[urq] Top Gear Video once again

James Bufkin jbufkin at austin.rr.com
Tue Mar 22 18:52:05 EST 2005

I got a call from John Hanlon this afternoon.
We talked for awhile on various rally car topics.  I then asked him about 
the Top Gear Video; although this wasn't the purpose of his call, He told 
me everything and was willing to let me relay this to the Quattro community.

Regarding the Top Gear show that pitted Old competition cars against Modern 
Road Cars.
Audi UK contacted John to do a head to head drive at Dunsfold where Top 
Gear does their shows.
The plan was to put a A2 Quattro up against an RS6 Avant+.  The RS6 Avant 
plus is a 500 horsepower avant station wagon with some 100 lbs of weight 
shaved off by using some lightweight body panels.   John's A2 is a 10V 5 
cylinder rally car with a K27 turbo.   It does have the Magnesium 
suspension, but it was setup for rally racing with the only tarmac change 
being street tires on the wheels.   Basically John was the 2nd car up on 
track after the Noble had run a 1:27 second lap.  John had 8 practice laps 
and his subsequent best time in his A2 was 1:29.5 seconds.  Keep in mind 
this was the 1st time John was on this track.   Stig drove the RS6 Avant+ 
and turned a 1:30.7 second lap.  The brakes on the RS6 where literally 
smoking and the engine was overheating.   What is interesting is that John 
said he was on his practice engine and was gear limited to 105 mph.   I 
don't know Dunsfold track at all, but it turned out that the RS6 being beat 
by 1 second was not going to fly with either Audi UK or TopGear.   Funny 
anecdote, When Stig got out of the RS6 he said to John "they'll never air 
it".   Because the RS6 was practically on fire or because the 25 year old 
Quattro beat the best street car Audi had by 1 second.?    Either way, John 
wasn't terribly upset, but what happened next was just plain inexcusable.
Top Gear decided to run Stig in an Evo.  The Evo wasn't present during the 
head to head and for all we know might of had advantage in weather or 
whatever fancies them.  And to top it off, they aired footage of John's 
warmup laps and did NOT use his best lap time, so that the result would be 
more suitable for the intention of the program.    The pitch and roll on 
the urquattro through much of the video doesn't indicate the hard launch 
the quattro would have being 500 lbs lighter with more power yet the Evo 
reaches turn one 1st.  That just not right.     Keep in mind the Timed lap 
was not from a standing start, it was the best lap time of the eight that 
were run, so you know the video footage that followed the video was 
bullshit.   BTW, everything else in the Top Gear video was correct.  There 
was a Ford rally car there, a modern Ford, the GT40 and the Noble.   So it 
should have been 2 for the Competition cars and only 1 for the Modern 
Street Cars that day.   I do fancy that the A2 can take an EVO if setup to 
do so.

James Bufkin

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