The British Touring Car Championship has always been a way for manufacturers to bring relevant and more affordable models to the line-up of their TV screens – usually on Sundays. Children across the school yard will argue that the Ford Mondio sitting on the driveway was higher than the Renault Laguna owned by their friend’s parents based on the results of recent races.
The Super Tour era of the British Touring Car Championships (BTCC) is often fondly remembered for its no-compromise, open-checkbook mentality. Although the annual budget has never been released, rumors are rife that between 8 8 million and 12 12 million will be enough to drive three cars in the 2000 season, with cars costing around 1 1 million.
Prodrive undertook the huge task of building the Ford Mondio in the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and the chassis number PR-ST / F-2K-01 – powered by the Aline Menu at the time – was brought out of hibernation from their collection by the recent Spring Scramble of Besister Heritage.
Such a prominent paint work can be detected half way across the site, with bright blue and yellow standing in the background of brickwork and green buildings.
The closer you get, the more obvious differences you will notice with the road-going opponent. The large center-lock wheel is stuck in the arch and the prominent front splitter is embracing the ground paired with the boot wing.
Extensive preparations were made to bring the body shells up to the Super Tourist standard. As in the story, the shells were shot and exploded, left in contact with the material to catch rust, and the process was repeated several times to thin the metal. The cars then got a single coat of gloss paint, without any primer. Any unnecessary brackets were removed from the inside, and the bottom of the fuel tank was flat-bottomed to aid aerodynamics.
Although the front wings look like stock items that have been recreated, they are actually perfectly desirable. Starting with a flat steel sheet, each wing was hand-made to provide the necessary wheel and tire clearance. This combines with the tub’s inner wings to give some space for the steering lock.
The rear arches obviously didn’t take much care; They seem to have been rolled up in a hurry in an attempt to fit the wheel / tire package. Despite a multi-million pound budget, sometimes things get hammer treatment.
The front and rear bumpers are in stock, but all reinforcement has been removed Protruding from that cylindrical shape grill? This is for an airline that can connect to an onboard air jack.
19 × 9-inch center-lock magnesium OZ racing wheels sit in each corner, still wearing period Dunlop race rubber. The huge AP Racing 6-piston water-cooled caliper provides braking duty on the front axle, with a small 4-piston setup on the rear.
When you open the door you’ll see a drill-out hinge and a thin latch – another reminder of the car’s strict diet.
The seat is not where you expect it to be; It has been moved backwards in line with the B-column and has embraced the central tunnel. Its position is as close to the center of the vehicle as possible, to maintain optimal balance. Neither steering nor brakes help, which makes for a physically-demanding drive.
Carbon fiber adorns any surface that is not bare metal, with only two gauges present in the driver’s vision dash – oil pressure and temperature.
A carbon center console has the essential controls and fuses along with providing a mounting position for the Xtrac 6-speed sequential gearbox shifter.
Moving round to the front, it is clear that a huge chunk of money has gone into the engine. The 2.5L V6 was originally reduced to 2.0L from a Ford Probe to 2.0L in accordance with the rules, and while ProDrive retained the Cosworth-improved engine in the 1999 season, they were building their own engine for the following.
To quote George Howard-Chappell, chief engineer of the Drive Race team, “When Prodrive took over the car at the beginning of the 1999 season, we knew we had to improve in most areas of the car, including the performance of the engine. Most chassis-related ISSues 1999 was addressed for cars, so winning the championship in 2000 meant splitting our efforts – 1/10th in mechanical systems, 2/10th in aerodynamics and 7/10th in engines. “
Several key areas have been identified during the development and extensive work has been done. The gearbox, valve train, oil system, respirator and combustion were all closely isolated and improved. At that time the price of cylinder heads was assumed to be equal to their F1 equivalent and 682 of the 806 main parts of the engine were changed or modified. The result? Over 300hp at 8,500rpm.
Starting these engines was not easy. The engine had such a strong tolerance that the oil needed to be pre-heated and once this was achieved the oil system had to be manually primed and followed by cranking to create oil pressure before finally firing.
The V6 itself is barely visible, sitting as far back as possible. A huge air box hides most of it, feeding fresh air to six separate throttle bodies. And the engine is so low that the drive shaft moves from the gearbox to the passenger-side wheel In V.
Although all the effort was worth it, the cars were fiercely competitive in 2000 with 24 races winning 11 races. As a result, the Ford Team Mondio has not only won the Driver’s Championship (align menu), but also the second (Anthony Reed) and the third (Ricard Riddle). Surprisingly, the Ford Team Mondio also won the 2000 Manufacturers Championship and the 2000 Turing Team Championship.
The dramatic change in cost-cutting rules for the 2001 season marks the end of the Super Tura era, and while we mourn its demise, many cars are either in historic racing or brought in for special events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. .
I will start work until I get a chance to see another super tour from so close Tap 2 On the original PlayStation to get my fix.