Though he was fairly defeated by his younger Finnish team-mate in the David Sutton prepared Escorts on the last British home international, Hannu Milkkola made no mistakes in beating his fellow Finn in Scotland.
Driving the now almost obsolete Escorts once more, the two Finns were in a class of their own for much of the rally. Miltkola gradually built up the best part of two minutes advantage over Vatanen, finally winning by 1m 55s, despite having a deer literally fly into the Ford at speed on one forest track,
Malcolm Wilson, in another Escort which his team had prepared around the ex-works chassis FEV 1T, came within 24 seconds of catching Vatanen by the close of rallying on Sunday night. At that stage they had covered a Southerly loop from Glasgow then across country, before climbing to the Highlands and their night base of Aviemore, ‘home’ for the next two days of daylight rallying.
Sadly Wilson crashed heavily and was still in hospital with multiple ankle fractures when this was written, though due for release to his Lake District home soon after press time.
With Wilson out, Anders Kullang in the much-improved Opel Ascona 400 took up the chase of the Finns, finishing third. Behind was Pond in fourth place and Roger Clark in ninth to celebrate the Triumph TR7 V8’s first finish in the United Kingdom series this year.
Only one round of the Sedan home international rally championship remains — the pace-note Manx event in September. Currently it’s just a question of which Finn will win, though Scotland’s Jimmy MacRae still has a mathematical chance of scooping the honours for Vauxhall. — JW.