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    Ari Vatanen's WRC winning Ford Escort RS1800
    Had a great visit to Beaulieu Motor Museum last week. They have a special display on which includes Ari Vatanen's WRC winning Ford Escort RS1800 from 1981. He came second in the Lombard RAC Rally behind Hannu Mikkola's Audi Quattro to clinch the championship. The last time I saw this car was 34 years ago whilst standing in the freezing rain in a Welsh forest after 3 nights without seeing a bed. Today's Rally GB is a pale imitation of the RAC Rally of those days. This is the itinerary from 1981:-
    Leg 1 Sunday 22-Nov-1981

    SS1 Weston Park 1
    SS2 Sutton Park
    SS3 Donington Park
    SS4 Trentham Gardens
    SS5 Knowsley Park
    SS6 Grizedale South
    SS7 Grizedale North
    SS8 Comb
    SS9 Wythop
    SS10 Greystoke
    SS11 Wark
    SS12 Currick
    SS13 Kielder
    SS14 Splashetts
    SS15 Rooken
    SS16 Rawhill
    SS17 Craik
    SS18 Twiglees
    SS19 Castle O'er
    SS20 Kershope North
    SS21 Kershope South
    SS22 Lambton
    SS23 Witton Castle
    SS24 Hamsterley Forest
    SS25 Hamsterley 2
    SS26 Guisborough
    SS27 Langdale
    SS28 Wykeham
    SS29 Dalby
    SS30 Calderdale
    SS31 Cropton
    SS32 Kilburn
    SS33 Boltby

    Leg 2 Tuesday 24-Nov-1981

    SS34 Oulton Park
    SS35 Weston Park 2
    SS36 Burwarton
    SS37 Knill Wood
    SS38 Radnor
    SS39 Brycheiniog
    SS40 Halfway
    SS41 Crychan
    SS42 Clynsaer
    SS43 Esgair Dafydd
    SS44 Lady Megan
    SS45 Llidad
    SS46 Brechfa
    SS47 Trawscoed
    SS48 Llanafan
    SS49 Myherin
    SS50 Hafren
    SS51 Panperthog
    SS52 Dyfi
    SS53 Gartheiniog
    SS54 Blaen-y-Clyn
    SS55 Hafod Owen
    SS56 Mawddach
    SS57 Maesgwm
    SS58 Beddgelert
    SS59 Great Orme
    SS60 Penmachno North
    SS61 Penmachno South
    SS62 Clocaenog 1
    SS63 Clocaenog 2
    SS64 Clocaenog 3
    SS65 Clocaenog 4
    Rally total: 746.74 km (not including road sections of 2,100kms!!))
    What you can't see from this is that after starting Sunday morning the crews had no rest before hitting Kielder Forest in Northumberland just after dark on Sunday night, looping into Scotland and tackling the Yorkshire stages (Dalby was about 28 minutes alone) through Monday. Then a short rest before starting leg 2 before dawn on Tuesday straight through to finish on Wednesday afternoon. In those days the co-driver (who had no pace notes on UK rallies) would drive the car on the long road sections while the driver slept. Only 54 of the 151 starters finished. Epic.