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When Stuart Turner was appointed Head of Motorsport for Ford Europe in 1983, he quickly came to the conclusion that the company was no longer competitive in those areas that had traditionally influenced sales of their road cars for the past couple of decades. Walter Hayes, having instigated the Cosworth DFV engine and Fords assault on Le Mans with the GT40, was still the driving force at Ford and, not surprisingly, he was enthusiastic about his new colleague's plans to produce a turbocharged Cosworth 2.0-litre engine that would power a Ford saloon in motorsport. Cosworth already had an appropriate cylinder head design that fitted the Ford T88 Pinto block so they agreed to produce the 2.0-litre turbo engine, but only if Ford signed-off a production run of 15,000 units.
When introduced in 1982, sales of the Sierra were a little lacklustre and, as a bit of a marketing boost, it was selected to become the platform for Ford's new competition aspirations. It was rear-wheel drive, had good aerodynamics, albeit being prone to lift at high speeds, and it was available as a three-door, absolutely perfect apart from the aerodynamics at speed but a new body kit and rear spoiler would sort that out. But Ford still needed to build 5,000 units for homologation which was somewhat worrying when Turner's initial approach to the dealer network came back with an estimate that suggested they could sell around 1,500 units! The Sierra's eventual sales record is of course history and Ford went on to sell 5,545 three-door cars including the RS500 and the Cosworth engine also found its way into nearly 30,000 Ford Sierra Saloons (Cosworth 3dr, Sapphire 2wd and 4wd). The Sierra Cosworth comfortably exceeded Ford's wishes and went on to become one of the most successful Touring Car racers of all time, winning races all over the world. In rallying, the Group A Sierra, on tarmac, was equal to all the four-wheel-drive opposition, particularly when Didier Auriol won the 1988 Corsica Rally outright.
Offered here is an immaculately prepared and engineered 'Group A' Sierra Cosworth having had an outright win in March 2018 in the 'Legends' Class of the Rally Isla Mallorca. It began its life as an original DDR Motorsport factory car first used by Frederik Blaresque in the French Rally Championship in 1988. In the early nineties, it was sold and registered in Spain and campaigned by the late Juan Luis Sarasola, a well known national rally driver before being sold once more prior to becoming the property of our vendor, himself a winner of the Rally Isla Mallorca.
The Cosworth had been dry stored for some fifteen years before he embarked on a full restoration and the quality of the work and massive mechanical input have resulted in one of the most competitive Group A rally cars available anywhere today. The restoration of the shell required only a new floor, which is almost a rallying consumable, with the remaining body remarkably sound displaying no structural damage over its lifetime. The original engine block was replaced with one of the last YB200 units from Cosworth and built up with modern know-how. New Mahle pistons, a new crank, and new camshafts were fitted and all other parts replaced where necessary. The engine build was completed by knowledgeable Cosworth engineer, Diego De Casa, with mapping by the specialist, Ahmed Bayjoo, resulting in a reliable 350bhp at 1.7-bar boost. The gearbox is an original T5 with an all-new close-ratio Quaife cluster and quick-shift built and installed by John Roberts of the Tommi Makinen camp. He also assembled the differential which is a 7.5 inch unit with a new Gripper Limited Slip unit and a 4.4 final-drive. The suspension and running gear is all-new Bilstein and Group A 909, built to the original Ford homologation specification, front and rear. The seats, harnesses and automatic FEV fire extinguisher system were fitted new in 2017 and the car has Spanish 'Federation Historic' papers and the equivalent to a UK MOT (ITV). This Group A Sierra rally car is as good as it gets and is offered here at a guide less than half of its likely build cost. Its authentic period factory spec and recent rally success, make this a very desirable rally Sierra Cosworth and, with its Group A racing counterparts making nearly £200,000, this rally car is incredible value and would be welcome at Historic Rally events anywhere.