Motor rallying...and with the 2,000 mile (3,220 kilometre) Lombard RAC rally ended after gruelling contest,?
Motor rallying...and with the 2,000 mile (3,220 kilometre) Lombard RAC rally ended after gruelling contest, the Ford team claimed an historic victory by taking the first three places. It was the make's seventh successive victory in the event. Finland's Hannu Mikkola in a Ford Escort was followed home by Bjorn Waldegaard of Sweden and Britain's Russel Brookes. The Ford triumph came despite the team's dependence on dealer-prepared cars and private service cres because of a two-month factory strike, and a spectacular crash by British team member Roger Clark.
SYNOPSIS: From the start Hannu Mikkola was first away. He went on to increase his lead over Ford team mate Bjorn Waldegaard to eight minutes, partly helped by starting problems on the Swede's Escort.
Next away was third placed Walter Rohrl, Ford's main challenger.
He was followed by Britain's Tony Pond in a Triumph TR7 who made an impressive improvement over the last few days, moving up from 39th to fourth. Russell Brookes, another Ford Challenger was next away, followed by Bjorn Waldegaard, his engine troubles resolved.
The rally lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest in the international calendar, with many highly-fancied cars, forced to retire. After Wednesday's stages, only 88 of the original 168 starters remained.
And among the day's casualties was Roger Clark, the highest placed British driver, who has twice won the rally. David Cass of the British Broadcasting Corporation, saw it happen.