Weirdly my awakening to the big Rover’s motorsport heritage only came about much more recently. But watching them batter their way through the field at Members’ Meetings in recent years has been rather enjoyable. There’s plenty of this to enjoy online too, be that Chris Harris’s pleasingly indulgent two-parter on his race in the JD Classics Patrick Motorsport SD1 to Andrew Jordan’s track test here on GRRC of the 1984 BTCC-winning car driven in period by Andy Rouse.
For all the brutishness of the looks the onboards and reports from those lucky enough to drive them suggest they’re actually pleasingly straightforward things to compete in too, with balanced handling, great noise from the V8 engines and a simple, predictable nature. The historic touring car scene sees some fantastic grids packed with a huge variety of evocative looking machinery too, the racing looks close but fair and – yes – I’d love to have a go. My race licence is up to date if anyone is offering. No? Oh well, looks like I may have to buy one myself too.
There’s some good news too! At least two very significant SD1 racing cars are currently in the market. The first is a Group 2 car built by DPR Motorsport for racing in period in South Africa, with some success. And doesn’t it look magnificent, especially in the indulgently presented advert on the Girado & Co website – there’s even a little video with a blast of V8 noise if you need any further encouragement.
Or there’s the (possibly even cooler) Bastos-liveried Group A TWR car, driven to a number of wins by Jeff Allam, Denny Hulme Jean Louis Schlesser and others back in the mid ‘80s. Some car and some history. Only problem? Like the DPR car, it’s listed as POA, perhaps the most depressing three letters for the classifieds addict trying to put a number to the latest speculative bit of tyre kicking.