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Re: Fwd: Performance Claims

In a message forwarded by Michael Williams it was written (by Don Elgin?):

<< He also said the IMSA 90's won not because of superior handling ability, 
but because the Quattro was easy on the tires, and allowed for more time 
between changes.  He says it's the same in ETC and BTC.  The advantage of
quattro is less tire wear, not handling, not control. >>

I can't comment on Don's engine performance claims, others here are far more
knowledgable than I in that regard...However (I know...sorry guys) I will take
a stab at the racing history aspects:

In a way Don is correct from my recollection. (I am a HUGE motorsports fanatic
and the Trans-Am and then the IMSA GTO cars ran right about when I owned my
first quattro so I was paying very close attention to anything and everything
about them at the time and attended several races they ran in as well.)

All things being equal the cornering speeds of the quattros were no faster
than the competition. Exit speeds, especially on worn tires, were faster and
played an advantage going into the next straight, and/or setting up for
another corner.

Another "unfair advantage" was the driver's ability to select from different
(and often unconventional) lines in corners whereby obtaining a passing zone
that may not otherwise be there. This was one thing that really stood out
watching these car run live that TV didn't quite pick up as well. On occasion
I noticed the quattro race cars going out into "the marbles" where nobody
dared tread...only to still come off the turn as fast or faster (than their
competitors) and make some amazing passes. On the street at 7-8/10's driving
this is one of the things that sets an awd car apart from others...an extra
little bit to deal with the unexpected.

Last but not least was certainly tire wear. Even after having tire sizes
reduced by the SCCA (this after major complaints by the same competitors who
BTW laughed at the Trans-Am 200q at it's debut, Long Beach '88...) the 200q
was capable of going further on a set of tires than any competitor...

So to say awd didn't make the car handle (much if any) better is correct,
unless you count "handling" as being the way you can extract performance from
the car over a given time...when others faded away and the quattro was still
going strong surely can be considored better overall something. If it isn't
handling or performance, then what exactly is it?

Mike Veglia
87 5kcstq