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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.”

The Es­cort was an 18th birth­day present Vaulkhard loves Ford

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