One of the best-loved and universally well-regarded managers on the rally scene, Peter Ashcroft was born in Preston, Lancashire and, after a spell at Gilbey Engineering, joined Ford’s motor sport division in 1962.
When Ford Competitions at Boreham was opened in 1963, Ashcroft was one of its stalwarts and progressed from mechanic to engineer until he was running the R&D side of Ford Competitions. For two years he was seconded to Ford Cologne where he worked on the Cologne Capris, before returning to Boreham to become Ford UK competitions manager in ’72. Under his guidance the Boreham Escorts were successful, culminating in WRC manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles in 1979 with Björn Waldegård. With the end of the first Escort era, Ashcroft worked on development programmes including the RS 1700T, RS 200, Sierra 4×4, Cosworth Sierra and the RS Cosworth Sierra before retiring in 1992.
He moved to South Carolina where he died at home on January 27, aged 79.