The RAC International Historic Rally in recent times has been dominated by Porsche, this year was no different. Six in the top ten, with positions from First to Fourth, going to Porsche. A former MG Maestro rally driver (Bob Bean) who had previously driven in the RAC Rally, but this time at the wheel of his Lotus Cortina, finshed in a very respectable ninth place overall.
There was just one MG entered, and it was a debut drive for David Butler and his co-driver Tony Phillips. The MGB they had entered was running to 1963 FIA specifications. The car was also left hand drive. The cars driver, David Butler is disabled!, and the left hand drive configuration helps him to maintain his competitive edge, as he has demonstrated in the BARC/MGOC, and a fourth place in this years championship is proof of his abillity despite the fact he is a triple amputee!
Apart from the car being left hand drive, Davids race cars have to have some special adaptations, which, have to conform to very strict RAC Motorsport Regulations. This is all preperation time and what you dont't need is to blow up the engine two days before the rally starts. The 48 hours up to the rally were a race against time, Davids BARC/MGOC race car became the donor for a replacement engine, and because this all happened at the last minute, the cars first test came during the rally, on the very first stage.
Weather conditions were appalling, and they had to drive over ice and
through snow, (typical RAC weather) which even many of the modern rally cars
had difficulty with. For any car to finish is an achievement and finish the
With two days of difficult driving, including the infamous Kielder Forest, in a car not tested fully and driven by a man with only one arm and no legs, I should say 14th place overall was pretty good!
In fact the MGB was in the same class as the 911 Porsche, and finished ninth in the class.
Because of this tremendous achivement, the pair David Butler/Tony Phillips will be seen again competing in future, historic rallies.
We look forward to it!
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