THREE NEW GROUP A FORD SIERRA RS500s TO BE BUILT

An official render of the new Rouse RS500. Pic: Supplied

THIRTY-FIVE years after the first Ford Sierra RS500 was born, three more of the turbocharged Group A rockets are to be built in the United Kingdom.

Legendary Ford Sierra builder and driver Andy Rouse has teamed with his former engineer Alan Strachan of CNC Motorsport AWS to bring back the mighty Sierra.

Rouse dominated the Group A class of the British Touring Car Championship aboard RS500s in 1988 and ’89; the same time Dick Johnson and his Shell team were crushing the Australian touring car scene.

CNC Motorsport now plans to build three RS500s to 1990 Andy Rouse Engineering specification, each from an original bodyshell.

This unused ‘909’ motorsport shell is the basis of the first of three cars. Pic: Supplied

The first car features an unused motorsport shell from the era and is set to be completed in 2022; 35 years after the RS500 variant of the Sierra received its Group A homologation.

Sanctioned by Rouse, each will carry an ARE build plate and be eligible for key historic events and series in the UK.

Strachan worked for Rouse in period and has access to drawings and data to reproduce Rouse-specific parts for the cars.

They include front suspension uprights, rear arms, fuel tank enclosures, heated screens, side-exit exhausts and the Rouse-designed steel roll cage.

Each car will use a freshly built 575bhp Cosworth YB engine with input from original ARE engine builder Vic Drake, who in period produced over 100 RS500 engines.

The iconic Sierra RS500 shape. Pic: Supplied

The cars will feature a Getrag five-speed gearbox, Proflex Advanced Technology fuel system and later 9” viscous differential.

They will also include the correct gauges, metal brake master cylinder reservoir and specific ARE build plate and will be supplied in plain white.

Prices start at £185,000 ($329,000 AUD) with options for spares packages and liveries.

“Demand for competitive Group A machines is rising, enabling access to some of the best motorsport events around the globe for correct cars,” says Strachan.

“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.

Rouse in action in the BTCC. Pic: Supplied

“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.”

Rouse is a 60-time BTCC race winner and an outright champion in 1983, ’84 and ’85. He retired from professional motorsport in 1995 and his only project since was the stillborn Jaguar ‘V8 Supercar’.

“The RS500 was lots of fun and of all the cars I raced, the Kaliber RS500 is the one I wish I still had today,” says Rouse.

“When Alan told me he had acquired a brand new bodyshell, we came up with the idea to build correct continuation cars just as we did in our Binley workshop.

“Having seen Alan develop his own engineering business, he was the only person I trusted to build cars that would carry the ARE build plate.”

The Shell Sierra upon its recent arrival in the UK. Pic: Paul Linfoot via Facebook

The birth of three new Rouse Sierras follows a not too dissimilar effort launched by Dick Johnson Racing, under the Formula Sierra banner, in 2019 using a spare shell from the period.

Although the project was started in Queensland the car is now also in the United Kingdom where it will be completed by another Sierra specialist, Paul Linfoot, who owns DJR1 and restored DJR2.