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Old 17 Nov 2008, 03:20 (Ref:2336155)   #1
racer69
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Group A Alfa Romeo 75

Thought it was time to add another one of the Group A fleet.

There were a number of cars to run during the 1986/87 seasons, before Alfa pulled the plug during mid-late 1987, indeed none of the European works cars competed after Silverstone 1987, leaving a hole in the Bathurst 1000 entry list.

Plenty of things to discuss, like the mass pull out, and where the cars have ended up, lets get some pics up of them as well.

In the WTCC there were a number of entries, Alfa Corse, the Brixia cars, Q Racing etc...

In Australia there was Colin Bonds works Caltex Alfa entry (later became a Sports Sedan)

In the BTCC there were the two John West cars Alfa GB backed cars as well
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Old 17 Nov 2008, 13:28 (Ref:2336384)   #2
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OK, I'll kick off with a quick overview of 75 activity in the ETCC

First appeared a few races into the 1986 season in V6 form. Some delay (homologation?) caused them to miss the first few races.

Cars were red and white, usually 2/3 cars driven by the usual suspects from the GTV6 programme-Drovandi, Lella Lombardi, Camathias etc
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-08-03-040.jpg

The Luigi entries seemed to fall b y the wayside- they turned out a couple of old GTV6s at Spa, but that was about it, other than a single car at the end of the season- possibly the debut of the turbo?

In the UK, ARDT ran a pair of cars with their usual John West backing- they possibly suffered from the same delay as the ETCC cars- they were the only Alfa team to show for the Donington ETCC round, but with one of their existing GTV6s, instead of the new car.

Network Alfa in Australia persevered with the GTV6 I think?


I'll do this in separate posts, as 'Tenths keeps throwing me out for some reason if I try to post anything lengthy....Next stop, 1987 and the WTCC
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Old 17 Nov 2008, 13:40 (Ref:2336392)   #3
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For the WTCC in 1987, Alfa got serious with a new Evo version of the turbo. Despite the radical bodykit, it proved to be off the pace. Although it improved as the season went on, it never matched the M3s

The main Alfa representation was:

Alfa Corse- 2 cars, with a very heavyweight driver squad- Jacques Laffite, Jean-Louis Schlesser, Nicola Larini, Alessandro Nannini, a one-off for Michael Andretti at Monza- they really weren't messing about here....Just a pity the car didn't deliver....
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-09-06-075.jpg

Brixia- 2 black cars with Beretta sponsorship- Rinaldo Drovandi, Carlo Rossi, Gabriele Tarquini amongst others
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-08-02-077.jpg

Albatech- a single white car for Voulaz/Cipriani
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-08-02-076.jpg

Q Racing- Swedish entry for ex-Volvo man Thomas Lindstrom, shared variously with Mikael Nabrink and Steven Andskar. Another white car, often unsponsored I think, was crashed heavily during TT qualifying and not seen again. Can't find a pic

Dixi Racing- Belgian (French?) squad ran a pair of cars in a mix of ETCC and WTCC races for a variety of French and Belgian drivers
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-08-02-071.jpg

Alfa Corse, Brixia, Albatech and Q were all factory-backed and eligible for WTCC points as I recall. Not sure about Dixi? The 4 factory-supported teams all pulled out before the 'long-haul' leg of the WTCC- Australia/NZ/Japan

ARDT ran a pair of turbos in the BTCC for Dooley & Kirby- they had a troubled season with them- I think one dirver reverted to the V6 at one point?

Network Alfa ran a single Caltex-backed car for Bond- this was the only Alfa representation at Bathurst, apart from an Italian-entered Alfa 33 in the 1600 class- I think it may have been factory-backed, despite being miles off the pace of the Corollas all year?
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Old 17 Nov 2008, 14:02 (Ref:2336405)   #4
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By 1988 it was all over- the turbo equivalency factor changed from 1.4 to 1.7 over the off-season, which would have pushed the 75 Turbo into the 'big' class against the RS500s.

Development for the national series in Italy continued, with a series of progressively wilder versions being campaigned until the 155 appeared in the early 90's....
http://www.italiaspeed.com/2005/cars...eo_75_imsa.jpg

For the final season of the ETCC though, Alfa were out of the game...

....except, for some reason, former BMW team CiBiEmme fielded a single Alfa 75 at Spa- a V6, but in 3-litre form, pushing it into the top class, rather than the original 2.5 litre....
http://www.racingsportscars.com/etcc...-07-31-010.jpg

Despite a strong driver squad (Cecotto, Larini, Francia) it was well off the pace and didn't finish.

Jon Dooley also turned out for a couple of late-season BTCC rounds with his former ARDT car- again I think in 3-litre V6 form?

That's the basic history- what else can we fill in? Does anyone know the background behind the end of the WTCC campaign?

I know the 75 was campaigned in other series apart from those mentioned, but who and where? (I've seen a pic of a Portuguese 75 Turbo recently).

Taking a light diversion from the circuits, I think the Rothmans-backed French rally programme with Yves Loubet etc continued when the 75 replaced the GTV6.

I know very little about the post-1987 cars raced in Italy, other than a few pics I've seen. What else is out there?

Last edited by KA; 17 Nov 2008 at 14:09.
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Old 17 Nov 2008, 14:22 (Ref:2336419)   #5
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Always liked these cars

There are one or two of these period racing cars here in Holland, I will try and find out what's what.
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Old 17 Nov 2008, 20:30 (Ref:2336585)   #6
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The Dixi Sport cars, were in fact build by Luigi Racing. When the two parties split up during the season, Luigi continued with the pair of cars, while Dixi went with a Mercedes 190.

German team owner Frieder Nickel tried the 75 TE for the 1987 DTM with defending champion Kurt Thiim as driver, but poor performance and even worse reliability meant very little in terms of results.
A M. Kopf raced a single DTM race in 1987 with another 75 TE.

Here is the Portugese 75 TE: http://cvc1.com.sapo.pt/images/1987/Diapositivo32.JPG. Rufino Fontes driving.

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Old 17 Nov 2008, 20:50 (Ref:2336598)   #7
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Further note of interest regarding the ARDT BTCC cars was that if I recall correctly Jon Dooley's car was initially based heavily on his GTV6!!

It certainly used the GTV6's engine and running gear (that unique exhaust note in 2.5 trim gave that away) and may well even have shared the same chassis?!!!

With this in mind, Rob Kirby's car may have also been based on his earlier GTV6 as well, not sure on this one though.

Rob did have a monumental shunt in his though I think? and that might have been the end of his top line saloon career as maybe only Dooley ran the 75 into 1987 & 88.

Having enjoyed my new '86 ETC dvd the other day, I noticed a lot of V6 75's out from mid season onwards that year, they did seem to be no quicker than the GTV6 and nowhere near the Vogt 325, but would've given some kind of set up info in readyness for the Turbo the following year.

Furthermore, KA's remark about the works WTCC 75's in 1987 is spot on. They assembled the right drivers, and whilst the M3 moved the goalposts somewhat in what it took for a manufacturer to be competitive in the midlde class, the Alfa would surely have got quicker and more reliable if the WTCC had continued in 1988/89...... the money would've been made available for the development.

The profile of the cars was excellent - the scarlet red and big bulging arches made them look dead purposeful!!

Last edited by chunterer; 18 Nov 2008 at 08:41.
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Old 18 Nov 2008, 06:40 (Ref:2336790)   #8
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Any pics of the ARDT cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KA
Network Alfa in Australia persevered with the GTV6 I think?
They did, Colin Bond ran a single GTV6 in most rounds of the 1986 ATCC. They had anticipated running a 75 from mid-year, then later had wanted to run one Bathurst, but the debut kept on getting pushed back. The GTV6 ran #75 all year in anticipation.

Network Alfa (run by Enrico Zanarini, formerly Eddie Irvine's manager, now Giancarlo Fisichella's) had threatened to pull out at the end of 1985, due to the class structure in Australia changing. In the end CAMS altered the structure to keep them interested.

For 1987 the Network Alfa 75 was debuted at the Oran Park non-champ "Clash for Cash" (25th Anniversary Oran Park meeting). Bond led early but slipped back due to rain (and unsuitable tyres).

During the course of the ATCC Bond rebuilt the car to RHD, but rarely got the car at the front of the grid.

The only time it led a race was the early laps of the Hardie Irrigation 100 at Amaroo Park (though the only regular front runner at that race was the JPS M3s, which got bad starts).

He did go alright in the early stages of the AGP support race at Adelaide at the end of 1987 against the regular top guys, but by then it was too late.

I've never seen an official reason for their pullout, but one assumes with the end of the European involvement in the 75 program, Australia wasn't going to go it alone. For 1988 Bond took the Caltex money to a Sierra. Bond was supposed to run a 75 in Production Car racing in 1988, but that never materialised.

Was the Bond car built in Australia, or imported?

For 1988 it was sold to John Cotter and run occasionally. I remember it appearing as a Sports Sedan (with a bigger rear wing) at some point in the mid-90s.
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Old 18 Nov 2008, 10:23 (Ref:2336880)   #9
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I think I've read somewhere (possibly '87 Bathurst Yearbook) that the Bond 75 was built by Luigi in Belgium, but then substantially reworked in Australia- think the book suggests Network Alfa were less than happy with the car as delivered.

There's some subsequent history of the car here on the 'GpA/C/SCV8- Where are they now?' thread, suggesting the car was converted to a Sports Sedan by Bob MacDonald around 1991, and written off by him at Oran in 1996

http://tentenths.com/forum/showthrea...t=67601&page=3

Interestingly, it also mentions a possible second 75 Turbo, entered at a couple of 1988 ATCC rounds by a Gerard Murphy- this car also being written off in a testing shunt by the team's mechanic...
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Old 18 Nov 2008, 10:26 (Ref:2336882)   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesper OH
The Dixi Sport cars, were in fact build by Luigi Racing. When the two parties split up during the season, Luigi continued with the pair of cars, while Dixi went with a Mercedes 190.

German team owner Frieder Nickel tried the 75 TE for the 1987 DTM with defending champion Kurt Thiim as driver, but poor performance and even worse reliability meant very little in terms of results.
A M. Kopf raced a single DTM race in 1987 with another 75 TE.

Here is the Portugese 75 TE: http://cvc1.com.sapo.pt/images/1987/Diapositivo32.JPG. Rufino Fontes driving.

Jesper
Thanks Jesper- the Fontes car is the one I've seen - I think the pics I saw were recent, suggesting it still survives. I'll see if I can find them again, think they were something I tripped over accidentally while looking for Portuguese Rovers and 635s...
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Old 18 Nov 2008, 10:35 (Ref:2336886)   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunterer
Further note of interest regarding the ARDT BTCC cars was that if I recall correctly Jon Dooley's car was initially based heavily on his GTV6!!

It certainly used the GTV6's engine and running gear (that unique exhaust note in 2.5 trim gave that away) and may well even have shared the same chassis?!!!

With this in mind, Rob Kirby's car may have also been based on his earlier GTV6 as well, not sure on this one though.

Rob did have a monumental shunt in his though I think? and that might have been the end of his top line saloon career as maybe only Dooley ran the 75 into 1987 & 88.
Depending on when the ARDT 75s actually made their debut, I wonder how much of the running gear from both GTV6s was reused to build the 75s- There was certainly one GTV still active at the beginning of the '86 season, as they used it for the Donington ETCC round, presumably because the 75 wasn't ready (or homologated, bearing in mind that none of the Italian cars showed either?)

Going slightly off-topic, I did read a piece from one of the Italian car enthusiast mags (Auto Italia?) on a GTV6 running in Alfa Owners Club racing a few years ago which seems to have started off as the ex-Kirby GTV6, and gave some history of the ARDT BTCC campaigns.
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Old 18 Nov 2008, 16:59 (Ref:2337077)   #12
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Some pics- from Rich Harman's wonderful collection-

1986 TT- including some nice pitlane views
http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/j...20Silverstone/

1987 TT- Alfa Corse, Brixia, Albatech
http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/j...20Silverstone/

and from here: http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/ARCHIVES.htm

1987 Dijon WTCC
The Albatech car in a slightly different paintjob (curiously, I think the race numbers for the Alfa Corse and Albatech cars seemed to switch around a little over the season)
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijo...7%2079%202.jpg


I think this is Lindstrom's Swedish car
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijo...gra87%2080.jpg

the Dixi pair- neat reversal of the colourscheme between the two cars
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijo...nga87%2044.jpg
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijo...nga87%2045.jpg

More here:
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijongra1987.htm
and from Spa
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/spa%201987.htm

CiBiEmme at Spa in '88
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/spa88/spa88%2010.jpg

Last edited by KA; 18 Nov 2008 at 17:01.
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Old 19 Nov 2008, 18:19 (Ref:2337780)   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KA
1987 Dijon WTCC
The Albatech car in a slightly different paintjob (curiously, I think the race numbers for the Alfa Corse and Albatech cars seemed to switch around a little over the season)
http://lemansmotorsport.free.fr/dijo...7%2079%202.jpg
Absolutely correct about the numbers. Albatech started the year as #79 and "won" the opening round, and another decent finish at Jarama kept the Albatech car in the hunt for the teams title. But never among the quickest of the 75s, Albatech surrendered the number for Alfa Corse's #76 car at round 3 at Dijon-Prenois.
I'm told that Giorgio Stirrano of Alba group C2 fame was the man behind the Albatech WTCC 75, but never can't find any references to this. Anyone?

Now, also remembering the '87 Colin Bond Caltex car as a Luigi car, as mentioned by KA. Have I seen a picture of this car in black and silver at that first Oran Park race mentioned by racer69? Ignis might have been the sponsor.

During the 1990 Italian TCC three different specs of 75 Turbos raced in different classes.
The normal 75 Turbo i A3 against the likes of BMW 635 and what else?
The 75 Turbo Evo ('87 specs it seem) in S2 against a Maserati Biturbo and the BMW M3 Evolution
While the 75 Turbo Evos in the S1 class were well beyond group A, competing against DTM spec M3 Sport Evolutions mainly.

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Old 19 Nov 2008, 19:39 (Ref:2337822)   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesper OH
While the 75 Turbo Evos in the S1 class were well beyond group A, competing against DTM spec M3 Sport Evolutions mainly.

Jesper
Wonderful flame spitting beasts!!! i'd love to get hold of a vid/dvd of that period!!!
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Old 20 Nov 2008, 04:07 (Ref:2338115)   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesper OH
Now, also remembering the '87 Colin Bond Caltex car as a Luigi car, as mentioned by KA. Have I seen a picture of this car in black and silver at that first Oran Park race mentioned by racer69? Ignis might have been the sponsor.
Thats correct, it ran in the black "Ignis" livery at the Oran Park race in February. By the time the ATCC started in March, the car was red and backed by Caltex.

KA - I'd forgotten about Murphy's 75, thanks for jigging the memory
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