Historische Rally van Vlaanderen. Halluin, October 1999
Flanders Historic rally, Halluin, October 1999 

The Imp Site
Historic Rallying

Ian Fisher

Ian Fisher started rallying in Scotland, 1967 in a Mini Cooper but he kept crashing. His first Imp he bought in 1969 and his first serious rally Imp he built in 1972 from a new shell, with an Andy Chesman engine.
In 1971 he joined the Craven Motor Club of Reading.
In the seventies and eighties he was mainly a navigator on road rallies, doing the occasional European event (the Hunsruck rally in Germany codriving an Escort RS2000 in 1980 and driving a Mini 1275GT in 1982 and 83, the Manx in 85 codriving a De Tomaso Pantera! He co-drove in a Peugeot 205 on some Belgian and Irish events in 1987).
Mark Fussell is his co-driver (also Craven Motor Club) since 1998. His previous co-driver (the one in the old Ypres photos) was Steve Dear, a friend who lives nearby.

He has been doing Historic Rallies with yellow TRX 73D since 1991 - gradually improving the specifications along the way.

All historic competition cars have to have a Historic Vehicle Identity Form that specifies everything about the car, with photos, measurements and weights. Every modification has to be approved and agreed in advance as being legal for 1967 by an expert on that type of car through the Motor Sports Association (was the RAC MSA), the UK's motor sport governing body. The form has to be carried in the car during the rally so that it could be checked at any time by a technical official who may never have seen that type of car before.

This Imp is a 1966 Sunbeam Imp Sport, set up according to Works specifications of 1967:
[july 2000] front disc brakes, 998cc, R20 camshaft, Webers, close ratio transaxle, fibreglass bonnet and engine cover, Perspex side and back windows, Minilite wheels, RAC springs, Koni dampers, front radiator, etc.
It also has dual brake master cylinders for safety.
The safety rules require a full roll cage, FIA spec seats, FIA full-harness belts and two fire extinguishers.
On events that need it, a plastic sump and transaxle guard are used.

Ian competes in Ireland, France, Belgium and Holland.

"Modern rallying has become far too expensive, and British events are very poor value for money and don't allow closed roads, so when Historic Rallying started growing in 1989 and 1990, and I found I could compete abroad, I had to get another Imp!"
Except for 1999, the car has been very reliable.
"I do all my own work (except machining and paint) and am very well served for competition parts by Malcolm Anderson, with engine work, parts and machining coming from Ben Boult, thus keeping the Chesman connection, I'm pleased to say."


March - Planning to do West Cork Historic Rally, Ireland. This will be the carís 50th rally.


February - Galway Historic Rally, Ireland - 3rd in class
March - West Cork Historic Rally, Ireland - Won Historics + Mike Corns Memorial Trophy

  West Cork 2005
West Cork 2005, photogr.: Ger Leahy, 00353-86-355-0035


March - West Cork Historic Rally, Ireland - 2nd in class
May - Wervik Historic Rally, Belgium - Car in a ditch on its side, no damage


Resting and planned maintenance!


April - TAC Tielt Historic Rally, Belgium - 9th overall, 1st in class
June - Ypres Historic Rally, Belgium - 25th overall, 1st in class
October - Cork 20 Historic Rally, Ireland - finished


December - Killarney Rally of the Lakes Historic, Ireland - 2nd in class

Changed Imp back to 1967 spec: Webers; fibreglass boot and bonnet. Fresh engine that doesn't use a gallon of oil per rally !



In 2000 he and Mark Fussell were doing the Euro Historic Championship (which was called the Moss Championship in 1999).

Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 12:10:45 -0400
From: Ian Fisher
Subject: Imp Competition update
To: Imp Club; Franka

2000, ? 12 Heures des Flandres Historic and Classic Rally, Halluin, France "Won outright! My first win!
That really ends my competition year. I have a long list of jobs on the car before the championship starts again next March."
2000, 16/17 September Le Bethunois Rallye Historique, Bethune, France 7th overall, behind five Porsches and an Alfa-Romeo
2000, ? Euro Historic Championship I still have not heard about the final positions.
2000, 19/20 August BHV Historic Rally, Roosendaal, Holland "Damaged gear selector flexy, but still won my class."
2000, June 23/24 Ypres Historic Rally, Belgium 96 starters, 56 finishers, 26th overall, 13th Historic, First in class.
2000, May 14 Monteberg Rallysprint, Dranouter, Belgium 17th out of 36
2000, March 18 West Cork Historic Rally, Clonakilty, Ireland Finished fifth Historic car
1999, October 23 Halluin Rallye des Flandres going well until differential broke
Built a new 998cc engine from bits I had lying under the bench. Smokes like a chimney but goes well, with the best oil pressure I've ever seen.
1999, September 11 Moss Historic Rally, Bethune overheating and changed fanbelt on stage, but at last finished a rally. As a result, won the 1000cc class in the Moss Historic Rally Championship.
Back to repaired No 2 engine
1999, August 21 BHV Historic Rally,
Roosendaal, Holland
Retired on stage 16 of 17, cracked cylinder head
Back to repaired No 1 engine
1999, June 25/26 Ypres Historic Rally retired, cracked cylinder head
1999, May 16 Monteberg Rallysprint,
Dranouter, Belgium
Strange class system, but finished 26th, 5th in class behind a Porsche 911, Escort TC, MGB and MG Midget Le Mans
Changed to No 2 engine
1999, March 6/7 Rallye des Geants,
retired, cracked cylinder head

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 16:07:09 -0400
From: Ian Fisher
Subject: Imps on Ypres

Disastrous results for Imps on Ypres Historic and Classic ! We had FOUR Imps competing:
  1. 276 - Ian Fisher/ Mark Fussell, Sunbeam Imp Sport 998cc - retired fourth stage, cracked cylinder head, terminal boiling
  2. 286 - Mike Smith/ Keith Fellowes, Californian 998cc - retired fourth stage, fan belt and boiled.
  3. 292 - Geraint Thomas/ Chris Pope, Imp 998cc - retired second stage, stripped third gear
  4. 294 - Nigel Barnett/ Dennis Greenslade, Californian - retired second stage, gearbox


Ypres Historic & Classic Rally

The 6th edition of the Ypres Historic & Classic Rally took place on 26 and 28 of june 1998. It is organised (parallel to the "Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally") by the Sporting Authority of the A.C. Targa Florio - Historic Division at Ypres.
This rally gives qualifications for the "Demon Tweeks Historic Rally Championship" and the Challenge "Albatros - Euro Historic / Classic".

The 1998 edition was a two day event, consisting of 15 special stages and 4 sections. The total distance of the course is 472 km with 238 km special stages, 100% tarmac.

Competing in yellow TRX 73D: car no. 271, Ian Fisher - (codriver: Keith Fellowes) GB in their Sunbeam Imp Sport, competing in class B1. After the first special stage, they were 10th in B1 (90th overall). 2nd special stage (St. Juliaan) they retired with total brake failure

"- a tiny piece of plastic from a new fluid reservoir found its way in to the master cylinder. Spun, through the red tape, sped backwards between rows of marshals' cars, to stop so close to a concrete pole that I couldn't open my door! All without touching anything!."


Ypres Historic rally, 5th edition:
25th overall, 1st in class


Ypres Historic rally, 4th edition:
22nd overall, 1st in class


Ypres Historic rally, 3rd edition:
21st overall, 2nd in class


Ypres Historic rally, 2nd edition:
Last, rust in fuel


Ypres Historic rally, 1st edition:
Retired, dynamo bush

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