If it’s not the Audi Quattro, the car you associate most with the great Hannu Mikkola has to be the Ford Escort. He rallied little else through the 1970s, winning the British championship in 1978 and missing out on the world title, by a single point, to Bjorn Waldegard a year later. Then of course this new-fangled, turbocharged four-wheel drive machine arrived… and gave him his championship title in ’83.
The Festival of Speed would not be complete without Hannu driving the S1 Quattro up the hill and we were again graced by his presence this year. After all these years he still gets a kick from driving it, he tells us in our video, but then at 1100kg, and with 550bhp and a switch-like turbo who wouldn’t?
‘It’s very fast and fantastic to drive but you need nearly 5000rpm before it starts to pull. And then it pulls…’
Hannu this year also found time to turn the clock back further – to the ‘70s – and take the hot seat of David Watkins’ Escort up on the hillclimb course that he designed for Goodwood. A treat for the rallying cognoscenti or what?
His favourite FoS moment? He tells us that comes after dark and really goes with a bang…