Prodrive is bringing a mouth-watering collection of cars to next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, including Ari Vatanen’s 1981 World Rally Championship-winning Ford Escort Mk2.
Vatanen won his only world title 40 years ago alongside Prodrive chairman David Richards, but he hasn’t seen the specific car that he’ll drive up the famous hill-climb since 1981.
DKP 191T was entered into three WRC rounds in 1981: the Acropolis, 1000 Lakes and San Remo. Vatanen and Richards won the first two and also won in Brazil with a different chassis on their way to the title.
“The last time Ari saw this car was 40 years ago on the San Remo Rally, where we hit a wall!” said Richards. “I hope he doesn’t drive it quite as hard as he did back in 1981.”
Nine-time WRC Champion Sébastien Loeb will also feature, driving the Prodrive Hunter T1 which he debuted on the Dakar Rally earlier this year.
Jimmy McRae will get behind the wheel of Colin McRae’s 1996 Rally Spain-winning Subaru Impreza while Prodrive’s technical director David Lapworth will pilot Richard Burns’ Safari 2000-winning Impreza WRC.
Richards added: “The Festival of Speed is one of the motorsport events of the year that I really look forward to. The paddock has a unique atmosphere where fans can get close to their heroes and have the opportunity to see so much motorsport history race up the hill.
“We’ll be joining the action with a number of our cars that represent Prodrive’s successes over the four decades.”
A host of racing cars – including a BAR Formula 1 machine – will be on display along with the rally cars. Prodrive’s impressive collection will be located in the main paddock, right next to the official F1 area.
Rally cars to be on display, as well as the four that will climb the hill, are Colin McRae’s 1995-world title clinching Impreza and Jimmy McRae’s 1986 MG Metro 6R4 that was campaigned in the British and Irish championships.