October 15th 1977

rally logo WSSCC logo

The Castrol 77 was a corker with an entry list containing Russell Brookes, Pentti Airikkala, Markku Alen, Hannu Mikkola, Andy Dawson, John Taylor, Billy Coleman, Nigel Rockey, Paul Faulkner, Tony Drummond, David Stokes, Tatu Vatanen, Jimmy McRae, Graham Elsmore, Will Sparrow, Malcolm Wilson, Robin Eyre Maunsell, Terry Kaby and more. There was only one Escort in the top first six seeds such was the variety of car types. The winners time was over 106 minutes; unimaginable for a one day rally of only 7 stages.

The Motor sponsored RAC Championship and the Castrol / Autosport National Championship were rising to a climax on the event. With the Lombard RAC rally only weeks away the superstars were there to test their cars and settings. Although winning the Castrol was not everyone's top priority, nevertheless the speeds on the stages showed there was fierce rivalry for that top spot.

This was the era of fast developing technology and nowhere did this show more than in tyre development. Punctures were a universal problem and the correct choice of the right tyre for the stages between the old M&S pattern and the state of the art 'A2' was vital.

Hannu would have been a clear winner had he not suffered a catastrophic puncture in the second Hafren. Russell proved how fast he was by nearly reaching the top spot after a slow start. Jimmy McRae rolled on stage 1, Myherin.

It was however Pentti who eventually came out on top by 29seconds.

The 1977 Castrol was was as good as a one day event gets and the party on Aberystwyth Pier proved it.