visit the balls-out golden era of british rallycross

Photo credit: VHS Rallies/YouTube

This week on Rally Go-Go!, we turn the time machine to December 4, 1988, when England's historic Brands Hatch Circuit hosted the British Rallycross season finale.

Hark! It's Rally Go-Go!, a hit of vintage rally footage designed to send you sideways into the weekend.

The finale's format saw 60 drivers compete across three classes for a race win and the season's crown. Tiff Needell, former racing driver and co-host of Top Gear, picked up pole position for the first heat's second race and gave a live dispatch from his Metro 6R4's cockpit. The ensuing race footage, shot from the cockpit of Tiff's metro, is some of the most scintillating rallycross film you'll ever see.

The live in-car reports paid off later when a suspension component snapped and sent Needell careening off course. He lamented after the action, “Now I'm bloody out.”

The crescendo arrives with the Group A final (which Needell narrowly missed). On pole, an RS200 Evo, complete with fender flares and battle scars, piloted by then British and European Rallycross champion, the Norwegian Martin Schanche. Filling out the front row are an MG Metro 6R4 and a turbocharged 700-hp E30 M3 equipped with four-wheel drive.

You'll have to check the footage to watch this race unfold. Needless to say, like any rallycross, the race is fueled by carnage and most of the field spend their time sliding or on two wheels. That the late Murray Walker's legendary commentary is laid over the visual spectacle is just a cherry on top.

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