Group A monster returns with Rouse-backed Sierra RS500

by Nik Berg
1 November 2021 2 min read
Group A monster returns with Rouse-backed Sierra RS500
Photo: CNC Motorsport AWS

A legend of Touring Car racing is being brought back to life. CNC Motorsport AWS is building three examples of the 1990 Andy Rouse Engineering (ARE) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Group A race car which will be eligible for historic racing.

In its heyday the be-winged “Cossie” dominated touring car series across the world, winning championships in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan. The homologation special was built on a special three-door version of the popular Sierra family car and, as the name suggests, just 500 road-going versions were made.

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CNC’s continuation cars will be in full race trim with a 575bhp, Cosworth-designed, two-litre four-cylinder under the bonnet. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a Getrag five-speed gearbox and a nine-inch viscous differential.

“Demand for competitive Group A machines is rising, enabling access to some of the best motorsport events around the globe for correct cars,” said Alan Strachan, founder of CNC Motorsport AWS. “RS500s are great fun to drive, relatively easy to maintain and considerably more affordable to run than Super Touring cars.

Andy Rouse Sierra RS500
Photo: Jakob Ebrey

“RS500s are also a great draw for the fans that fondly remember these fire-breathing monsters. 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.”

Whether at Brands Hatch or Bathurst the Sierra RS500 always wowed the crowds so the prospect of three “new” examples taking to the track in historic races is very appealing. The first car will be even be built on a previously unused “909” Ford Sierra Motorsport bodyshell, and Andy Rouse himself is fully behind the project.

“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,” said the touring car ace.

Prices start at £185,000 and the first car is due to be ready early in 2022. Now take a moment to remember what made these cars so exciting to watch racing in the first place, as Andy Rouse and Steve Soper slug it out in the BTCC, at Brands Hatch in 1988…

Read more

Magnus Walker explores Fast Ford Fever with an Escort Cossie
Tracking down my old Ford Sierra Cosworth after 31 years was easier than you’d imagine
British touring stars: When the Capri, SD1 and Cosworth ruled saloon car racing

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