In the southern part of Belgium, just off the French border, in the vicinity of the old Chimay racetrack, this is the second year of the event, which has been dedicated to one of the most iconic rally cars – the Ford Escort. And this is Escort Rally Special Rally.
Launched in 1968, the model has established itself in rally stages and is well-loved by many crews and fans to date. In 1979 the Swedish Björn Waldegård won the World Rally Championship with this car, exactly 40 years ago. This event is to honor this anniversary as well as to honor the Swedish champion. But most of all it is to see old friends, talk to and compete with other fanatics of this model.
It is impressive that almost 100 Ford Escort MK I and MK II drive to south Belgium. Most are Belgian crews, but so are many British. Slightly less German, Dutch and French. The event is full of non-competing but adorned Escorts of various years and modifications. And amongst the crews, stars like former WRC pilot, asphalt master Francois Duval, C.Mcrea’s brother, and Asian champion – Alister Mcrea, Frank Kelly – who has a 224 start with the Ford Escort MK II and so on.
And apart from such an event, the old Ford Escorts MK I and MK II are still full in a rally world. Especially a lot of them in same Belgium or Great Britain. In some countries, these cars run in the Historic class, while in others, they race among all modern cars. Many drivers have described it as the easiest and the most fun car to drive in history.
Last year unbeatable was British Frank Kelly, who can be said to have grown up with his own MK II. But this year, Frank had to recognize the advantage of Belgian Francois Duval. Over 117 kilometers of asphalt, the Belgian won the event over a minute.
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Photo – Alexis Joye