BGMSPORT DELIVERS THE STAR CARS FOR RALLYDAY
This year’s Rallyday (Saturday, 17 September) will deliver an unrivalled collection of BGMsport-prepared cars which have shaped the World Rally Championship down the decades – and the most successful driver in American rally history to demonstrate them.
Former British Rally Champion David Higgins was also the king of American rallying for an unprecedented 10 seasons. He returns to Rallyday in September. And here are some of the cars he could be driving:
- The Audi quattro E2 Hannu Mikkola used to win the 1985 Mänttä Rally
- One of five Ford Escort RS1700T prototypes left in the world
- Ex-Prodrive original factory specification Group A BMW M3
- Jimmy McRae’s 1989 Tour of Britain-winning Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
- Subaru Impreza WRC99 Juha Kankkunen drove in New Zealand, 1999
- Works Vauxhall Chevette HSR driven by Jimmy McRae in 1980
- Renault 5 Turbo 1 TDC from the French Championship in the Eighties
BGMsport managing director Ian Gwynne said: “We’re fortunate to work on some of the finest rally cars ever seen in the World Rally Championship and the chance to bring some of them to Rallyday and recreate the magic from Group 4 through Group B and into Group A and World Rally Cars is something very special.
“And this year’s selection of cars covers a fantastically wide spectrum from a Chevette HSR Jimmy [McRae] used to win Cork ’20 in 1980 and my dad Bill Gwynne used on the Motoring News road rallies the following season all to a Kankkunen World Rally Car.
“Bringing the Mikkola Audi back again was an obvious one – the appeal of that car is just incredible. We got to see those cars so fleetingly in the world championship, it’s an absolute privilege to be able to watch – and listen – to it once more. As always, there’s a very big thanks to DirtFish owner Steve Rimmer who is the owner of these cars for supporting BGMsport and Rallyday. It’s great that Steve will be with us again this year and great that he enjoys seeing the cars being used.
“And thanks to David for coming to Rallyday to drive them.”
“As well as David, Steve Hendy, Ryan Champion, Jess Gwynne and I will also be doing the driving. There’s a good few years’ experience and plenty of success between us – I’m sure we’ll be able to put on a show!”
David added: “Having competed in America for quite a few years, I’ve got to know Steve [Rimmer] quite well and his enthusiasm and passion for the sport is remarkable. Just to see his collection of cars is incredible and to have the opportunity to drive some of them at Rallyday is a real privilege.
“What will I drive? When you look at that list, there’s nothing you wouldn’t want to drive – they’re all incredible cars which helped shape our sport. While I’m not competing as much as I did, I’m still testing cars and training drivers pretty much on a weekly basis, but Rallyday will be something very special. It always is.
“It’s a great chance to be back around people I’ve known all my career – the chance to remember arguably some of the British Rally Championship’s finest hours in the mid to late Nineties. It’s a great day.”
The seven cars destined for the two Legends Stages on Saturday September 17 are just part of BGMsport’s commitment to Rallyday. In addition, Ian will line up a show-stopping static display.
“All of the cars we’re bringing to Rallyday can be run at competitive speeds,” said Ian. “That’s what we do at BGMsport – we take cars back to their very best and like to see them being used rather than sitting in a museum. But you have to draw the line somewhere and we can’t run all of the cars.
“We’re rally fans, just like everybody at Rallyday and we know how much we love to see these cars – so why wouldn’t we bring them with us?
“We’ve got an ex-works Fiat 131 Abarth driven by Markku Alén, the Ford Escort RS1600 Roger Clark used on the 1970 RAC Rally. Staying with the Ford theme, there’s the RS200 Stig [Blomqvist] drove on the 1986 Acropolis and RAC Rallies.
“Not to mention, probably the most famous Talbot Sunbeam Lotus ever made – the car Henri Toivonen used to win the 1980 RAC Rally. Talking of fast Finn’s, there’s a Nissan Sunny Formula 2 car Tommi Mäkinen used in 1994 – a car Alister McRae drove as well.
“But it’s not just the cars we’re bringing, the Chevette and RS1700T will sit with their original service barges, as Bedford CF and Ford Transit van.
“As you can imagine, it’s a huge amount of work from the whole BGMsport team to put Rallyday together, but when you see everybody’s eyes light up at seeing these amazing cars in the flesh, it’s all worth it.”
Castle Combe managing director Graham Marshallsay is delighted with the line-up for Saturday September 17.
“As ever, we’re hugely grateful for the alliance with BGMsport,” said Graham. “When you see the line-up Ian is bringing, it’s second-to-none and no surprise we have people coming from across the UK to what will be Britain’s biggest and best day of rally action through 2022.
“Having David here with us is great news as well. With DirtFish backing Rallyday and a 10-time American champion driving and talking about his time Stateside, there’s going to be a real US feel to the day this time around.”
– Advanced tickets for Rallyday on Saturday September 17 are available, priced at £18 per adult. See Rallyday.com for more details.