BTCC hero Andy Rouse endorses the return of the best racing car he’s ever driven
The late, terrific Murray Pedestrian spoke like a male whose pants got on fire. So said the late as well as similarly great Clive James. Well, also by his high standards Murray was hardly ever more conflagratory than when remarking on the British Touring Car Champion in the late Eighties. There was something about average street vehicles turned circuit warriors that discharged the cumulative creativity, and also the sight of, claim, Andy Rouse trading paint with Steve Soper round Brands Hatch in a Sierra Cosworth remains unsurpassable. Head over to YouTube if you don’t think me.
Which is probably why the information that Rouse himself– victor of 60 BTCC races and a four-time British champ– is supporting 3 ‘new’ extension Ford Sierra RS500 Team A race cars is so unbelievably exciting. Absolutely for those people who keep in mind weekend afternoons glued to BBC Grandstand. The vehicles in question will certainly be made by visiting auto professionals CNC Motorsport AWS, directed by a man called Alan Strachan that helped Rouse when the excellent male likewise ran Andy Rouse Design (ARE would later run the works Ford Mondeo BTCC campaign). So they go way back.
Strachan’s attire has accessibility to the initial data and also components, including the front suspension uprights, back arms, the sealed fuel tank, side departure exhaust and the steel roll cage. CNC also occurred to have a new three-door Sierra bodyshell– known as a 909 and carefully kept given that the late Eighties– which triggered the lightbulb minute. “Need for competitive Team A machines is rising, making it possible for accessibility to some of the very best motorsport occasions around the world for proper autos,” Strachan claims. “The automobiles are terrific fun to drive, fairly easy to maintain, and also significantly extra inexpensive to run than Super Touring cars.”
The Sierra RS500 was additionally powered by among the excellent racing engines, especially if you liked old-school rocket-ship turbocharging. The stock RS500 ran 224bhp but most were doing means more than that; in ARE race trim the 2.0-litre four-pot was making well over 500bhp. Picture what that felt like in the wet on the Craner Curves. The three continuation autos promise as much as 575bhp, the brand-new Cosworth YB devices being looked after by ARE’s original engine builder, Vic Drake, that transformed 100 engines throughout the automobile’s heyday. The transmission is the period proper Getrag five-speed, with a Proflex fuel system and also later spec thick differential fitted. They’ll additionally be qualified for all the best historic auto racing occasions.
Yet exactly what made the Sierra RS500 such a successful auto racing automobile? TG.com obtains Andy Rouse on the phone to discover. “They were sensibly valued cars. At the peak, there were 18 RS500s on the grid, that’s how effective and also preferred it was,” he states. “It was an economical cars and truck, also, we could build one back then for concerning ₤ 80k. We built concerning 30 race autos at ARE and also 100 engines, we were sending parts throughout the world. It was being competed pretty much all over.
” It was without a doubt the best auto racing cars and truck I drove, it looked quick, it went fast, as well as it was a tricky point to drive just due to the fact that it had an unwanted of power over grip. As well as the tyres weren’t wonderful in those days, either. Oversteer isn’t good for a lap time yet it was hard to avoid it if you were trying to go fast in an RS500. I matured driving on yard tracks so going sidewards was natural to me.”
Excellent work with all that power. The continuation cars and truck is most likely to run up to 575bhp, which sounds insane … “That’s maybe a bit confident. We would certainly race it with regarding 520bhp and also transform it up a bit for qualifying,” Rouse recalls. “We ‘d run concerning 2.2 bar of increase. It was wonderful to drive somewhere like Silverstone but Bathurst and Fuji were also better. We would certainly see 185mph on the straight at Bathurst.”
Rouse is silently retired these days, as well as has a nice area in leafy Surrey. For among the greatest British racing motorists of all time, he maintains a deliberately low profile. Does he ever before obtain recognised doing the shopping? “Not particularly. I run a Facebook page which appears to generate fairly a lot of interest, yet it’s surprising that people still remember me nevertheless this moment. I definitely appreciate it when they do. Individuals understand my name greater than my face. Back in the day there was a television advert for the Sierra which got on in the middle of the News At 10 every night for concerning 6 months that claimed, ‘The Ford Sierra has actually made Andy Rouse British Touring Car Champion’.
Or perhaps the other way round. Prices for the ‘new’ auto beginning at ₤ 185,000 for a basic white vehicle, with alternatives for spares plans and liveries. Remember that fine examples of the homologated roadway auto are currently making up to ₤ 115k as well as you can see that the charm is fiscal as well as psychological. We’ll be following this one with passion.