Escort WRC      


January 1999

The Escorts public debut. The 1999 Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham. The car was just a static display due to the lack of parts. Namely the engine.

Lydden 2002

Rod being pursued by Jim Pocklington in his ex BTCC Vauxhall Cavalier GSI. Shortly after this photo was taken the Vauxhall was on it's roof after a failed overtaking move at Paddock Bend.

Lydden 2002

The Rollers ! These generate alot of interest when we use them. They are used to warm up the transmission which in turn eliminates the inevitable damage that would be caused by putting over 450bhp through cold gears.

Brands Hatch 2002

Another of our great racing rivals. David Lees in his magnificent Porsche. This photo was taken during the Winter Sports Saloon Challenge. At the end of a race long battle the gap was just 0.325 of a second. We believe this to be our closest ever finish.

Silverstone 2002

Red Sky and Wet Track ! This must be a picture in a million.

Now it only leaves us to capture the elusive flame spitting shot.

Snetterton 2004

The elusive flame, caught on camera.

Courtesy of

Snetterton 2004

Brands 2004

Brands Hatch

Photo by Gary Hawkins. These photographers are getting good. That's two in one year!

Lydden 2008

by Rhys Herrington

Lydden 2008

by Rhys Herrington

Brands 2008

by Mark Rider

Brands Hatch 2011

Brands Hatch 2011

Brands Hatch 2011

Brands Hatch 2012

by Rodney Tietjen

Brands Hatch 2012

by Rodney Tietjen

B.E.S.T Promotions  July 2009 view here
Featured in...August 2010 view here


We have owned the Escort since December 1998. Originally the pieces were purchased by Julian Swayland with the idea that we would rebuild it in return for using it to race, get it up the front of the grid and then Julian would sell it having made a nice profit.

On day one the shell arrived in the back of an enclosed trailer along with rest of the car in various pieces in lots of boxes in the back of the van. The advert stated that a rolling shell was for sale, except as we found out there are different interpretations of the word "rolling". In our case it meant the castors that the shell was bolted to ! As the boxes were unpacked one by one it slowly dawned that many of the parts were not very useful, as they were either way past their prime, or for a different car all together.

However, after spending more money on silly parts and many hours adapting others, the car was in one piece by early March 1999. The car was taken across the road to Brands Hatch for what was to be a shakedown but we have never been so embarrassed. The noise was unbearable and Rod could not get any drive unless in first gear with extremely high rev's ! Our friend Simon from Sileck investigated the problem only to advise us of an electrical fault as well as an engine management gremlin. Yet more money and appreciated help from the experts the car was ready for it's first race at Lydden on April 10th, a few weeks later.

After 18 months or so of development, we decided that the amount of work we had put into the development we could not  simply let it go, so we bought it from Julian and have been running and developing it ever since.

Today we enjoy this car immensely. It is reliable safe and quick. There is very little out there that can beat it and in some ways that is a shame because we also enjoy a challenging race. But let's not forget the car is only as good as the driver in it.

The Specs

Weight. 1147 kilos

1998cc Turbo charged Ford Cosworth Engine

Garrett T4 Turbo

Eight injectors / water injection

541 b.h.p

 403lb ft of torque ( 350lb @ 4000rpm )

1 litre of Unleaded fuel to 1 mile

Four Wheel Drive

Ford Motorsport six-speed gearbox

0 to 60 mph time of 3.4 seconds

Top speed estimated at 160 mph

330mm Front Brake Discs / 315mm Rear

10 x 17 inch wheel rims with 265/30 Dunlop Tyres

Engine Builder. Harvey Gibb Specialist Car Services



This page was last updated Wednesday April 08, 2020 09:23 AM

Copyright Rod Birley & Shawn Herrington.