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RE: WRC mudhens

when quizzed on the reasons for the 'wrc' route, the ford engineer i talked
to nominated a greater degree of freedom in design, and lower (homologation)
cost.  a look at the engine bay of the ford was enough to convince you that
there was a fair bit more than 25mm (group 'a' limit) movement in the
location of the strut towers over the homologated car (one of my photos is
floating around the net).  the guy specifically mentioned that the 'wrc'
design "tunnel" for the rear propshaft and suspension linkages was much
"wider" than with group 'a', and therefore also allowed more options.

with regards to the difference that tyres make, i remember walter rohrl
illustrating the point by stating that they would spend 3 days of a 4 day
test perhaps finding 1 sec/km over a stage with dampers and suspension
settings, and then the michelin guy would turn up and drop off a set of
covers for them to try "bang, 2 seconds, like that", rohrl said waving his
hands, and shaking his head.  (btw, speaking of rohrl, i was looking through
some stuff the other day and found a picture of walter leaning against my
ur-quattro.  i'll scan it if anyone is interested...)

the fact remains that today's cars with a lot less hp, are much quicker over
the special stages, than the group 'b' monsters.  we cannot know which of
transmissions, suspensions or tyres makes the biggest difference - clearly
they will all contribute.  with regard to chassis, i think that the bespoke
group 'b' chassis could still be 'ahead', but then we have no real way of
knowing that either.  i will be interested in peugeots' view on these
issues.  they, alone, are the remainder of the group 'b' era, and have
returned with a 'wrc'-spec car.  at the end of 2000, they might make some
interesting comments about their 1st year in the 'wrc' class vs their
dominance of the last 18 months of group 'b', using the data fromt hat time
which they must still have.

perusal of the nz rally times, illustrates further the pace of development
in the wrc.  the motu stage was/is a legendary 70km stage (it used to be the
longest in the championship) over the hill country from the bay of plenty to
gisborne.  it starts off fast, then goes 50km though the hills over a single
lane track up the side of a series of spectacular valleys.  towards the end,
the drop-offs to the valley floor are well into lethal territory (200+m),
with no fences.

auroil claimed the all-time record in 1992 in the integrale, whereupon in
subsequent years mcrae in the subaru took over.  in 1993 he had beaten
auriols record by 25 seconds (a sight i will always remember as i was
watching in a helicopter).  the following year mcrae took a further 35
seconds off the record!  unfortunately we no-longer have the sight of a
'wrc' car over the motu as they stopped using it when the rally went

'95 rs2
'90 ur-q
'88 mb 2.3-16

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-quattro-digest@audifans.com
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 1999 6:18 AM
To: quattro-digest@audifans.com
Subject: quattro-digest V1 #287

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 03:46:53 EDT
From: QSHIPQ@aol.com
Subject: WRC mudhens