Andy Middleghurst at Silverstone in 91 with his supertouring-spec version
Dennis Leech again, Snetterton 91.
Interesting to see Dennis Leech's car in '91- this was the last RS500 to appear in the series. The change-over to the 2-litre normally-aspirated rules (such as Middlehurst's Goode Sierra above) did allow the over 2-litre cars to continue in a restricted form for the first year- Can anyone remember exactly how the restriction was applied? I can't remember if it was turbo boost, minimum weight, tyre sizes or a combination of these?
The future for the Sierra appeared to be the 4-door Sapphire saloon in 2-litre form. Andy Rouse had prepared one for Ray Bellm in 1990, which had a troubled season, missing a couple of races before Bellm called time on it mid-season, although Chris Hodgetts took it over for the last couple of races.
A heavily-Shell backed Trakstar effort in 1991 with a radically engineered Sapphire proved to be little more successful, an unexpected 2nd place at Brands being the high point- the car usually struggled to break into the top 10http://www.stillphot...c91_07.jpg.html
Dave Brodie also tried the Sapphire route, although his was 4wd as I remember- but no more successfulhttp://www.stillphot...c91_12.jpg.html
The Leech RS500 did the first few rounds in '91, before being shunted at Thruxton- Dennis wasn't seen again until the middle of the 1992 season, when he returned with a 2-litre Sierra similar to Middlehurst's, running in his trademark black & orange colours, rather than the white of the RS500. However, the car was never close to being competitivehttp://www.stillphot...brey_w.jpg.html
The final Sierra BTCC appearances were in 1993 by Jim Wheals and Bob Berridge in the ex-Bellm Rouse Sapphire from 1990. Wheals appeared once early season, before selling the car to Berridge who did the second half of the year- the car remained rooted firmly to the bottom of the timesheets. Anyway, by then the Mondeo had arrived...
Edited by Kevan, 17 November 2009 - 19:36.