Ford Escort’s history in circuit and rally races



The success story of the Ford Escort in rally sport began on the 16th of November, 1967, when the first Ford Escort, designation type MK I, with its characteristic radiator grille, in insider circles referred to as "Hundeknochen" (dog bone), rolled from the assembly line. The success of the Ford Escort started with the following great successes in rally sport:
The Escort was built in various evolution steps from 1967 until 2000.
The most successful types have been the models Mk I and Mk II, which are still active in motorsport events.

1968: Brand-European champion (there was no world championship)
EC (European Championship) victory rally Akropolis (driver R. Clark)
EC victory rally Tausend Seen (Thousand Lakes) (driver H. Mikkola)
1969: 1969: Brand-European champion (there was no world champion)
EC victory rally Österreichische Alpenfahrt (Austrian Alpine Drive) (driver H. Mikkola)
EEC victory rally Tausend Seen (driver H. Mikkola)
1970: Score of the world’s longest Race London-Mexico (25.640 km):
    1.     H. Mikkola/Palm
    3.     R. Altonen/Liddon
    5.     T. Mäkinen/Staepelaere

In April 1970, Vienna and the Schönbrunn Castle have been a stage stop on the way to Mexico!


In the picture Rauno Altonen, who is a regular participant at the annual “Ennstal and Planai Klassik” in Austria.



The subsequent winning car of the world’s longest rally London-Mexico with Timo Mäkingen behind the wheel at the main gate to castle Schönbrunn.
EC victory rally Tausend Seen (driver H. Mikkola), see the picture below. The Escort’s performance data in rally sports at this point of time: 160 HP

Since 1973, the top model is called Escort RS 2000 and had exactly 100 HP as a standard.
Since 1974, the second generation of the Escort was built as Escort MK II.
In 1979, B.Waldegaard won the rally world championship with it,
so did A. Vatanen in 1981 (see picture below)

A. Vatanens victory car from 1981 (National Motor Museum in Beaulieu)

Parallel to its success in rally sport, the Escort was also part of the touring car sport in the German racing sport championship. 1972-1985, todays DTM (German Touring Car Masters) is extremely successful.
The German racing-sport championship was carried out in 1972-1985, its successor is the today’s DTM!
From 1973 to 1976, Ford won in the division 2 (up to 2000ccm) in the German racing sport championship with the Zakspeed Ford Escort MK II.
2x Dieter Glemser, 2x Hans Heyer (the driver "with the Tirolerhut" – typical hat from Tyrol).

1974 and 1975, Hans Heyer, with the Zakspeed Ford Escort also won the European touring car championship (see picture).





Data of Ford Escort MK II RS 2000, competition number 100 at Histo-Cup, Driver Peter Pöschl

  • year of construction 1978
  • Cosworth Engine, Cosworth cylinder head
  • Cubic capacity 2000ccm
  • 4-valve-technique
  • 2 pieces of Weber dual carburettors
  • ZF-gear
  • Dry sump lubrication
  • Hand made copper water cooled condenser
  • FIA-security fuel tank (45l)
  • Vehicle weight appr. 870 kg (without driver)
  • Approx. 250 HP on the testing bench