The Ford Escort Mk2 used by Timo Makinen and Henry Liddon to win the 1975 RAC Rally will be one of the star entries on this year's Roger Albert Clark Rally.

'LAR 801P' was one of the first works RS1800s built and after its success on the '75 RAC Rally it was driven in 1976 by Ari Vatanen to win the British Open Rally Championship. It was later used by Roger Clark as a recce car for the East African Safari Rally, but has been used very little since the early 1980s.

Now, thanks to the commitment and expertise of Dave Watkins, the car is back in immaculate condition and is ready to go rallying. The Yorkshire Escort aficionado is determined to use the famous car in historic rallying and had set his sights on contesting the Roger Albert Clark Rally in November.

"It's as original as I can make it," said Watkins of the car that runs in the period colours of Allied Polymer. But I still want to go historic rallying with it and I want to be out on the Trackrod Rally and the Roger Albert Clark Rally."

As might be expected, the car had a dramatic time in Vatanen's hands during the 1976 season. "It had a new shell after Ari Vatanen virtually destroyed it," said Watkins. "He'd rolled it three times during the year. A friend of mine in New Zealand used to work at Boreham and he used to repair Vatanen's car. He used to dread going to work on the Monday after a rally!"

Watkins has done the Roger Albert Clark Rally twice before, and finished ninth in the 2004 in his previous ex-works Mk1 Escort, 'FEV 5H'. In 2005, he went off in into a ditch in Ae forest and retired.


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