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Austin Rover "Rally Sprint" Rally Drivers v Grand Prix Drivers.

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  • #16
    There are some images of the 84 and 85 programs on this webpage (and one image of the 83 event -probably captured from the BBC footage):

    There's also an article here where racing driver Mark Hales describes his (and Steve Soper's) work setting up the 85 Montego Turbos for the Rallysprint:
    Last edited by John C; 30th January 2012, 13:35.


    • #17

      A brief mention of it here:
      "single stage 1978 Texaco Rally Sprint a staged for TV event run at at Esgair Dafydd, in Wales, won by Per Eklund in a later Triumph TR7 with Tony Pond coming second in the #6"

      The name 'Andy Dawson' also came up ref the Lancia Stratos:
      "In November 1978, as the works cars were being retired (new regulations had made them less competitive) Andy Dawson drove it to a last victory at
      the Rallysprint at Donington"

      Austin Rover appear to have at least sponsored 1 event prior to '83:

      The excellent racing of the AR Rally Sprints has stuck in the minds (or come to the notice) of many:
      even including people on the other side of the Atlantic or in Australia!
      Last edited by John C; 30th January 2012, 14:16.


      • #18
        The Donington event WAS occurring in the same year as the Wales event:


        • #19
          Subject: 1982 Austin Rover Rallysprint

          This is a message from VHSRallies at TenTenths Motorsport Forum ( ). The TenTenths Motorsport Forum owners cannot accept any responsibility for the contents of the email.

          To email VHSRallies, you can use this online form:


          This is the message:

          Hi John,

          Hope you don't mind the cold-call email but I was doing a lot of digging today around the Austin Rover Rallysprints and you seem to have been doing the same yourself - albeit about eight years ago! I found a very informative thread fed by you on the Montego/Maestro owners club forum but I can't post there because I'm not a member and don't own either vehicle. Go figure.

          You may not be aware of the VHS Rallies project. I'm trying to track down old VHS tapes of rally footage - almost all of it recorded off TV in the 1980s - and preserve it. Some of it gets shared on my YouTube channel ( but I also return MP4s to the original tape suppliers. We've found some absolute gems so far.

          Anyway, I thought you might like to know that there was indeed a 1982 Rallysprint at Donington which ran alongside the 1982 Esgair Dafydd Rallysprint. Or rather, Esgair Dafydd was much earlier in the year - I'm thinking April time, because it was shown on Grandstand on 3 May 1982. Others have uploaded footage from that event on YouTube and conditions appear very dry and dusty.

          The Donington Park event took place, I believe, on Saturday 23 October 1982. That's because I've recently discovered a copy of Autosport dated the 28th October 1982 which has a report on the event in there - so it would have been the previous weekend.

          I can confirm that the drivers competing were Keke Rosberg, John Watson, Nigel Mansell, Derek Daly, Stig Blomqvist, Pentti Airikkala, Terry Kaby and Tony Pond.

          The cars used for the autotest were Triumph Acclaims. The cars used for the circuit race were MG Metros.

          The rally cars used were a Vauxhall Chevette HSR (XEG 550X, the same car Russell Brookes used to win the 1983 Circuit of Ireland) and a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus (a car used by Guy Frequelin on the 1981 RAC Rally, PVC 999W).

          The final results were Pond 1st, Blomqvist 2nd, Airikkala 3rd - comprehensive whitewash for the rally boys.

          Intriguingly, though, the commentary makes reference to how a third rally car had been meant to be used - a Lancia Stratos. But Murray Walker says that Derek Daly drowned the engine three times in the car so organisers gave up on it.

          This car *was* used, however, on an ADDITIONAL rallysprint event which took place on, I believe, the same day - or at least, the same weekend.

          Called Austin Rover Speedstars '82, it featured at least a few of the same roster as the main event - so Nigel Mansell, Tony Pond, Derek Daly and John Watson - but added competitors from additional disciplines: Derek Bell from sportscars, hotrod star Barry Lee, superkart driver Dave Buttigieg, speedway rider Tommy Knudsen, trials rider Mick Andrews and downhill skier/sometime F1 racer Divina Galica.

          Contestants completed a rallysprint (in which the same Chevette and Sunbeam were used, along with a Toyota Celica TwinCam, an Escort RS1800 and the aforementioned Stratos), a Metro race, a Metro autotest, a cycle race around the Donington circuit (!) and finally a motocross race in which Pond had a colossal crash and ended up in a heap on the ground.

          I have recently converted complete footage from both of these events and will be uploading it to my YouTube channel in due course. But the light/conditions look identical, making me think that Speedstars and the main Rallysprint were held on the same day.

          Anyway, just thought you might find this of interest and worthy of posting in the Montego/Maestro forum. Would you like me to send you a link to the YouTube vids when they go live?

          Kind regards,



          • #20
            Further update from the above gentleman:

            "The 1982 Rallysprint video is live now (link below). 1982 Austin Rover Rallysprint

            Speedstars 82 will be on the channel in a few weeks' time. "


            • #21
              That's excellent work there john
              1958 Ford Consul Convertible. I love this car
              1965 Ford Zodiac Executive. Fab cruiser being restored
              1997 Jaguar Xk8 Convertible. Such a fab car
              2003 MGZT V8. BRG and new project
              2004 MGZT cdti. Great workhorse
              2004 MGZT V8. Black I love this car