World Cup Rally

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The World Cup Rally was the name of two intercontinental motor rally competitions. The event drew inspiration from the successful London-Sydney Marathon rallies, which had been held most recently in 1968. Organised by Wylton Dickson, the World Cup Rallies were named for and celebrated the FIFA World Cup Association Football tournaments. Each Rally started in London and raced to the World Cup host city; Mexico City in 1970 and Munich in 1974. With Munich being relatively close to London, the rally was routed southwards into Africa, reaching as far south as Nigeria.

The 1970 event was a success with over a hundred competitors starting and many automobile manufacturers entering professional teams. The rally was won by a factory supported Ford Escort driven by Finnish drivers Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm. The 1974 event, held in the immediate wake of the 1973 oil crisis, was much less successful, with the only two factory supported teams and the majority of the front running cars being privateer entrants. The second event was additionally blighted by an error in the navigational notes which saw the majority of the field become lost in the Algerian Sahara desert. The rally was won by the privateer Citroen DS of Australian drivers Jim Reddiex, Ken Tubman and Andre Welinski.

While no rally was organised for 1978, the 1974 events journey through the Sahara planted the seed that would become the Dakar Rally in 1980.

The two events were: