The 1985 SD1 Vitesse Rover proved to be a formidable weapon for TWR as the team concentrated on winning races rather than scoring points.
Photo: Win Percy Collection
The 1985 and 1986 seasons were to live in my memory as the two most successful and enjoyable of my racing career. I was delighted to be offered, for the first time, a two-year deal by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), the only downside being that I could no longer drive for Toyota in the BSCC. John Davenport, Competition Manager for the Austin/Rover Group, considered the Rover Vitesse and the Toyota Supra to be market rivals, and to have one of their drivers also driving for the opposition would have been totally inappropriate.
Pre-season testing in the Rover went well, I experienced for the first time driving a car fitted with an integral roll cage. The torsional stiffness and complete lack of flexing of the shell came as quite a surprise, but I soon adapted to it and thought it was a fantastic step forward. At that time, I became close friends with Armin Hahne who was teamed with Jeff Allam in the second Rover. Armin was very quick and the funniest man I’ve ever met.
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