The footage may be less-than polished, but the GRR office stopped for a few minutes to witness this very rare footage of the 1981 BTCC season when it was unearthed. Andy Rouse, Win Percy, Capris, Rovers, Metros, RX-7s… even billboards advertising something called ‘British Leyland’ (?). Pure retro magic.
The Group 1 regulations were in force that year – as they will be at next year’s 73rd Members’ Meeting – and the racing is magnificent. Watch a modern touring car race and if a car gets out of shape you can expect it to lose ground as the driver gets all four wheels pointing in the same direction again. In 1981, getting the car out of shape was the fast way to get through many of the bends!
Four rounds are reviewed here: Mallory Park, Silverstone, Oulton Park and Thruxton. The Silverstone round was wet and back in those days a chicane broke-up Woodcote corner. Just wait ’til you see the RX-7 and the Capris sliding through it before they hit the start-finish straight! Wonderful.
So before you finally wind-down for the Christmas break, allow yourself 15 minutes to see what touring car racing used to be like … and how it will be again for two amazing days at next year’s 73rd Members’ Meeting when some of the cars you see in this clip will once again be racing.
I’m just going to watch the Silverstone footage one more time …