VAULKHARD GOES BACK TO ROOTS
Former World Touring Car driver Harry Vaulkhard plans to return to his racing roots in 2016 and compete in the Ford Escort Mk2 that he made his competition debut in.
The 30-year-old first raced the naturally aspirated two-litre car in 2004 and may return to the Northern Sports and Saloons Championship where he began his career. Vaulkhard tested the car at Donington Park recently, giving the Escort its first mileage in half-a-decade.
“The car was an 18th birthday present from my late Dad Nigel,” he said. “I last raced the car in 2010 at Spa, sharing with John Smirthwaite, but since then it’s sat in a corner and not moved. It was great to get the car back out and give it a spring clean. We essentially put a new seat in it and changed the belts and it ran like clockwork.”
Vaulkhard raced in the Mini Challenge during 2015, finishing ninth in the Gen 3 F56 standings. He has ruled out a return to that series and instead wants to focus on club outings with the Escort. Vaulkhard also won a Mk2 Golf GTI title in 2013 and the VAG Trophy in 2014.
“The tyres the car ran on were the original ones from 2004, so it was like driving on blocks of ice,” he added. “I’ve had this car for 11 years and it has a really nice emotional connection for me. I considered quitting racing for a year with work commitments, but actually going back to where it all started for me is a nice, relaxed option. I’ll do a variety of different bits with it, including the Northern Sports and Saloons.”