Video: Vintage ROC action looks glorious

23rd December 2021
Henry Biggs

The Race of Champions has evolved a great deal from the original in 1988, held to commemorate the death of Henri Toivonen and to mark 10 years of the world championship for rally drivers. That original event, organised by Michèle Mouton, featured all eight champions from 1979 to 1988 driving cars ranging from the Audi Quattro S1 and BMW M3 to the then all-conquering Lancia Delta Integrale. The final of the round robin knockout-style tournament held at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry near Paris was won by Juha Kankkunnen who beat Timo Salonen to be crowned the Champion of Champions and receive the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy.

Fast forward a few years to the mid-1990s and the Race of Champions had moved to Gran Canaria and begun to lose its emphasis on being a pure contest between rally champions. This is where we pick up the action with a typically breathlessly excited Tony Mason being hurled around the course at high speed, and being the butt of some good natured ribbing from the drivers.

It would be another four years until circuit drivers and motorcycle riders were introduced into the mix in the Nations Cup competition in 1999. For now, in 1995, it was still very much a gravel-based event, so enjoy some period, sideways action.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Czech truck trials look incredible

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