Mike Pugsley is aiming for an amazing class B12 title hat-trick when he contests the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship this year in his 1974 Escort Mk1 RS2000.
The Welshman, who prepares the car himself in his Bedlinog garage, won back-to-back class titles in 2018 and ’19 – finishing 12th and 10th respectively in the overall drivers’ standings.
“The car has sat motionless since the beginning of 2020, when Covid-19 put a sudden stop to rallying,” says Mike.
“The car was fully prepped and was just about to be loaded on to the trailer for the North West Stages. It’s basically exactly as it was eighteen months ago!”
In contrast to his car, last year was extremely busy for Mike.
“My technical specialty is anaesthesia equipment and lung ventilators, so you can imagine how busy I was,” adds Mike.
“I spent the first part of lockdown installing ventilators in various ICUs and training clinical staff. The company I work for, Penlon Ltd, also provided the lion’s share of ventilators at the Nightingale Hospitals. My team spent a lot of time setting up and supporting these.
“Later, it was Penlon Ltd that supplied the emergency ventilators to the NHS. 11,600 of them in the end – we normally make about 800 per year.”
Mike will be co-driven for a third successive year by Marc Clatworthy, has also been kept busy working at the GE Aviation aircraft engine facility in Nantgarw.
They will contest the opening round of the series, the Epynt MC organised The Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally, which takes place this Sunday (29 August).
Marc then navigates for Ron Morgan (Historic Mk2 Escort RS1800) on the Woodpecker Stages Rally (Saturday 4 September) before re-joining Mike the day after for Round 2 of the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship, the Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally (Sunday 5 September). This will be their first appearance on the Cheltenham MC-organised event.
They have also entered the PokerStars Rally (1-2 October). The Manx Auto Sport organised event is a double-header round of the Protyre MSUK Asphalt Rally Championship.
Picture courtesy of Philip Stewart (philpics.net).