Hendy Motorsport was conceived as part of the Hendy Group's commitment to back its appointment as a Rallysport dealer with active involvement in motorsport events. This was accomplished in the early 80's with the preparation and sponsorship of a racing Fiesta Mk1 XR2.
In 1986, the motorsport division got the chance to become involved in rallying when Ford launched their Sierra RS Cosworth and co-sponsored the Securicor Challenge Rally Series specifically for these exciting and very quick cars. This series was a great success and put Ford back on the map as a successful participant in top level rallying. Hendy Motorsport learnt a lot during this season and, whilst a presence was maintained in track racing by the continuation of backing for Brian Farminer's Fiesta XR2, nevertheless it was felt that involvement in serious rallying would bring high profile success with the right driver/co-driver combination.
Accordingly, Trevor Smith and Roger Jones were signed to drive the Hendy Motorsport Sierra RS Cosworth in the National Championship. This fruitful partnership blossomed with the team achieving notable successes in 1987 which culminated in winning the Group A category and missing the overall championship for that year by 1-point. 1988 saw the team win its first major rally outright by beating all the opposition on the Skip Brown Rally (now the Vauxhall Sport Rally).
This was followed by a win on the Granite City Rally based in Aberdeen and Trevor Smith and Roger Jones had put Hendy Motorsport firmly on the map. The pair finished 4th overall in the championship and crowned a successful season with a creditable 30th overall in the Lombard RAC Rally against a background of the worst snowstorms for years and a large entry of 4-wheel drive cars, (a rear wheel drive 350BHP Sierra Cosworth is not the best equipped for driving on snow and ice!). Incidentally, in the same season Brian Farminer drove his Hendy Motorsport built racing Fiesta XR2 superbly to win the Fiesta Challenge Championship outright.
In 1989, Trevor Smith and Roger Jones ended up as bridesmaids once again. Trevor was involved in an unfortunate accident whilst out walking with his son, which resulted in the team not being able to compete in all the events. Despite winning the Mazda Winter Rally centered in Bournemouth and the Skip Brown Rally in North Wales, that elusive championship was not to be; although once again they lifted the Group A honors for the season.
With the advent of the 1990 season, it became clear that if the team was to continue competitively at the top flight, a 4-wheel drive Sapphire Cosworth would have to be built. In the meantime, Trevor and Roger continued to campaign their trusty 2-wheel drive car, coming 5th overall on the Mazda Winter Rally and a very creditable 2nd overall on the Severn Valley Stages Rally in Mid Wales. These results were achieved against 4-wheel drive machines and Trevor was being recognised as the fastest 2-wheel drive car in the championship. With the odds stacked against the team, it was decided mid-season to withdraw from the championship and concentrate all efforts and funds on building and developing a Group A Sapphire Cosworth 4x4 car. Meanwhile Hendy Motorsport had not been idle in other areas, a brand new Fiesta XR2i had been built for Brian Farminer who campaigned the car in the 1990 challenge, and Stephen Hendy had been showing considerable promise in rallying, driving an ex-works Ford Escort RS Turbo. He produced some credible performances in this difficult car with a 7th place overall on the Tour of Cornwall, and a very promising 16th overall on the prestigious Manx National Rally on the Isle of Man. He finished off the season with a 1st place on the Jersey Rally in the Channel Islands.
The 1991 season was the last chance for Trevor to win the National Championship title as the series was to be dropped from the official RAC calendar for 1992 to be run outside the RAC's jurisdiction. But with a brand new Sapphire Cosworth 4x4 and substantial sponsorship from Clausthaler low alcohol lager, he made the championship his by winning the Mazda Winter Rally, Kayel Graphics Rally and the Clausthaler sponsored Granite City Rally outright and coming 2nd on the Manx National Rally and Shell Oils Cumbria Rally. Hendy Motorsport's year was completed when Brian Farminer won the Ford Audio Fiesta Challenge Championship outright in his Fiesta XR2i. Stephen Hendy came 2nd on the Tour of Cornwall in Trevor's old Sierra RS Cosworth 2-wheel drive car as well as another win on the Jersey Rally.
For 1992 it was decided that Trevor Smith and Roger Jones should take advantage of their FISA B seeding and contest the British Open Rally Championship which included the Scottish International Rally, Ulster International Rally and Manx International Rally in it's programme. Despite the deepening economic recession, Clausthaler once again sponsored the car having benefited considerably from their involvement in 1991. However, it was to be a limited budget and certainly one which was not on the same level as that which was enjoyed by the likes of Colin MacRae who was defending his British Open title won the previous year. Driving very much with finishing the event and not bending the car in mind, Trevor brought the Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4 home into 2nd place overall on the 1st round of the series, the Vauxhall Sport International Rally of Wales. Steady results throughout the season were obtained by some shrewd driving in spite of the budget handicap and this enabled him to finish every rally in the championship in the top 10 earning vital points with his consistency. He was rewarded after finishing 3rd on the Elonex Midland International Rally with the runner-up position overall in the championship behind the unbeatable talent of Colin MacRae - no mean achievement given the restrictions placed on the team by its limited budget and underlining the reliability achieved by Hendy Motorsport's preparation.
1992 also saw the inauguration of a new championship, the Mobil Oils Ford Escort RS2000 Challenge. This was a multi-discipline series with competitors having to compete in rallies, races, hill-climbs, autotests and sprints. Hendy Motorsport went ahead and built a car especially for this series which was to be campaigned by all the drivers involved with the team. Stephen Hendy partnered by his regular co-driver, Russell Boulton, competed in the rallies whilst Trevor Smith was entered in some of the races and drove on both of the autotests (Trevor was British Autotest Champion 6-times in the 70's!). Brian Farminer was also co-opted for some of the events. The car was very successful and won several rounds of the competition coming in 4th overall in the championship.
In 1993, Stephen Hendy competed in all rounds of this unique multi-disciplined championship and finished 2nd overall, having won all the rallies and some of the autotests. A new signing for 1993 was also the big news for the season with Penny Mallory (now a television presenter) and Sue Mee forming the all female Wash and Go Rally Team. They campaigned the Mintex National Championship in an all new Ford Escort Cosworth specifically built for Penny by the team. That year, Penny secured the National Ladies title.
Stephen Hendy campaigned the National Tarmac Championship in Penny's Escort Cosworth and secured back to back titles in 2002 and 2003. The car has since been replaced by a more modern Escort World Rally Car, and the results are starting to come despite early engine problems.