1987: Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, 3rd
“At the start of the 1987 it looked like I was going to get a Lancia Delta, which was pretty exciting. A road car was sourced by the RED team for the first round of the British Championship, but it was really a standard car with some suspension and a rollcage. Not long after that, it was clear the Lancia thing wasn’t happening, so I called Peter Ashcroft at Ford and he agreed to supply a Sierra.
“One of the guys drove down to Boreham to pick up this plain white Cosworth road car, which he drove back to RED in Widnes for the guys to strip and build it into a rally car. Arriving back at the factory, the guy jumped out of the car and went in to open the big roller door to drive the Sierra inside. When he went back outside, the car was gone. Somebody had nicked it! I thought that was it, that was the end of the season right there.
“The police called later that day to say they’d found the car in the middle of an estate in Liverpool. The only damage to it was on the rear spoiler – where it had been reversed through the plate glass window of a local television shop. Our rally car hadn’t done an event yet, but it had done a ram raid!
“I used the car all season, won the British Championship and finished third on the RAC. That was a nice result to end the year, but that’s definitely a car I won’t forget!” Ford came on and offered a car for myself and for Colin, so I went with Ford.
“I definitely remember the RAC in 1989, but I’m not sure it was one of the highlights… that was the year with all the snow. John Haughland came past us in his Skoda and I just couldn’t keep up with him – our Sierra Cosworth on gravel tyres was all over the place! I remembering saying to Rob [Arthur, co-driver] at the time: ‘Bloody hell Rob, we’ve been passed by a Skoda – don’t tell anybody about this!”