When the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was launched in 1985, it didn’t take long for it to become the weapon of choice in the BTCC. In fact it’s more accurate to say that, save for some notable heroics from the likes of Frank Sytner (who actually won the championship in 1988 due to the handicap system) in BMW M3s, it was the only choice if you wanted to run at the front.
In 1991 the regulations changed from FIA Group A to FIA Super Touring, which meant an end to turbochargers and consequently the domination of the Sierras, but by then the car had cemented itself in touring car folklore the world over.
Even though there was usually just the one type of car winning races outright, the racing itself was spectacular; rarely more so than at Brands Hatch in 1988 between Andy Rouse and Steve Soper. Rouse famously built his own cars (as well as those of some of this rivals) while Soper was selected to drive the Swiss-based Eggenberger car with its prominent Texaco backing.
In this clip we see the pair encapsulating this year’s Festival of Speed theme – Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the edge – around the wonderful Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. The cars were supposedly delivering something in the region of 500-550bhp depending on boost levels and atmospheric conditions, although for this race Rouse was running an ‘experimental’ engine which could conceivably have been capable of around 600bhp.
So, that’ll be two top-notch touring car drivers in cars that liked to bounce and slide around in spectacular style on an epic Grand Prix circuit. Oh and did we mention that it began to rain during the race and that the pair were nearing a 100mph average lap speed? They ended up finishing 30 seconds ahead of the third placed Sierra Cosworth and were swapping places even on the last lap.
At nine minutes this is a bit longer than most of our Flat-Out and Fearless… clips, but believe us it’s well worth investing the time to watch.