RE: Sierra RS500 Donington onboard: Time For Coffee

RE: Sierra RS500 Donington onboard: Time For Coffee

Thursday 16th May

Sierra RS500 Donington onboard: Time For Coffee?

Thirty years since it was built and a quarter of a century since it last raced, this Sierra BTCC car is back in business - and how...



Ask any British Touring Car Championship fan about their favourite car from the series' remarkable 60-year history, and there's a fair chance many will say 'Sierra'. The big-power, big-attitude Cossies of the late 1980s captured hearts and minds like little else, the Group A tin-top era going out in spectacular fashion.

RS500 vids have featured on PH before, of course, though we make no apologies for running one again. Moreover, this a modern vid - from the recent Donington Historic weekend, no less - rather than one of the clips from way back when, meaning better camera and sound quality. And a renewed appreciation for just how loopy fast these cars were.

The RS500 greedily chomps through gears on its way to daft speeds: more than 140mph before braking for Redgate and for the Goddards chicane, for example, and in excess of 110mph all the way down the Craner Curves. Brake and tyre technology have moved on since the 80s, but they sure as heck knew about making cars go.

This video was sent in by reader Julian Thomas; having not raced for 25 years, the ex-Rouse RS500 was bought by him in 2018 and restored to the state you see it in here. He describes it as "one of my favourite racing cars ever" after watching Rouse in period, and says it's "fabulous to drive" - more than 580hp will help with that...

Having dropped to seventh, in this video we see our hero fight his way back through the field. For those with fond memories of the car in period, or those fans who've grown to love Sierras in more recent years, this vid is well worth watching. And to Julian, all the best for the next race!

 

Author
Discussion

Phils-Fast

Original Poster:

4 posts

9 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Love the late 80's, early 90's era touring cars. There's not a single car in that field I wouldn't give garage space too :-)

on another note, I understand how quick the RS500 is, so what the hells in the bay of that mk1 capri he's chasing!!

Evolved

2,084 posts

128 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Next level, looks supremely quick!

Robfow

238 posts

169 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Phils-Fast said:
Love the late 80's, early 90's era touring cars. There's not a single car in that field I wouldn't give garage space too :-)

on another note, I understand how quick the RS500 is, so what the hells in the bay of that mk1 capri he's chasing!!
https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-britishcars/ford-capri-rs3100-onboard-time-for-coffee/39816

One of those, they were quick, and sound so good!

aeropilot

17,831 posts

168 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Phils-Fast said:
on another note, I understand how quick the RS500 is, so what the hells in the bay of that mk1 capri he's chasing!!
Cosworth GAA cool

My favourite RS500 race car was always Tricky Dickie Johnson's red Shell sponsored car - fabulous.

Great to see the Rouse car being used in anger again though.

markcoznottz

4,962 posts

165 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Phils-Fast said:
Love the late 80's, early 90's era touring cars. There's not a single car in that field I wouldn't give garage space too :-)

on another note, I understand how quick the RS500 is, so what the hells in the bay of that mk1 capri he's chasing!!
Hard to make any power advantage stick at donnington.
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Redline88

114 posts

47 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Love watching these older cars! Saw a couple of the old Sierra touring cars at a track day at Brands a few years back. The speed at which they pulled away on the straight was incredible!

SweptVolume

337 posts

34 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Memories of an old Murray Walker video where he described one of these as running with "experimental boost", which presumably means they turned it up to 11 to see if it would get around without exploding.

A fabulous era for motorsport of all kinds.

generationx

2,180 posts

46 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Such a charismatic touring car, from the old days when power easily overcame grip. I saw many races with these vs M3s in period, halcyon times.

Allegedly they were quicker than the F3000 single seaters - in a straight line...

VanquishRider

229 posts

93 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
The Liqui Moly Capri sounded absolutely awesome and the paint livery is one of the best ever. Right up there with Martini and Castrol race colours.





Edited by VanquishRider on Thursday 16th May 12:22

Eviltad

1,319 posts

120 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
I saw it parked outside Denis Welch recently and did a massive double take.

Gandahar

6,407 posts

69 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
aeropilot said:
Phils-Fast said:
on another note, I understand how quick the RS500 is, so what the hells in the bay of that mk1 capri he's chasing!!
Cosworth GAA cool

My favourite RS500 race car was always Tricky Dickie Johnson's red Shell sponsored car - fabulous.

Great to see the Rouse car being used in anger again though.
I always liked the Texaco Klaus Ludwig black ones.

Is there a definitive answer to which of the teams was producing the most horsepower? 550bhp was often bandied about.

Gandahar

6,407 posts

69 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
And why Tiff is always better than Jeremy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33tPMcadFbI

smile

Olivera

3,337 posts

180 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Gandahar said:
Is there a definitive answer to which of the teams was producing the most horsepower? 550bhp was often bandied about.
The Dick Johnson RS500s were regarded by many as the fastest, with a few sources quoting 680bhp with the boost wound up.

s m

17,371 posts

144 months

Thursday 16th May
quotequote all
Olivera said:
Gandahar said:
Is there a definitive answer to which of the teams was producing the most horsepower? 550bhp was often bandied about.
The Dick Johnson RS500s were regarded by many as the fastest, with a few sources quoting 680bhp with the boost wound up.
Yep, they always did really well against the European cars
Robb Gravett’s 1990 BTCC winning RS500 was an old Dick Johnson car too

Housey

2,017 posts

168 months

Sunday 19th May
quotequote all
Gandahar said:
I always liked the Texaco Klaus Ludwig black ones.

Is there a definitive answer to which of the teams was producing the most horsepower? 550bhp was often bandied about.
650bhp was claimed by Dick Johnson, which is frankly astonishing, but explains why his cars ran away from the ETCC cars in the TT back in the day. Comes from his own mouth on a YouTube video I was watching the other day.

s m

17,371 posts

144 months

Sunday 19th May
quotequote all
Housey said:
Gandahar said:
I always liked the Texaco Klaus Ludwig black ones.

Is there a definitive answer to which of the teams was producing the most horsepower? 550bhp was often bandied about.
650bhp was claimed by Dick Johnson, which is frankly astonishing, but explains why his cars ran away from the ETCC cars in the TT back in the day. Comes from his own mouth on a YouTube video I was watching the other day.
“On the dyno we used to run the cars with absolutely no turbo hooked up at all and flat-out they'd honestly have 90 horsepower. Hook the turbo up, give it 2.4 bar boost and suddenly it’d have 680 horsepower. Many good drivers would jump into one of these things, and they wouldn't get around a lap before spinning it. They'd put their boot into it and it would go from nothing to 600-plus horsepower in a nanosecond and they'd be backwards somewhere” - Dick Johnson

aeropilot

17,831 posts

168 months

Sunday 19th May
quotequote all
600hp on tarmac was one thing, but 500hp on loose surfaces was another matter.....and there were some epic RS500 battles back in the late 80's in the Div 1 European Rallycross Championship between Kenny Hansen and Bjorn Skogstad, with additional interference from Trev Reeves and other Scandanvians such as Eivind Opland, Roger Sandberg and Tom Einer Aaserud.
Tom Einer still has his rallycross RS500, after some 30 years ownership, and still uses it in various motorsport events on occasion.

Here in a hillclimb event in Scandanavia last year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xig4a1m-76M


blade7

8,639 posts

157 months

Sunday 19th May
quotequote all
s m said:
Yep, they always did really well against the European cars
Robb Gravett’s 1990 BTCC winning RS500 was an old Dick Johnson car too
If I remember right the engine was shagged when it arrived here though. I think Mountune built the engines that won the championship.

s m

17,371 posts

144 months

Sunday 19th May
quotequote all
blade7 said:
s m said:
Yep, they always did really well against the European cars
Robb Gravett’s 1990 BTCC winning RS500 was an old Dick Johnson car too
If I remember right the engine was shagged when it arrived here though. I think Mountune built the engines that won the championship.
Actually now I think about it, he was only the Class A winner in the old DJR car and Cleland won overall in 89 in the Astra. Best of the Sierras that year though
He won overall in 90 in his Trakstar car with the Mountune engines

Edited by s m on Sunday 19th May 23:11

A1VDY

483 posts

68 months

Monday 20th May
quotequote all
No match for a cosworth GAA, a proper race engine compared to a modified pinto with a turbo..