Wednesday 19 April 2023

Rally - Ford Puma

20 years ago … If your mind conjures up the image of a Ford Puma rally car, you may think of turbos, wings, four wheel drive, compact SUVs and FIA World Rally, but 20 years ago it was different.

The original Ford Puma rally car was a svelte front wheel drive coupe initially with a 1400cc engine but later 1600cc. In a bid to get ‘youth’ more interested, Ford introduced the Ford Racing Puma 1400 Rally Championship for ‘standard’ similar spec cars. A ten round competition for these cars was created to attract youngsters and rally newcomers to the series and perhaps find a new rally champion who could progress through the ranks. The championship was attractive with a first prize of £1500 for the winner of each round. Second got £1000 and third received 500 quid.

A couple of cars came north and oddly enough, with the McDonald & Munro Speyside Rally this coming weekend, there is a Speyside Rally connection, for exactly 20 years ago, this picture of two ‘young’ hopefuls was taken with one of those cars. Sadly neither of them went on to world rally greatness but both left a lasting impression on the sport and continue to do so now. One of them is forever getting his hands dirty and has a big reputation for building and fixing rally cars, while the other is one of the country’s top co-drivers and foremost rally organisers.

And, as if to prove rallying must be good for you, they really don’t look all that much older than they did back then.

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