Video: Escort Accolades Foreshadowed Fitzpatrick’s Subsequent Porsche Success

Englishman John Fitzpatrick, interviewed by veteran journalist Gary Witzenburg for the latest (Jan/Feb 2022) issue of Vintage Motorsport, is remembered today for his great success racing Porsche sports cars and prototypes through the 1980s. Not so well known was the lengthy list of wins and podium finishes as well as the British Saloon Car Championship title in 1966.

Prowling through YouTube, VM’s multi-talented Circulation Manager Nick Lish chanced upon a unique glimpse of the popular Fitzpatrick’s pre-USA career—a short, 7-minute video on the Ford Heritage channel celebrating his victory (co-driving with Jochen Mass) in the 1971 European Saloon Car Championship finale at Jarama, Spain.

The Fitzpatrick/Mass Ford Escort RS 1600 fell back at the start but quickly advanced through a gaggle of well-driven Alfa GTAs and factory Escorts to win the grueling European championship event.

There are no Porsches, but it’s otherwise great four-cylinder “background noise” for VM’s six-page feature in the new issue reminiscing with a sports car racing hero.