UK touring car preparation specialist CNC Motorsport AWS is to build three continuation models of the Andy Rouse Engineering-specification Ford Sierra RS500 Group A race cars in collaboration with the four-time British champion.
Each will be constructed from an original Ford Sierra bodyshell to Rouse’s specification. The first chassis, set to be completed by early 2022, will be built from a brand new ‘909’ Motorsport shell, which has been unused and carefully stored since the 1980s. Cars will come with HTP papers, a fuel cell and roll cage certificates and will be ready to race.
Rouse set up Andy Rouse Engineering (ARE) in 1981 with his team winning the British Touring Car title in 1983, 1984 and 1985, each time with a different car. Rouse then worked closely with Ford to develop the Sierra Cosworth into a successful racer before playing a key role in forming the Super Touring rules that transformed the category in the 1990s. Rouse retired from professional motorsport in 1995 and this is the first project he has been involved with since the SCV8 concept in 2003.
CNC Motorsport AWS, founded by Alan Strachan, is a restorer and builder of historic touring cars from the 1970s to 2000s. In the past two years it has built period specification Group A Rover SD1, Ford Sierra RS500 and Merkur XR4TI cars alongside a vast array of machined parts such as brake calipers and wheels that it designs and produces for other restorers and race teams at its Gloucestershire workshop.
Strachan worked for Rouse in period, building and running cars in the BTCC between 1989 and 1992 – the height of the RS500’s dominance in Touring Cars – and from 1993 to 1996. He and the CNC Motorsport AWS team have access to drawings and data to produce the Rouse-specific parts, such as front suspension uprights, rear arms, fuel tank enclosure, heated windshield, side-exit exhaust and the Rouse-designed steel roll cage to create true ARE cars. For the latter, CNC Motorsport AWS is the only producer of period ARE cages certified by the governing body, Motorsport UK.
Each car will use a freshly built 575bhp Cosworth YB unit with input from original ARE engine builder Vic Drake, who produced over 100 RS500 engines. The continuation cars will feature a Getrag 5-speed gearbox, Proflex Advanced Technology fuel system and later 9in viscous differential. Other features include the correct gauges, metal brake master cylinder reservoir and specific ARE build plate. Each car will be supplied in plain white with options for painted liveries.
“Demand for competitive Group A machines is rising, enabling access to some of the best motorsport events around the globe for correct cars,” said Alan Strachan, founder of CNC Motorsport AWS. “RS500s are great fun to drive, relatively easy to maintain and considerably more affordable to run than Super Touring cars. RS500s are also a great draw for the fans that fondly remember these fire-breathing monsters. The cars will be all signed off by Andy, just as we did in period, with the provenance that can only come from the man who engineered and drove the cars to such success.”
Prices start at £185,000 (US$254,500) with options for spares packages and liveries.