Rouse first raced the XR4Ti in '85 (at Silverstone I think?) and I am fairly sure the first Prod Saloon Cosworth came out at the end of '86 - it was certainly due out in '86 but maybe the Escort RS Turbo not being that far of the Colt Stariion stopped it.
For '87 it was definitely about; my late Dad finally got a Moonstone Blue one (he had to buy it in another name though!!) but he also raced one in ThunderSaloons and Production Saloons (a car that has been well-pictured so far in this thread).
Rouse missed the start of the season with the XR4Ti, debuting with a win at the second round, Oulton- think the homologation was slightly delayed?. With the new Sierra absent, Sytner's 635 won the first round. Dave Brodie won at Thruxton when the XR4Ti posted a DNF on it's second appearance, but after that it was all about Rouse- the only interruption was at Brands late season when Tom Walkinshaw dropped in with one of the ETCC Bastos Rovers.
The delay wasn't repeated with the Cosworth- Rouse, Hall and Goode all being out at the first round. Eggenberger did miss the first WTCC round at Mona due to a homologation mix-up, but it was an issue specific to the Eggenberger cars IIRC- as Rouse's car did take the start.
Can't remember when the first one appeared in Prodsaloons, but as you suggest the first Cosworths were
already comepting in 1986. Ford ran a rally challenge on National championship events with backing from Securicor- half-a-dozen or so drivers, each entered by a Ford RS dealer. IIRC the cars were all registered in the 'C2xxxHVW' series seen the cars used in early road tests and publicity pics (always white cars, I think a pre-production batch)
As far as I can tell from memory and some old Rally Sport mags, the drivers and dealers involved were Phil Collins (Brooklyn Motorsport- C240HVW), Chris Mellors (Peacocks of London- C234HVW?), Trevor Smith (Hendy Ford), Rob Stoneman (White Brothers- C233HVW), Dougie Watson-Clark (County Garage, Carlisle- C236HVW?), and I think
Kenny McKinstry?. Were there any others?
A few of them (Collins, Mellors & Stoneman) appeared on the '86 RAC entered as 'Securicor Team Go-Phone' I won't swear to this, but possibly running under a temporary Group B homologation?
Edited by Kevan, 26 November 2009 - 07:38.