RS2000 Kit Car
RS Series

This is a relatively unknown area for the RS2000. Many don’t know that the 16v RS ever had a racing career, but it did! The car had actually had a brief start in racing in the 1990s in the Ford-run Rallye Sport Series; with some circuit rounds present in the championship, but there was a lot more to come, Escort Maxi racing Car especially with the advent of the kit variants of the car.

Kit Car Racing

1998 British Rally Championship winner, Martin Rowe, had compared his Megane Maxi to a British touring car and, in many ways, he was right. With highly modified engines, sequential gearboxes and up rated suspension, there were clear similarities. If this was true of the Renault, it could also be true of the Escort Maxi. Indeed, when Ford BTCC driver, Will Hoy, drove an Escort Kit Car at the Boreham test facility in Essex, he even asked why the Escort wasn’t being used instead of the Mondeo! Over in Charouz Racing Escort Maxithe Czech Republic, they also noticed these similarities, and a race series was born purely for kit car variants of Formula 2 rally cars. Information isn’t abundant about this series sadly, but this section will be added to in time, to give a fuller picture.

After the success GSE had on the rally scene with the Escort Kit Car, chief engineer Baz Cannon was soon getting involved with this new series. Competing against other kit car variants, such as the Peugeot 306 Maxi, the Escort Maxi was soon lining up on the grid for its new career as a racing car. Some changes were necessary to make the car truly suited for circuit racing, but the basic package remained remarkably similar to the rally car.Escort Maxi Racing Car

Modifications started with the body shell. This was made stiffer, with a more substantial roll cage. Additional tubes were fitted in the door apertures and in the rear section, making it more like a modern WRC-type roll cage. There were also changes to the suspension. The cars could be stiffer on a smooth circuit, with modifications reflecting this; including a redesigned rear anti-roll bar arrangement.

Engine tweaks went slightly further than the already potent Maxi; boosting power to approximately 290bhp. The seven speed sequential Xtrac gearbox seen in Gwyndaf Evans car on the 1997 Manx International Rally was actually developed with the racing cars in mind, and was used here to give more gearing options and better performance on longer straights, something the rally cars had never had to deal Charouz Racing Escort Maxiwith.

With the changes complete, and a two car team headed by Baz Cannon, the Escort Maxi was ready to take on the race circuits. And, true to form, the car didn’t disappoint, winning the kit car series three years running.

Escort Touring Car

Even in more recent times, the Escort has still been a competitive touring car contender. Charouz Racing, a Czech team, has continued to use the Maxi as a race car well into the 21st century. With one of the Charouz family at the wheel, in Czech Touring Car Championship endurance rounds, the Escort has been used in the up-to-2.0 class with some success. In 2007, at the April Jarni cena Brna round,Escort Maxi Racing Car the two driver crew of Charouz and Blazek finished 26th overall. Then, in June, at the Speedcars Challenge, the pair managed 13th overall. Those results may not sound like much, but considering they were running alongside Mercedes-Benz DTM and Lamborghini Gallardo GT cars, it must be considered a decent result for a rally car that was developed some 10 years earlier!

We will attempt to add more information to this section as we find it, but it is not widely published, so finding details is proving difficult thus far. If you have any information on any kind of racing undertaken by the RS2000, please get in touch and we can make this area of the site even better!