Chris Rogan is a long time RMS member, local rally competitor and runs a motor factors in Bangor, so when we had the opportunity to feature his stunning MkII Escort rally car we jumped at the opportunity.
Chris’ addiction to motorsport began with a Megane R26R that he brought to the Trackskills events at Kirkistown. The R26R came from the factory with thin plastic rear windows, a roll cage in place of the rear seating as well as two bucket seats, harnesses and a plethora of power and chassis tweaks. This car was sold as a road legal track car that in fairness lives up to what it is about and is a rapid article. Indeed Chris has set some incredibly swift times around the Nürburgring in it.
The Megane was the first car that brought Chris into the addiction we all know as motorsport. After competing on the infamous Cultra Hill Climb he was hooked and soon after bought a Ford Fiesta to race in the Zetec Cup at Kirkistown. Sadly this story came to a sudden stop with a pretty big roll over the start line after some jostling with other cars.
However this didn’t deter Chris in the slightest, and in April 2011 this stunning Ford Escort MkII was brought home. Chris had fulfilled this part of his bucket list of cars to own. His father Paddy Rogan rallied MkII’s years ago and this love of the model has transferred down a generation and now Chris is seeing what his dad loved about them many years ago.
This was a showroom display car from a Ford Dealership in England, so their main priority was looks. when Chris and his dad set out to buy the car, they knew the key thing they wanted and some may say perhaps needed was a good shell, as this gave a great starting point, many people have commented on how good the shell actually is.
Hence when they purchased the car in 2011, the first thing they set about doing was getting more performance from the standard pinto engine. The car was sent to Willy Kennedy where the Engine was built and prepared by for mostly fast road use and hill climbs, hence the 4:4 diff ratio and twin 45 Webbers.
The car is still running the standard type 9 gearbox to retain road driveability, over a normally specified sequential box. However, a Tran-x LSD was installed in place of the Quaife locker, as it’s a lot more aggressive and coped better with the weight transfer through the corners. WK Developments didn’t stop there however and the suspension also received a full overhaul including bilsten shocks and a harder and higher spring on the front, compared to the rear.
To match the performance, it was decided it would be time to upgrade the brakes, so a set of alloy Willwood Calipers with vented discs found there way onto the car, and this didn’t half make a great difference! It brought the brakes up to something modern, instead of the mushy pedal that was there before.
In the middle of the dash is a fully functional switch/gauge panel finished in satin black to blend in as well as alloy pedal and an alloy foot plate for the passenger and a map reading lamp should Chris decide to do night navigations. Inside the boot is an alloy fuel tank and twin facet pumps to keep the spare wheel company.
When asked what the future plans for the car are Chris replied “I’ll give anything a go, the more I use, the more fun I have in it. I’ll maybe have a go at a rally sprint, a track sprint or two or even an auto test, we’ll have to see”.