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Scalextric Club 2020-21 Ford Escort
#1

The 2020-21 Scalextric Club Ford Escort Mk1 has just been revealed...

   

It's the very tasty John Fitzpatrick / Yvette Fontaine Chevron-sponsored car from the 1969 Spa 24 hour race - finishing second in class.

To join the club and reserve your Escort for delivery in January 2021, pop over to the Scalextric website: www.scalextric.com/uk-en/memberships
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#2

That is a very classy choice for the latest club car - gone are the days of the super-resistant model with a 'Scalextric Club' decal on it, if you were lucky...

The Scalextric Escorts are very popular and are a great model. This is a thoroughbred saloon car with extra lights for the 24 hour race at Spa...

   

We've already had one John Fitzpatrick Escort from Scalextric this year, plus two previous Mk1s in Broadspeed British Saloon Car Championship colours. Fitz personifies the success of the Escorts on racing circuits in the late 60s and early 70s, but the choice of this car (already produced in 1/24 scale by BRM) also reminds us of Yvette Fontaine's glittering career.

   

Fontaine won the 1969 Belgian Saloon Car Championship - the first woman ever to win a national motorsport championship in Belgium and a major achievement for a woman on the global scale. She had started out as a rally driver at the age of 18, but her career picked up when she begun racing on circuits in 1966, aged twenty, driving an Alfa Super 1600 at Zolder, Spa, as well as in rallies and hillclimbs. Class wins followed in 1967, together with her debut in the European Touring Car Championship with a Broadspeed Escort and also her first taste of single-seater racing in Formula Ford.

Her 1969 appearance with John Fitzpatrick was part of a Ford-backed assault on the ETCC. Their second in class at Spa was followed by a class win for Fontaine at Zandvoort. However, a number of DNFs left Yvette adrift in the points. In the Belgian national championship, it was a different story. Two wins and two more podiums, combined with select ETCC results gave her the overall victory in the Belgian Saloon Car Championship. Although she was unable to defend the overall title in 1970, she did retain the class championship.

Fontaine continued to race Escorts and Capris for Ford through the early 70s, her limited successes matching a decline in Ford's fortunes. She also dabbled in sportscar racing with Chevron and took part in a number of F3 races against the likes of James Hunt and David Purley. A class win in the 1973 Le Mans 24 hours alongside Christine Beckers and Marie Laurent was followed a year later by runner-up in class - and eleventh overall - driving Anny-Charlotte Vernay's Porsche 911 with Vernay and Corrine Tarnaud. After a second place at the Spa 24 hours in 1975 - her best ever result in the race - Yvette Fontaine retired, aged just 29.

Fontaine has continued to make occasional appearances in club events - rallies, hillclimbs and historic races - including at the 50th birthday celebrations of the Ford Escort at Brands Hatch in 2018...

   
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