Off Road

30 Years Of Prodrive: A Look Back

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30 years ago to the day, on 27th January 1984, Prodrive competed in and won its first ever event, the Qatar International Rally in a Porsche 911 SC RS driven by Saeed Al Hajri.

30 years, 1123 events and 262 wins later, Prodrive is celebrating 30 years in the industry as one of the most successful motorsport operations in the world.

That first rally win has led to a hugely successful three decades in rallying for the company, during which they’ve competed in 472 rallies, 261 in the World Rally Championship, winning 132.

While they are best known for a 19 year association with Subaru, around half of its rally starts were made with other manufacturers, including Porsche, BMW, MG and most recently, MINI.

The most iconic moment in Prodrive’s rallying history came in 1995, when Colin McRae won their first WRC title, a feat Richard Burns and Petter Solberg replicated in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

Alongside its WRC success, Prodrive have also won three British, two Middle East, two Belgian, two French, four Asia-Pacific, one USA and one Irish rally championships.

Three years after its rallying debut, Prodrive delved into the world of circuit racing for the first time, running BMW’s entry in the British Touring Car Championship.

In their first full season in 1988, they won the BTCC title outright with Frank Sytner, which they followed with class titles in 1989 and 1990.

Following their run with BMW, Prodrive went on to run manufacturer programmes for Alfa Romeo, Honda and Ford, the latter producing Prodrive’s final BTCC title in 2000.

Prodrive went on to compete in the V8 Supercar Series in Australia, running the factory Ford Performance Racing team for ten years up until 2012, finishing as runners up on four occasions.

In 2001, Prodrive entered sportscar racing. Their initial efforts with the Ferrari 550 Maranello culminated in winning the GT class at the Le Mans 24 Hour races in 2003, with their partnership with Aston Martin bringing further Le Mans class wins in 2007 and 2008.

At the present time, Prodrive is preparing for a campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin Racing, alongside MINI programmes in rally and rallycross, whilst also supporting customers in Prodrive-built race and rally cars all over the world.

Prodrive In Numbers - Credit: Prodrive

Prodrive In Numbers – Credit: Prodrive

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The Checkered Flag was set up in August 2009 and is dedicated to providing independent daily news and features from around the world of motorsport.
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