Motor Sport News - - Club Monsters -

Af­ter the in­fa­mous Group B pe­riod, ral­ly­ing was yearn­ing for spec­tac­u­lar ma­chin­ery so au­da­cious it could rein­vig­o­rate in­ter­est in ral­ly­ing af­ter the less spec­tac­u­lar Group A.

In Bri­tain, that wish was granted by a Here­ford­shire farmer by the name of Andy Bur­ton and his Peu­geot 306 Cos­worth.

The sheer au­dac­ity of his lat­ter cre­ation should have been ex­pected af­ter he dab­bled in na­tional ral­lies in an Alfa Romeo Fer­rari. Af­ter vis­it­ing a friend he saw a writ­ten off Fer­rari and rusty Alfa, so he mar­ried the two. The Fer­rari-pow­ered ma­chine was prop­erly men­tal in its own right.

But the cre­ation he’ll re­ally be re­mem­bered for is the Peu­geot. It started life in 1997 as a Metro 6R4-pow­ered go­liath with body­work from an ice rac­ing car and a rear wing from a GT racer. It looked as bril­liant as it sounded.

How­ever, af­ter re­peated cam­belt fail­ures the de­ci­sion was made to switch to a Cos­worth. Not any old Cos­worth, but a 2.5-litre Ger­man Tour­ing Car unit revving to 11,000rpm. It sounded like heaven, and drew crowds from all over the coun­try. It usu­ally won or broke, but to the spec­ta­tors that was ir­rel­e­vant. The noise of the Cos­worth bounc­ing back off the trees in a for­est was sim­ply un­matched by any other ma­chine in the world.

Bur­ton went on to take the 2003 BTRDA ti­tle and cam­paigned the car un­til 2011 when stricter rules on home-built cars meant the car was out­lawed. A sad day for ral­ly­ing, and the sport has never been the same since the scream­ing Peu­geot was locked away in a barn for good. JB

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