The winner of the inaugural Ford Escort Challenge, the all-new category for Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 rear-wheel drive Escorts within the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, will win a custom made and fitted Simpson Race stainless steel exhaust system, courtesy of Scott Williams Motorsport.
The Wales and Ospreys rugby star is a huge motorsports fan, and has quickly established an impressive reputation for building stunning modern rallying Escorts. Much of what he creates is produced in-house, with the building of a new facility set to make the business even more self-sufficient.
This remarkable Escort Challenge prize, which is worth up to £2,000, is something that Scott himself said that he’d like to win. Unfortunately, his continued recovery from injury and a desire to return to top-class rugby as soon as possible ensures that he will not be able to rally and attempt to win his own prize this year – although several of his customers will be giving it their best shot!
The winner of the Escort Challenge will be determined by a class index of performance points calculation. The winner of each round will be awarded 30 points, with 28 points for second, 27 points for third and so on down to two points.
The Escort Challenge has struck an immediate chord with competitors, with no fewer than 16 drivers already signing up for the series.
The 2018 class B11 champion Paul Doroszczuk has registered for the series in his normally aspirated Cosworth-engined Drockspeed Motorsport Escort Mk2, while double class B12 champion Mike Pugsley returns in his gorgeous 1974 Escort Mk1 RS2000. Class B13 champion Darren Atkinson, who finished an incredible sixth overall on last year’s Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally, is also back in his Atkinsons Sandblasting/Dennison Trailers/S&W Fabrication-backed Ford Escort Mk2.
Phil Turner, who has previously won his class on the Tour of Epynt and Manx, returns in his Toovey Race Engines/ST Motorsport Escort Mk2, as does Mark Jasper who had such a fantastic run on the opening day of last year’s Manx in his Smith & Jones 2.5-litre engined Escort Mk2. Ross Brusby, who was up to an incredible fourth overall on the 2018 Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally before gearbox failure intervened, is coming back in his Chesterfield Transporters-backed Ford Escort Mk2.
They will be given a run for their money by a host of rapid Championship newcomers, including Richard Cookson, Alan Marriage, David Wright, Mark Kelly, Graham Muter, Dyfrig James, John Richardson, Peter Jackson, Stephen Ellison and Tomas Davies in a Scott Williams Motorsport built and prepared Millington-engined Mk2.
The opening round of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship is the Legend Fires North West Stages in Lancashire on 20/21 March.
Scott Williams said: “I am delighted to be able to support the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship with a prize for the Escort Challenge winner. I wanted to offer something that I’d like to win myself, and something that I could put to good use next season, so hence we came up with the idea of a custom made and fitted Simpson Race stainless steel exhaust system. We do everything in-house here at Scott Williams Motorsport, so the winner of the Escort Challenge will have the exhaust system built to his car’s precise specification. To go with the tyre incentives offered by Protyre and the other trade awards from the likes of Mintex and Nicky Grist Motorsports, I hope competitors agree that the Simpson Race Exhaust is a pretty cool thing to win!”
Jane Evans, Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship Co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted that Scott Williams Motorsport has offered such a fantastic prize for the winner of the new Escort Challenge. Scott is a huge supporter of rallying and his motorsport business has quickly gained a reputation for building some truly exceptional modern rallying Escorts, and it’s a very generous award – not only in value, but also in the time and effort it will take to custom make and fit the stainless steel exhaust system. It’s a privilege to have Scott involved with the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, and we look forward to seeing him return to a rally car, and back on the rugby pitch, as soon as possible! We’ll also be presenting the top three in the Escort Challenge with a trophy each at the end of the season, so it will be fascinating to watch the crews battle it out to see who will be the first to put their names on the silverware.”