Filed under: Classic News |
Top names from the world of rallying are visiting this year’s Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show held at Stoneleigh Park from 14th to 16th March, to reminisce about the golden days of motorsport’s most gruelling discipline. Markku Alen, Bjorn Waldegard and Russell Brookes will be showing they’ve still got what it takes with a series of demonstration runs during the event on the Live Classic Rally Stage. All three drivers have links with this year’s featured marque, Ford. Finnish hero Markku Alen is one of the most successful rally drivers of all time. His rallying career started in 1969, driving a Renault 8 Gordini. His first professional drive was with Ford in the Mark One Escort, after which he joined Fiat in 1975, driving for them and Lancia until 1989. Alen piloted the first Group B Lancia, the 037, and won 20 rounds of the World Rally Championship, including six victories in Finland's Rally of 1000 Lakes, his home event. He also won the 1988 Lombard RAC Rally. Bjorn Waldegard, another successful driver, posted many international wins at the wheel of a Mark Two Escort RS1800. He began his rallying career in 1962, in 1967 and 1968 won the Swedish Championship, and in 1969, at the wheel of a 911, won the Monte Carlo. Last year, aged 64, he won the car-breaking East African Safari Classic with his son Mathias as co-driver. After a stint with Lancia, Waldegard moved to Ford at the end of 1976, and through to 1980 notched up wins in the Safari, Acropolis, RAC, Swedish and Ivory Coast rallies driving an RS1800. His successful career continued with Toyota. Russell Brookes is one of the UK’s most popular rally drivers and is forever associated with his ‘Andrews Heat for Hire’-sponsored cars. Brookes began competing in 1968, winning the British Rally Championship in 1977 driving an Escort RS1800, and in 1985 at the wheel of an Opel Manta 400. In 1973 he signed with Ford, and drove for the blue oval until the end of the 1979 season. He switched to Talbot for two years and then moved to Vauxhall/Opel, and in 1989 went back to Ford for the British Rally Championship. At the wheel of a Cosworth Sierra, he won the Manx Rally in 1989 and 1990 and posted a third in 1991. These legendary drivers will be joined by Ford’s rallying elite, the people who have and continue to guide the Ford Rally Team to victory, Malcolm Wilson, Mark Dean and Tony Mason. Malcolm Wilson, a former WRC driver and British Rally Champion, is the principle of 'M-Sport' who build and prepare the current Ford WRC cars as well as running the works Ford Rally Team. He will be joined by Mark Dean, the newly appointed Director of Ford TeamRS, Ford’s motorsport division in Europe. Ex- Ford Rally Manager Tony Mason, the winning navigator of the RAC rally in 1972 with British legendary driver Roger Clark in a Ford Escort Mk 1, will complete the Ford line-up that will come together for an informal interview and to share their rally experiences on the Race Retro show stage.Tags:,