1997: Hyundai Ac­cent, 32nd

Motor Sport News - - Rally Gb Preview: Meeke -

“I sup­pose we could call this my lastever works drive. David White­head called me out of the blue and asked if I would be pre­pared to drive a show­room class car to help try to get the Kore­ans in­ter­ested in ral­ly­ing. The think­ing was that we could gen­er­ate a bit of pub­lic­ity. I thought the car was go­ing to have a bit of work done, I thought it might be some­thing like a proper rally car. It wasn’t. It was a stan­dard car that couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pud­ding!

“Rob [Arthur, co-driver] and I were a bit sur­prised when we tested the thing be­fore the start, but we said we’d give it a go. With the typ­i­cal RAC con­di­tions be­ing pretty wet and muddy, we were ac­tu­ally able to set some half-de­cent times. I think we beat Rob­bie [Head] on one stage. He was in his Re­nault Me­gane, but he just couldn’t get the power down – I didn’t have any of those prob­lems: I didn’t have any power and we only had these re­ally nar­row tyres on.

“We made it to the fin­ish se­cond in class, but ul­ti­mately the thing was a suc­cess be­cause it did help get Hyundai in­ter­ested and, of course, Alis­ter drove for the team for a few years after that.

“Fol­low­ing that, I’ve been down for his­toric cars mainly – and I’m cer­tainly look­ing for­ward to be­ing back in the Mag­num this week­end.

“If this had been my top 11 mo­ments – and there could have been a good few more – then 2003 would have been in there. John Lloyd loaned me his Group A Subaru Im­preza 555 for the event. Pauline Gul­lick co-drove for me and we had a great run, fin­ish­ing 17th over­all and se­cond privateer. I re­ally en­joyed that, it was fan­tas­tic to get out there and drive a car which had played such a big part in our lives again.

“Great car, fan­tas­tic noise and in­cred­i­ble mem­o­ries. All of them.”

Bog-stan­dard Hyundai Ac­cent got a re­sult, and teed up Alis­ter’s deal

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