ANDY BURTON’S PEUGEOT 306 COSWORTH
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