RS2000 Kit Car
Rally 1994
Rally 1995
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1994 was something of a test year for the new RS2000. Escort 1994It didn’t compete in any full championships, but was used on a number of events to test its capabilities and help develop the car into a competent package.

GSE had improved the car a lot from its humble road-going beginnings, and it was already showing promise. Much of the early driving was done by Eric Mauffrey; a Frenchman with a lot of rally experience, who would go on to drive Peugeot’s 306 Maxi kit car. He drove the new Escort on a select few rounds of the French championship, including the Rallye de Rouergue, where he finished 11th overall, and the 1994 Rallye de Touqet, where he broke into the top ten, finishing nineth overall. Further development had also been carried out on the tarmac of Ireland; known for its tight, challenging roads.

Manx International Rally

Eric MaufferyGwyndaf Evans, who had been involved with Ford for a number of years, had also been assisting in developing the RS2000, and the car made its first appearance in the British Rally Championship with Gwyndaf at the wheel. The 1994 Manx International Rally was more than just another test however; it would decide the fate of the new car. The British championship was regarded as one of the toughest in the world, and the new car had a lot to prove amongst the established Nissan and Vauxhall teams. How the car performed here would decide whether it would gain full entry into the highly competitive series the following year. The new Escort was certainly attracting attention before the event. There was a lot at stake here and Evans didn’t disappoint. The RS2000 took to the tricky Manx lanes like a duck to water, and the experienced Evans made a big impression on the F2 standings for the whole first day of the event, leaving many of the more experienced teams in his dust (and tyre smoke at times!).

Eric MaufferyDay two started well, with the car still hot on the pace, despite a few teething troubles, including a faulty intercom. Even with the initial troubles, Evans was laying second of the F2 cars and sixth overall. However, Ford weren’t to get the dream start they had hoped for. As day two drew to a close, Evans and co-driver, Howard Davies, blasted into the infamous Castletown stage and noticed a problem. The car started to feel vague at the front end, and at the end of the stage it became clear there was an issue. The front crossmember had cracked near the left hand track control arm mountings and, with no time to fix it in the following road section, they were forced to retire. They’d done enough however - the car had proved itself and a full British program would follow in 1995.

 

Network Q RAC Rally

Gwyndaf EvansTo finish off the 1994 season; Evans and Davies returned in another RS2000 for the fearsome RAC Rally. Now wearing Rapid Fit sponsorship, the car stormed to its first Formula 2 victory, proving it was just as at home in the forests as it was on the tarmac, giving even more hope for the rapidly approaching 1995 British Rally Championship, which used many of the same roads found on the RAC Rally.