Whilst Duckhams association with Ford in motor racing transcended just about every strain of the sport, including the BTCC RS500’s and Mondeo’s, Formula Ford Van Diemen team, Team Surtees Ford in F1 and so many others – they enjoyed particular success in rallying.
Over many years Duckhams had been backing the top drivers in some of the lower tiers of the sport and there was no shortage of British Rally Championship entrants running on Duckhams Q. In the case of some of the major events like the RAC Rally for example, Duckhams provided a mobile back-up service for all competitors, including privateers, to look after their lubrication needs on the event and not just engine oils.
Through something of a stroke of luck, Duckhams colours ended up on the World Rally Championship Ford Escorts.
The Rothmans Team was a privateer entry rather than a works effort headed up by the legendary Ari Vatanen after Ford had switched focus to their ill-fated RS1700T project.
The Rothmans Team was managed by David Sutton and had secured backing from a fuel company originally, but the colours clashed with the livery of Rothmans who vetoed the partnership. The fuel company pulled out at a late stage and subsequently, Sutton called in Ron Carnell at Duckhams, for a meeting with the main sponsor. At that meeting, a deal was done to satisfy both Duckhams and Rothmans and so the team ran with the Duckhams livery on the car.
The partnership resulted in a Drivers World Championship victory for Ari Vatanen with Duckhams and the ‘Q’ range of motor oils in 1981, a feat never achieved by a privateer team before or since!
The car pictured here at CarFest in 2017, won the Safari Rally in 1977 and the Rally of Cyprus twice in 1979 with Ari Vatanen and then in 1980 with British rally driver, Roger Clark. Malcolm Wilson drove it in the 1981 Manx International Rally gaining 3rd overall.
Originally in a private museum, the 240 brake horsepower Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 pictured here, was brought back by its current owner to the UK in 2002 and fully restored. It has since been seen at CarFest, Killarney International Rally of the Lakes and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and remains an important part of Duckhams history.
Duckhams Q20w-50 is still formulated with motorsport quality at its core – why not check out the current range of products here: https://www.duckhams.com/range/