WHEN it comes to prom, it’s all about making an entrance.

And for one Warrington teenager that came in the shape of a classic Ford Mark Two Escort, which just days later she was helping to race along the Anglesey circuit.

Sophie Landen went from prom dress to overalls in the space of a few days to take part in the JRT Motorsport Enville event, organised by Warrington and District Motor Club.

The 16-year-old, who has recently finished her GCSEs at Great Sankey High School, was driven to her prom at the Park Royal Hotel in a RS2000, owned by her dad Stephen’s friend, Steve Ellison.

Warrington Guardian:

Sophie getting ready to go to the prom

Steve built his own car to comply with the Stage Rally regulations – a historical specification 1977 Ford Escort Mark Two 2 litre BDG engine with a ZF Gearbox. The classic vehicle, which is sponsored by Buildbase, would have cost around £3,000 when it came off the production line 42 years ago but would be around £110,000 to buy new today.

Sophie said: “When we were talking about what cars we would go to prom in, lots of people were saying they were going hire limousines or go in a Porsche. Because I’ve watched my dad rallying since I was younger and have been marshalling at races, I just thought it would be a good idea to turn up in a rally car.

“It got a great reaction. Everybody was looking at it, it got loads of attention.”

Three days later, Sophie was again in the car’s passenger seat, although this time she had a different role to play. As co-driver it was Sophie’s job to navigate the course by reading of a set of pacenotes which dictate the general route to be taken and cover turnings, junctions, and any other notable features that might affect the way the car is driven at speed.

Warrington Guardian:

Sophie on her rallying debut

And her skills clearly paid off as the pair were placed 15th overall and third in class.

She said: “I wasn’t worried about it the night before, but before the race itself I was really nervous.

“It was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be because we put the work in beforehand. I just kept my head down, really concentrated on my notes and focused being clear so that Stephen could race as fast as possible.

PICTURES > Students arrive in style at Great Sankey High prom

Warrington Guardian:

Sophie in action

“It was a brilliant experience; I loved it and was really pleased to come 15th overall and third in class. I’m really looking forward to doing it again, Stephen has already asked if I want to navigate again, and I’d love to.”