Hi everyone, I’m Paul. Some of you may have seen me and my stunt team doing demos and displays at events like Ford Fair over recent years, but as well as driving around on two wheels, J-turns, and parallel parking in ever decreasing gaps, I’m a bit of a Ford nut and also like to spend my weekends getting my kicks and thrills from chucking my Mk2 Escort through around a rally stage. You see, while the day job allows me to drive (and, let’s be honest, hoon around in) the latest Ford models, I love the thrill of competitive motorsport at the weekend.
And that’s where these pages come in. I’ve long been a fan of Fast Ford mag, and with the rally season just about to get underway over the winter months, I thought it would be great to show you guys what we get up to when not performing stunt displays. The car we use is a Mk2 Escort, which has been fully prepared for national rallying. Under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre Millington engine kicking out 300bhp-plus, coupled to a sequential gearbox with paddle shift, plus all the Group 4 suspension upgrades you need to be competitive in rallying.
Our first rally is the Jim Clark Rally in early November, but we’ve been using the Escort as much as we can before then. For example, if you attended Ford Fair this year you might have seen the car as part of our gymkhana displays at the show. I have to say, it was great fun too. Being able to throw the Mk2 around a tight and twisty gymkhana course against members of the Stunt team in the more modern Focus RS, Mustang, and Fiesta ST was brilliant. I even managed to get out on track for a couple of sessions too, as part of the Fastest Fords track sessions. This might not be the Mk2’s natural habitat (it would have much preferred a couple of hairpins and the odd handbrake turn!) and I was out alongside some incredibly powerful machines and purpose track cars, but the old-school Escort did really well. It was a great fun!
It may have been one of the oldest cars there, but it went down well with the crowds. It seems the love for a Mk2 Escort is still strong with Ford fans! So, if that’s the case I hope you’ll like reading about my antics in rallying over the next few months, when the Escort gets to do what it was really built for…