Phil Started rallying in 1978 with an RS2000 Escort MK1 and on the 1st event finished 10th from a start No. 80. It was a most exhilarating experience and a result way above expectation.
From that a Mk 2 Escort, 1600cc and an entry in theBTRDA Championship followed by Class Wins, some exceptional overall results and many hard luck stories.
In 1980 a brand new Mk 2 Escort was purchased and a full assault on the BTRDA Championships. Now, at last, Rallies were won and one of the highlights of a career when in 1981 – 4th overall on the Welsh International – This in the era of the Audi Quattro and World Champion drivers. It was very remarkable.
From there it became Opel Ascona, Opel Manta, Sponsors and eventually a fully paid drive in a Sierra Cosworth, in a championship just for this new most powerful Ford Beast. Phil won the Championship and had a semi works drive for the next two years. The highlight was 2nd on the Circuit of Ireland, beaten only by 5 times Open Champion, Jimmy McRae, father of Colin McRae.
Then along came Toyota who contracted the Collins Motorsport team to run the car on the International Championship. The car proved an exceptional success and won the British Open Championship 2 years running, in the hands of David Llewellyn.
Next came a new car to be built for Toyota Malaysia followed by cars supplied to the President’s son from Indonesia. These presented a whole new challenge to the team but success and the supply of more cars followed.
Over 3 years of travelling to these and other far flung corners of the world led to Phil having to decide whether the business was going to be essentially Motorsport or Construction.
The wise head chose the latter so in 1994 the Motorsport side of Collins Engineering closed down and Phil decided to concentrate on Construction and Property Development.
In 1998 Phil was drawn back to Motorsport and the re-birth of Rallying began. At the age of 48 he found he was still competitive and, without trying to climb any ladder of success just treated it as a hobby.
With Rallies in Ireland and the rest of the UK Phil is still rallying both a Mk 2 Escort and a historic Opel Ascona and is still able to win rallies, entertain the crowds but, above all else, enjoy it.
Please see Phil Collins Rallying on Facebook for more Information.