OUR MOTORSPORT HERITAGE
On 27 January 1984, Prodrive competed in and won its first ever event, the Qatar International Rally, the first round on the inaugural FIA Middle East Rally Championship. The Porsche 911 SC RS driven by local Qatari driver Saeed Al Hajri went on to win the 1984 MERC, while Henri Toivonen campaigned the same car in the European Rally Championship. 33 years later and we have competed in nearly 1200 events, winning more than 300 of them and finishing on the podium nearly 500 times.
Perhaps the most iconic moment in the company’s history was Colin McRae’s victory on the RAC Rally in 1995, making him Britain’s first World Rally champion and bringing Subaru the first of three consecutive manufacturers' titles. We brought further WRC titles for Richard Burns in 2001 and Petter Solberg in 2003.
While Prodrive is often best known for its 19 year association with Subaru, around half of all our rally car starts were made with other manufacturers including Porsche, MG, BMW and MINI. Indeed, we first competed in the WRC in 1984 at the Acropolis and won our first WRC event in a privately-entered BMW driven by Bernard Beguin at the Tour de Corse in 1987.
Before our focus on the WRC in the early 1990s, we had already won three British Rally Championships, two Middle East Rally Championships, two Belgian titles and two French and would go on to win four Asia-Pacific titles during the 1990s with Subaru as well as the SCCA Pro Rally Championship in the USA.
Prodrive’s success in rallying is mirrored by our success in circuit racing, a discipline we started in 1987 by running BMW’s entry in the British Touring Car Championship. In 1988, in his first full season, Frank Sytner won the BTCC title outright, and then the team took class B titles in 1989 and 1990. After six seasons with BMW, we went on to run manufacturer programmes for Alfa Romeo, Honda and finally Ford, bringing the blue oval its final BTCC title in 2000 with the Mondeo, at the end of the Super Touring Car era.
In 2001, we turned our hand to sports cars, re-engineering the Ferrari 550 Maranello into a successful GT car and securing the ultimate accolade in sports car racing, by winning the GT class at Le Mans in 2003. This was a feat we were to repeat in 2007 and 2008 with the Aston Martin DBR9 and then again in 2017 with the Vantage GTE through our longstanding partnership with Aston Martin which continues today. In 2016 we claimed the FIA World Endurance Championship GT Teams’ and Drivers’ titles and in 2017 the GTE Am titles too.
While we were competing in sports cars from our Banbury base, in Australia we ran the factory Ford Performance Racing team in the V8 Supercar Series. After 10 seasons, and finishing as runners up on four occasions, we sold the team at the end of 2012.
We returned to a full works rallying with FAW-VW in 2014 developing the VW Golf SCRC for the Chinese Rally Championship winning both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles in our first full year, the manufacturers title again in 2016 and most recently the drivers’ title in 2017.
In 2018 we competed in two FIA World Championships, the FIA WEC with Aston Martin Racing with an all new Vantage GTE and the FIA World Rallycross Championship with an all new Renault Megane RX. We are continuing with both series in 2019.
To see all our championship results please click here.