Pete Rayner’s been ral­ly­ing Es­corts for nearly 30 years, but thanks to son, Scott and Milling­ton power, this well-trav­elled Mk2 may be his best one yet.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS - Pho­tos Words Marc Stret­ton Pho­tos Matt Woods

With mon­ster Milling­ton Di­a­mond power, a Trac­tive se­quen­tial ’box, and out­stand­ing lev­els of prep cour­tesy of his son, Scott, it’s no won­der Pete Rayner is smil­ing all the way to the next Tar­mac rally stage.

Run­ning a full-on, class and event-win­ning Mk2 rally car is never go­ing to be the cheap­est hobby in the world, but Pete Rayner from Es­sex has proved you can com­pete in an ul­tra-quick top-spec Es­cort — in­clud­ing tak­ing it on an­nual ‘va­ca­tions’ to the is­lands of Jersey and Bar­ba­dos — with­out com­pletely break­ing the bank. None of this would be pos­si­ble, how­ever, with­out a shrewd choice in en­gine and run­ning gear man­u­fac­tur­ers… and the clever idea of rais­ing his son, Scott, to be a ge­nius rally builder and me­chanic, who looks af­ter the car at home and on events. That’s helped a lot.

“I worked with a guy in the early ’80s who had a BDA Mk2,” Pete be­gins, “and was hooked on the cars and the sport from then on. It would be nearly eight years, un­til 1988, be­fore I could af­ford my own car and start com­pet­ing, though. This car is now my fourth Mk2 and I’ve done many more than 200 events in what will soon be 30 years on the stages!”

Di­a­mond life

Pete’s lat­est Es­cort has been with him for the last five years, but has been through a lot of changes in that time. “It’s an ex-Nick Woodman car,” he says, “and came to me with a 300 bhp Duratec un­der the bon­net, but that en­gine went bang at Epynt not long af­ter. So a re­think was in or­der and with some re­search, the ob­vi­ous pick for a new en­gine came down to a Milling­ton Di­a­mond. Many peo­ple rec­om­mended this route and I’ve never re­gret­ted tak­ing it.

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