October 6, 2022

Two mates, a great deal of banter, a modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo and a Sierra RS500 Cosworth with a mixed 1000bhp… this needs to be enjoyable!

Characteristic from Quick Ford journal. Phrases: Ben Birch. Photographs: Matt Richardson.

It’s not usually you see a Sierra RS500 and a modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo on the street collectively. Even much less so when each are tuned virtually identically, and have been owned by the identical mates for twenty years. Twenty years!

In that point, most ‘identified’ automobiles come and go from the scene, and sadly some friendships come and go too. However for Costas Costi and Bruce Saunders, the automobiles and the banter are nonetheless on prime type in spite of everything that point. “If it wasn’t for me, Costas could be driving an Evo,” laughs Monte proprietor Bruce, “fortunately I managed to speak him round and preserve him within the Ford household”. “Nicely, he solely modified his Escort as a result of he couldn’t sustain with my previous Renault”, chimes in RS500 proprietor Costas. Each nod jokingly, and it turns into apparent these two are nice mates who actually respect one another’s automobiles. So the place did all of it begin?

“I’ve at all times been a Ford man” continues Bruce, “I’ve labored at Ford Dagenham for 34 years, and earlier than the Monte Carlo I had an Escort cabriolet with an RS Turbo engine”. As was rife again within the day, the cabriolet bought stolen and torched, however with the insurance coverage cash got here a chance for Bruce to improve. “This Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo was owned by a wealthy man with three different Escort Cosworths, in addition to BMW M3s and the like… his spouse needed to make room for a Z3 so one in all his Escorts needed to go!”

Thus, in 1997, Bruce drove off in an virtually new, mint Monte Carlo for… anticipate it… £24,000. Some huge cash again then, but when all of us knew then what values could be like now, we’d have purchased a great deal of them! The automobile stayed normal for some time, till one evening he discovered a black French hatchback glued to his rear bumper.

Modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo rear shot

“I used to be closely into Renault 5 Turbos” explains Costas, “I knew Bruce by then and it was all good enjoyable, as a result of the Renault had 200bhp and was throughout his Cosworth like a rash.” Fortunately, Bruce was mates with a sure Ahmed Bayjoo, and for him there was no different particular person to assist treatment the embarrassment. “I’d identified Ahmed since I used to be 17,” Bruce explains, “we labored with one another at Grays Tyres on Romford Street, once I was an afro-haired teenager and Ahmed wasn’t a lot older”. For the reason that tyre store days, Ahmed had toured the world and loved an incredible profession with Ford Motorsport, and for a lot of he had grow to be the Cosworth guru.

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“He was actually our guru,” they each agree, “and an excellent pal too… there’s quite a lot of tuners on the Ford scene, however Ahmed was completely different – he was a real Engineer”. With Mr Bayjoo tweaking Bruce’s modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo as much as 350bhp, the Ford was again in entrance, a lot in order that Costas lastly admitted defeat, bought the GT Turbo and purchased an Escort of his personal. “I used to be dissatisfied with it although,” he remembers, “going from the Renault to the Cosworth was like leaping out of a quick go-cart right into a wallowy, gradual bus”.

Modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo YB engine

Destiny would play a hand in each males’s Ford tales and take the degrees up a notch, when Bruce was taken for a spin in two Grove Storage / Ahmed tweaked automobiles – an Escort Cossie with 500bhp and a sure Sierra RS500 Cosworth, additionally with 500bhp. “They have been absolute animals,” he remembers vividly, “I’d by no means been in something like them, so I booked in my Escort to have the identical work.”

Shortly afterwards, the RS500 got here up on the market and Bruce was straight on the telephone to his previous mate. “I really needed the Sierra RS500 for myself,” admits Bruce, “however I couldn’t have each so I urged Costas to purchase the Sierra and preserve it in our crew.” A take a look at drive was performed, and Costas was suitably blown away sufficient to half with… anticipate it… £20,000! “The take a look at drive was exhilarating”, laughs Costas, “it was so properly put collectively, not simply by way of energy, nevertheless it dealt with fantastically and was all spherical the most effective automobile I’d ever been in”.

Sierra RS500 YB engine

Each of the Ford Cosworth YB engines are constructed to a tried and examined Ahmed spec – lengthy studded block, T4 turbo, eight injectors, ported head, uprated cams and over 2-bar of enhance. In in the present day’s world of alloy blocks, 1000cc injectors and Borg Warner turbos, some may say these are fairly ‘old-fashioned’, however in our expertise quite a lot of a lot of these set-ups constructed years in the past, nonetheless produce the products in the present day and are additionally very dependable.

“The engines are just about unchanged since then and so they nonetheless maintain their very own,” agrees Costas, “however they have been initially on Weber ECUs, and when Ahmed put his favoured Pectel T2 on, I have to admit it made an enormous distinction to driveability”.

“Folks say T4 automobiles are laggy,” chips in Bruce, “however they’re not, it’s all about how they’re mapped – these automobiles have 400lb/ft of torque from 3000rpm to 8000rpm, as a result of Ahmed rigorously specced the engines to present accessible efficiency quite than simply peak energy”.


Modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo interior shot

It received’t shock you to be taught all of this torque brought about merry hell for the Escort’s transmission, and though the differentials have been wonderful because the addition of a entrance diff strengthening plate, the gearbox hasn’t been so fortunate! “I’ve been via various them, together with a straight lower field which saved killing third gear,” Bruce factors out, “it wasn’t till Ahmed sourced me a Pete Doughty field with 2wd ratios as an alternative of 4 wheel drive ratios, that it’s held collectively ever since.”

Apparently the 2wd ratios provide an extended 1st and 2nd gear, so the weaker third gear isn’t used fairly as a lot and due to this fact escapes a number of the abuse. Actually, it’s labored for Bruce, each on the street and the monitor.

Sure, we stated monitor. For some individuals, the prospect of taking a real, mint RS500 and modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo on monitor is loopy, however for these two it’d be against the law to not.

Sierra RS500 interior shot

“All individuals need to do is clear them”, jokes Bruce, “life’s too quick, and these automobiles give the largest adrenaline rush once they’re used correctly.” “Folks say they’re value an excessive amount of”, provides Costas, “however we’ve been doing monitor days for twelve years and attempt to do at the very least two a yr – Snetterton is our favorite because it’s fairly forgiving on the driving force, and it has lengthy straights to actually stretch the automobiles legs”.

However which is quickest?! “Truthfully, there’s completely nothing in it between them”, each agree, “they each have Ahmed’s six diploma rear beam which utterly transforms the dealing with and grip, they each have   and so they’ve each bought the massive brakes.” Costas’ Sierra wanted the 16in entrance wheels machining, and 12mm spacers put in with the intention to clear the discs, however this gave a lot better outcomes than becoming 17s all spherical.

“I did purchase new 17in Compomotives,” he remembers, “and once I put them on the automobile it was tramlining over the street and dealing with a lot worse than the 16in entrance and 17in rear mixture. I swapped again fairly shortly – it was the one time I hadn’t listened to Ahmed, and I by no means made that mistake once more!”

Sierra RS500 driving shot

Each males bear in mind their pal fondly, and their automobiles provide them a everlasting reminder in movement of the nice instances all of them shared in the course of the construct, and of their adventures on street and monitor. “Our relationship with Ahmed nonetheless lives on within the automobiles, and in our friendship with the fellows at Grove Storage,” displays Bruce, “all of us used to satisfy up there and spend hours on Saturdays placing the world to rights, in addition to shutting the store to all benefit from the monitor days collectively”.

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“Each automobiles have been engineered by and put collectively the precise method by Ahmed and Grove,” provides Costas, “my final reminiscence of Ahmed was when he drove Bruce’s modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo on a monitor day – he left me for useless!”

So, with all these valuable recollections, what about storing the automobiles away and pampering them? “The day we put these automobiles in a bubble,” Bruce continues, “is the day we promote them… and we’re by no means promoting them”. “We’ve spent years getting them to do precisely what we would like them to,” provides Costas, “they’ve been on the scene a very long time, and so they at all times can be.”

See each at Ford Truthful Silverstone this August 14, 2022.

Sierra RS500 rear shot

Tech Spec: Modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth Monte Carlo


Ahmed Bayjoo reworked 200 block with normal dimension lined bores, Mahle pistons with valve cut-outs, Mountune WRC 4 layer head gasket, Ported and polished head, WRC 8 injector inlet plenum, Ahmed Bayjoo particular cams, 3 gasoline pumps, air injector enhance management, Bailey dump valve, T4 turbo operating 32psi, normal air-box with Pipercross air filter ingredient, wasted spark ignition, Pectel T2 ECU, Mongoose exhaust system


490bhp and 400lb/ft


Pete Doughty straight lower gears with AB Engineering 2wd ratios, Alcon 6 paddle clutch, normal entrance diff with strengthening plate


Ahmed Bayjoo spec springs with Bilstein dampers, Ahmed Bayjoo 6 diploma rear beam, rear strut brace


AP 4 pot entrance calipers with 330x32mm discs

Wheels & Tyres:

18in Rondell wheels with 235/40R18 Goodyear F1 tyres


Carbon fibre entrance splitter


Commonplace Monte spec

Tech Spec: Tuned Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth


Engine developed and engineered by Ahmed Bayjoo, lengthy studded block, ported and polished head, WRC head gasket, Pectel T2 ECU, 8 injectors, Ahmed-spec T4 billet turbo, uprated Ahmed cams, Professional-Alloy oil breather and radiator, Pipercross panel air filter, twin Bosch gasoline pumps, air injector enhance management, dump valve, Magnex exhaust, stay mapped by Ahmed Bayjoo, tweaked by Mark at Grove Storage


510bhp and 400lb/ft


6 paddle clutch, normal rebuilt T5 gearbox


Ahmed 6 diploma rear beam, Ahmed spec springs and Bilstein dampers, entrance and rear strut braces


AP Racing 4 pot entrance calipers with 330mm discs, Ferodo DS2500 entrance and rear pads, Wilwood bias proportioning valve

Wheels & Tyres:

16in entrance and 17in rear CXN cut up rims with 225/40R16 entrance and 225/35R17 rear tyres


Can’t contact the RS500’s appears!


Uprated audio system hidden behind unique grills and 8in sub within the boot, enhance and oil stress/temp gauges in customized pod, aftermarket stereo for palms free and USB, dashboard solar protector