Rare front-engined Merlyn’s race return at Croft
Route set for new USA challenge
A Merlyn Mk2 front-engined Formula Junior raced for the first time since 1961 when John Sykes took a double class win at Croft.
The Merlyn Mk2 was built for Formula Junior but was overtaken by the move to rearengined designs and only five were ever built. Two went to Zambia and disappeared and two went to the USA and were later believed to have been destroyed.
The car now owned by Merlyn enthusiast Sykes was destined for the US but the order was cancelled and the chassis sat in storage at Merlyn’s Colchester base until Sykes bought it and commissioned Merlyn to restore the car.
“It was the first time a Mk2 has raced as a historic Formula Junior,” said Sykes, who was elated to be top front-engined car in both races in what was only intended as a shakedown for the Goodwood Revival. An all-new route in the southern states of America will feature in the 2018 TransAmerica Challenge from the Endurance Rally Association.
From a start in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 27, the rally will cover 12 states and 5000 miles before finishing in Seattle, Washington three weeks later on June 17.
The route has been put together by ERA Director and former WRC co-driver Fred Gallagher with the support of American historic rally guru Steve Mckelvie.
It will take historic rallying into new territory.
“Not only will the route take in the best of the beautiful south but also a fantastic range of gravel trails and forest regularities as we head towards the west,” said Gallagher.