. While the Englishman won the British Rallycross Championship in 1996 and 1997 (adding to his 1991 domestic title), he wouldn’t repeat his success in Europe.
After a sabbatical, Gollop returned to the sport in 2001 with a Ford Focus Supercar and won British Championship events before ending his driving career. Using the same car in 2006, under the guidance of Gollop and his team, British Junior Rallycross Champion Andrew Jordan became the youngest ever Supercar driver at just 16-years old and won the British Rallycross Supercar Championship the following season. Jordan then switched disciplines to the British Touring Car Championship, but returned to rallycross in 2014 at his home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship driving an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta and finished on the podium.
In Gollop’s successful career, he also won the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix on three occasions, in 1988, 1989 and 1992. He shares the record for most Rallycross Grand Prix wins together with Kenneth Hansen and Martin Schanche. The 2017 Rallycross Grand Prix takes place this weekend at Croft Circuit.
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