‘It’s nice to beat some of the modern stuff!’ exclaims Mark Wright of his gorgeous Mk2 Escort. ‘On the shorter circuits it’s unbeatable, but on the longer tracks like Silverstone we’re a bit down on power compared to most of the others.’
This is a very, very quick car and despite Mr Wright’s assertion that he could ideally do with some more snort at a high speed venue like Silverstone, he had no problem bringing it home in Saturday’s race ahead of a BMW 3.0 CSL, Alfa Romeo 156 and Peugeot 406 Super Tourers and a handful of other more modern and/or more powerful cars. Gotta love that.
The machine itself is a faithful, FIA-correct reproduction of Klaus Ludwig’s European Group Two Zakspeed Escort RS1800 and even features a rare Zakspeed cylinder head atop its screaming Cosworth BDG motor. ‘We’re getting around 260bhp out of it, but of course you could always do with more. It’s a forgiving car, which is good around here because you really have to keep your momentum up to make up for the lack of power. You can get it back from any angle!’
Having made a fine account of itself in Saturday’s race, we’re looking forward to seeing how it gets on today (Sunday) where it’s almost certainly going to rain. Asking how the car behaves on a wet track brings a surprising response from Mark. ‘Well it’s going to be the first time that we run it on the Dunlop wets. I think the braking might be a bit iffy… Might have to take the anti roll bar off!’ This is going to be fun.
So it’s a riot to drive, very fast and sounds superb, but frankly we could forgive it even if it was awful just for the way it looks. Oh to witness a field of these around Goodwood!
Gallery at top of page.