Thursday, 24 March 2016

RML / Triple Eight BTCC Vectra

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

'Never meet your heroes,' they say. But they're idiots - meeting your heroes is awesome.
OK, the Vauxhall Vectra has never been the most desirable or aspirational car, but in Supertouring form? Oh, all Supertourers are desirable. Heroic, magical things. Mondeos, Accords, 850s, they were all super-cool, and I had posters of every single one on my bedroom wall in the '90s. So you can imagine my excitement at Goodwood's 74th Members' Meeting this year to find so many of them all in one place, period perfect and ready to roar.

This particular one is a Vectra built by Ray Mallock Ltd (RML) for Vauxhall's 1996 campaign, driven by James Thompson. However, in '97 it was updated by Triple Eight Race Engineering and raced by Derek Warwick in the Sunday Times colours, as you see here. In the intervening time it's been all over the place, driven by various independents in the BTCC, then into the Formula Saloon Championship, and on to the Norway Touring Car Championship before making its way across Europe. But as you can see, today chassis no. V96B-001 is resplendent in the aesthetic of its 1997 glory days, and it looks just magnificent. Like your neighbour's old commuter car, but stickered up, tucking massive multispokes with colossal brakes behind them, a tangle of monkey bars peeping out through the windows. Spectacular.

More pics from 74MM here.

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