Martin Schanche Rallycross Escort Mk2

Whilst supplying the Works Escort Mk2's for Ford in this period, Gartrac was also supplying parts and Bodyshell's to the general public. Rallycross was becoming extremely popular and the escort was being used with some success.

In 1978 John Welch introduced Martin Schanche to Dave Bignold. Martin had ideas of building a special Escort Mk2 for the European Rallycross Championship and wanted Gartrac to design and build the car.


1978 - Martin Schanche Rallycross Escort Mk2

Martin Schanche Rallycross Escort Mk2

The bodyshell was extensively modified, the main feature being that the outer body was lowered over the floor pan to get the weight as low as possible. The front suspension and rear axle were moved forward to effectively move engine and gearbox track, to aid balance and traction. The roll cage was quite extensive and picked up suspension mounts to stiffen the car as much as possible. Soft springs with new shocks were fitted and controlled by uprated front and rear roll bars.

The car was powered by the first Ford BDA engine, then at a later stage, by a 2 litre Zakspeed turbo with almost 350 BHP and massive torque, which was unheard of at this time. The car was a huge success from the outset and went on to win the European Rallycross Championship in 1978,1979 and 1981 - driven by Martin Schanche.