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Old 11 Feb 2009, 22:38 (Ref:2395770)   #1
MG Rover Sport
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1983-85 Austin Rover Rallysprints @ Donington Park

This end-of-season 'friendly' event saw the leading Grand Prix drivers of the time, take on the top International rally drivers of the time on a variety of disciplines. It usually involved a rally stage, a circuit race and an autotest - the winner being the driver with the best result combined from each discipline - but the 1983-1985 era always inolved Austin Rover cars for obvious reasons. Over the years the event used various combinations of Metros, Maestros, Montegos for the races and autotests, but the more powerful Rover Vitesse and MG Metro 6R4 for the 'mock' rally stage.

In those days, I hadn't yet really grasped the benefits of photography, or obtaining the event results at the time, but just wondered if anyone has any photographs, results or recollections of these events between 1983 and 1985?

I appreciate this is a continuation of the late 1970s / early 1980s rallysprints, but it is primarily the Austin Rover sponsored versions that I am interested in. When I get home this evening I'll dig out some Rover and Metro photos and get them scanned in.

Some of the Rover related information will have been included within the (current) 57 pages of the thread concerning the Group A Rover SD1/3500 Vitesse - History & Whereabouts - http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81326

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Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:09 (Ref:2396059)   #2
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Just to move things on a bit, some YouTube clips from the rally stage- Plenty of sideways Rover action,

In 2 parts, the caption says it's 83, but some of the comments posted suggest it might be '84...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH0gGZsObqg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...YnIBUQ6Y&gl=GB
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:11 (Ref:2396061)   #3
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chunterer is going for a new lap record!chunterer is going for a new lap record!chunterer is going for a new lap record!chunterer is going for a new lap record!chunterer is going for a new lap record!chunterer is going for a new lap record!
Nice idea for thread David!! This ought to go well.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:42 (Ref:2396096)   #4
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Originally Posted by KA
Just to move things on a bit, some YouTube clips from the rally stage- Plenty of sideways Rover action,

In 2 parts, the caption says it's 83, but some of the comments posted suggest it might be '84...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH0gGZsObqg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...YnIBUQ6Y&gl=GB
What a fantastic find those videos are. Sideways Rover V8's and Michelle Mouton being flirtatious - The stuff that dreams are made of!
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:43 (Ref:2396097)   #5
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A couple more pics- Mansell in the 'Sandvik'-backed Rover, as seen in the video
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N07/2611511606/

From the same Flickr album, a few shots that seem to have been taken at the same event-
Mansell demonstrating a Williams...
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N07/2611578732/


...and Austin Rover taking the opportunity to show off one of the prototype 6R4s....
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N0...n/photostream/
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N07/2661974124/
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N07/2661930236/
http://flickr.com/photos/27880036@N07/2661104455/


...and another Rover shot
http://flickr.com/photos/estoril/2146117784/

Last edited by KA; 12 Feb 2009 at 12:47.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 12:50 (Ref:2396107)   #6
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Totally off topic for this thread, but these 6R4 pictures have reminded me. Does anyone remember the short film shown on the Grandstand of Tony Pond 'testing' a prototype red & silver 6R4 (probably this one repainted in Computervision colours?).
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 13:56 (Ref:2396153)   #7
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Originally Posted by VIVA GT
Totally off topic for this thread, but these 6R4 pictures have reminded me. Does anyone remember the short film shown on the Grandstand of Tony Pond 'testing' a prototype red & silver 6R4 (probably this one repainted in Computervision colours?).
First prototypes were red....
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_5fXytpBE6FY/R2...WillWR0009.jpg

...later gaining the 60's BMC-style white roof

http://6r4.net/mg/images/stories/york.jpg

...and eventually Computervision colours (or 'Ternco Fuels' blue/yellow for the ITV drama series 'Winning Streak'
http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/4536/ternco1ez5.jpg )

I don't think I ever saw the Grandstand piece though

Last edited by KA; 12 Feb 2009 at 13:59.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 14:29 (Ref:2396177)   #8
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If I could have predicted three forum members that would definitely contribute to this thread, then you guys would have been the three that I'd have chosen! I am glad it is a topic of interest.

Many thanks for the links posted so far. I think most of us have seen these before elsewhere (!), but they are still very relevant to this topic, so please keep them coming. I am hoping for some new material to be found.

Regarding 6R4s - that really is another topic in itself! - but that clip that VIVA GT mentions is also used on the Austin Rover commissioned 'From Genesis to Revelation' video/DVD. I gather this is still available, and the film showed one of the first three prototypes (A656 NJO to A658 NJO) being thrashed around the Gaydon test track by Pond himself.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 15:51 (Ref:2396238)   #9
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Originally Posted by MG Rover Sport
If I could have predicted three forum members that would definitely contribute to this thread, then you guys would have been the three that I'd have chosen! I am glad it is a topic of interest.

Many thanks for the links posted so far. I think most of us have seen these before elsewhere (!), but they are still very relevant to this topic, so please keep them coming. I am hoping for some new material to be found.

Regarding 6R4s - that really is another topic in itself! - but that clip that VIVA GT mentions is also used on the Austin Rover commissioned 'From Genesis to Revelation' video/DVD. I gather this is still available, and the film showed one of the first three prototypes (A656 NJO to A658 NJO) being thrashed around the Gaydon test track by Pond himself.
David, am I really THAT predictable? (I suppose you knew I was going to ask that!)
Oh, and unfortunately, the first link (to the red prototype) doesn't appear to work, sorry...
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 16:05 (Ref:2396255)   #10
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I only remember watching the '84 even on 'Grandstand' Mansell was joined by Jones, Watson, Rosberg from memory from F1 and then there was Pond, Brookes, Vatanen, Airrikala? from rallying or something.

The Rovers were good TV because the rear ends were all over the place.

It was also quality seeing Maestro's or Montego's getting absolutely hammered!!!
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 20:29 (Ref:2396406)   #11
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The '83 event was the first motorsport event I ever visited, and I went to all three.

I'm sure I remember someone rolling one of the 6R4s - can anyone confirm that?

I also remember the foggy event where the cars - Montegos - disappeared for an age. The commentator commented that they'd probably stopped to look for directions.

I also remember some poor spectator on the rally stage standing on a tree stump for a better view. The first car came past, threw up a load of stones and he stepped backwards landing headfirst in the hedge.

Somewhere in the loft I have a few photos, but whether I can find them is another matter.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 20:53 (Ref:2396417)   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIVA GT
David, am I really THAT predictable? (I suppose you knew I was going to ask that!)
Oh, and unfortunately, the first link (to the red prototype) doesn't appear to work, sorry...
Hi VIVA GT - knew you'd say that!

The link wasn't something that I posted though, it is KA's task to resolve your issue.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 21:08 (Ref:2396435)   #13
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I only remember watching the '84 even on 'Grandstand' Mansell was joined by Jones, Watson, Rosberg from memory from F1 and then there was Pond, Brookes, Vatanen, Airrikala? from rallying or something.
1983 was Nigel Mansell 1, Jimmy McRae 2, John Watson 3, Pentti Arrikala 4, Derek Warwick 5, Stig Blomqvist 6, Danny Sulivan 7, and Tony Pond 8.

1984 was Nigel Mansell 1, Michele Mouton 2, Martin Brundle 3, Marc Duez 4, Jimmy McRae 5, Keke Rosberg 6, Per Eklund 7 and John Watson 8.

1985 was Nigel Mansell 1, Kalle Grundel 2, Juha Kankkunen 3, John Watson 4, Thiery Boutsen 5, Martin Brundle 6, Malcolm Wilson 7, and Stig Blomqvist 8.

I'm pretty sure I have copies of all of the old Autosport / Motoring News reports around here somewhere. I'll see if I can dig them out, along with the programmes from each event.
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 21:11 (Ref:2396436)   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolley
The '83 event was the first motorsport event I ever visited, and I went to all three.

I'm sure I remember someone rolling one of the 6R4s - can anyone confirm that?

I also remember the foggy event where the cars - Montegos - disappeared for an age. The commentator commented that they'd probably stopped to look for directions.

I also remember some poor spectator on the rally stage standing on a tree stump for a better view. The first car came past, threw up a load of stones and he stepped backwards landing headfirst in the hedge.

Somewhere in the loft I have a few photos, but whether I can find them is another matter.
I too went to all three Woolley, however I didn't take any photos of the 1983 event for some reason.

I have photos of the £40,000 brand new Clubman MG Mtero 6R4 that John Watson rolled in 1985 with a mere 22.1 miles on the clock! Yes I even tool a photo of the dash where you can make out the mileage. Colin Malkin informed me that it would be stripped for spares and the bodyshell written off!

This was the foggy event that you remember as well, 1985.

I'd love to see some of those photos you mention, just hope you can find them after dangling a carrot in front of us like that!
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Old 12 Feb 2009, 21:33 (Ref:2396450)   #15
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I know I went to the first rallysprint at Donny, but the dates have escaped me a bit. I know he has his detractors, but I love Nige. Always balls out whatever he drove, a true racer.
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