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Old 26 Jan 2010, 23:04   #1
Jesper OH
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1990 Esso RAC British Touring Car Championship - Discussion and results

The final year of Group A (above 3000 cc) and what would become the 1990s Super Touring 2 litre cars in their first year.

Opened on request, but if there's some burning information out there, please enter.

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Old 27 Jan 2010, 09:55   #2
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Originally Posted by Jesper OH View Post
The final year of Group A (above 3000 cc) and what would become the 1990s Super Touring 2 litre cars in their first year.

Opened on request, but if there's some burning information out there, please enter.

Jesper
Jesper- I've got most of the results for 1990, though a few are partial, so I could kick that one off later- don't have time now
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Old 27 Jan 2010, 20:10   #3
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As 1989 is well under way, and Jesper has started the thread, I'll get this one rolling. I'll post some results later tonight, but for now I'll do a quick overview of the season entry

As Jesper said, 1990 was the first stage of transition from Group A to the new 2-litre regs that became Supertouring. The 'big' class over 3000cc Group A cars stayed for one final fling, but the remaining three classes were swept away to be replaced by a single new 2-litre class. At this stage, the cars looked very much like their Group A predecessors- in fact, some of the M3s would have been existing cars converted to the new engine regs.

Class A- All RS500 this year- the Maserati project having been abandoned at the end of '89. The Sierras were fewer in number this year, but the 'big four' teams, Rouse, Trakstar, Graham Goode, and the Rouse-run Team Labatt's were still present with a pair of cars each.

The Kaliber sponsorship deal had ended, and Rouse was back in ICS colours. Team-mate would be Sean Walker, moving over from running a third Goode car, and bringing his regular FAI Automotive sponsorship

Graham Goode reverted to running just a pair of cars, otherwise nothing else changed- Goode and Mike Newman, with Listerine sponsorship again in what would turn out to be the final BTCC season as drivers for both- Mike missing several races mid-season, and Andy Middlehurst stepping in for one of them.

The Bristow/Harvey/Team Labatt's combination continued unchanged, apart from a new paintjob, the cars carrying a prominent 'Don't Drink & Drive' message

Trakstar also continued with the same driver pairing- Gravett and Smith, but the cars would look very different to 1989. The Cartel/NEC backing from '89 had gone- and there was no title sponsor to replace it. Robb Gravett starting the season in a pristine white (a new car I think?) RS500, with only a few Shell decals. Smith wouldn't appear until round 2- and then his car wore the previous year's red and white paintscheme, but with no more sponsorship than Robb's. Moreover, for his debut at the Donington 1-hour race, Mike was sharing with Graham Hathaway- the car's new owner. Hathaway would continue to run the ex-Trakstar car himself, but the next time we'd see Smith in an RS500 would be Silverstone- in July...This was a far cry from 1989's well-funded effort, with various one-off sponsors appearing from time to time- Qubie Computers,Champion, Dianetics...Ford Credit stepped in late season. Fortunately, although the team's finances were uncertain, the car was as effective as it had been in '89

That was it for regular Sierras- Graham Hathaway did about half a season in his ex-Trakstar car, as did Dennis Leech in his new RS500 (sadly in plain white, rather than the distinctive black and dayglo orange of his Rover)

The others the others were occasional visitors, only doing a few races. Dave Brodie did a few rounds in the second half of the year, ), Italian Amato Ferrari visited a couple of times with a car run by F3000 team Crypton Engineering, and Stuart Donnan appeared once
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Old 27 Jan 2010, 20:35   #4
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To some extent, the 'brave new world' of the 2-litre class didn't look much different to the old, with lots of BMW M3s
Prodrive were back with a pair of cars, the team led by Frank Sytner. There was a big change in the other car though- James Weaver replaced by a trio of youngsters from single-seater backgrounds- Kurt Luby, Kelvin Burt and Tim Sugden
The M3 proved a popular choice for the 2-litre privateer.
BMW dealers Godfrey Hall, John Clark and Nick Whale joined forces to run a trio of cars under the Pyramid Motorsport banner.
Ian Forrest returned, as part of a two-car Ecosse Motorsport effort. The second car would be handled by several different drivers, Hugh Chalmers being the most regular occupant, but rallyman Jimmy McRae appeared a few times
Jerry Mahony stepped down from the Sierra class to drive BRR Motorsports M3 in Arquati colours, but quit about halfway through the season- Ian Flux would take the car over at the end of the year.
Nettan Lindgren continued to make the trip from Sweden, doing most of the season
Not all of the BMWs were M3s though- Techspeed fielded a 318iS for Nick Baird, but never quite got to grips with it.

There were new cars other than BMWs though...

Reigning champions John Cleland and Vauxhall were back, the successful Astras replaced by a Cavalier GSi built to the new rules. A second car appeared from time to time, (including some unsuccessful experiments with rwd). Chris Hodgetts was the most regular pilot, but Bob Berridge, Markus Oestreich all had at least one appearance, as did a young Formula Vauxhall Lotus driver by the name of David Coulthard. His immediate future wasn't going to be the BTCC though...

Andy Rouse stuck with Ford for his first try at the new regs, with a 4-door Sierra Sapphire for ex-sportscar racer Ray Bellm. The car proved troublesome, and a disillusioned Bellm quit before the end of the year, having missed a number of races. Chris Hodgetts had a couple of runs in the car at the end of the season

Mitsubishi were back, with a non-turbo Starion for journalist & racer Mark Hales. Sponsorship and tyres came from Firestone, though at the start of the year, not all would be as it seemed in the tyre department....

After his success with the Honda Civic the previous year, Ray Armes was back with a new Trakstar-run 4-door Civic, again with PG Tags sponsorship. The car would prove much less successful though, firmly rooted to the foot of the timesheets all season, not helped by engine development delays forcing them to use the 1600cc engine from the original car in the early races....

Finally, privateer Jeff Wilson went the Vauxhall route- not a Cavalier though, but the Astra-based 4-door Belmont saloon. It was a low-budget effort, and off-the-pace when it finally appeared at the end of the year

The calendar was pretty much as before, although the early-season Donington 1-hour/2-driver race would be joined by a second one at Brands later in the year

First results to follow later
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Old 27 Jan 2010, 20:38   #5
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Graham Hathway entered his Ford Sierra RS500 for the Birmingham round but never took part in the qualifying sessions.

Same goes to Ray Bellm with his Ford Sierra Sapphire and Jerry Mahony with his BMW M3.
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Old 27 Jan 2010, 21:00   #6
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Thank you, KA, for a very proper introduction.

I have to add the presence of Vic Lee as an entrant of a converted Bigazzi Group A BMW M3 for BTCC returnee Jeff Allam, who would be one of the leading lights of the season.

Like your description of the Mitsubishi tyre deal ..and early rubber situation

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Old 27 Jan 2010, 22:38   #7
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Thank you, KA, for a very proper introduction.

I have to add the presence of Vic Lee as an entrant of a converted Bigazzi Group A BMW M3 for BTCC returnee Jeff Allam, who would be one of the leading lights of the season.

Like your description of the Mitsubishi tyre deal ..and early rubber situation

Jesper
Yes, I realised I'd forgotten the Vic Lee Motorsport M3 just after I'd gone out... Quite a significant entry to miss out bearing in mind the impact Lee was going to have on the BTCC over the next few years...
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Old 27 Jan 2010, 23:07   #8
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Yes, I realised I'd forgotten the Vic Lee Motorsport M3 just after I'd gone out... Quite a significant entry to miss out bearing in mind the impact Lee was going to have on the BTCC over the next few years...
But the team did miss the opening round, right?

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Old 28 Jan 2010, 00:16   #9
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But the team did miss the opening round, right?

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Debuted Round 3 at Thruxton
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Old 28 Jan 2010, 00:40   #10
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1990 BTCC Round 1: Oulton Park, 13 April 1990. xx Laps
Pos.Cl.#DriverTeam/sponsorCat.CarGrid.TimeFastest lapLapsTimeNotes
1.1.1Andy RouseRouse/ICSAFord Sierra RS500 Cosworth      
2.2.5Mike NewmanGoode/ListerineAFord Sierra RS500 Cosworth      
3.3.10Lawrence BristowRouse/Team LabattsAFord Sierra RS500 Cosworth      
4.4.3Tim HarveyRouse/Team LabattsAFord Sierra RS500 Cosworth      
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
12.?11Robb GravettTrakstarAFord Sierra RS500 Cosworth      
             
?.1.56Kelvin BurtProdrive/BMW Finance+Mobil 1BBMW M3      
?.2.55Frank SytnerProdrive/BMW Finance+Mobil 1BBMW M3      
             
DNS.DNS77Godfrey HallPyramid MotorsportBBMW M3      
            
            
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Old 28 Jan 2010, 09:46   #11
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VIVA GT should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridVIVA GT should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridVIVA GT should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridVIVA GT should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
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Originally Posted by KA View Post
As 1989 is well under way, and Jesper has started the thread, I'll get this one rolling. I'll post some results later tonight, but for now I'll do a quick overview of the season entry

As Jesper said, 1990 was the first stage of transition from Group A to the new 2-litre regs that became Supertouring. The 'big' class over 3000cc Group A cars stayed for one final fling, but the remaining three classes were swept away to be replaced by a single new 2-litre class. At this stage, the cars looked very much like their Group A predecessors- in fact, some of the M3s would have been existing cars converted to the new engine regs.

Class A- All RS500 this year- the Maserati project having been abandoned at the end of '89. The Sierras were fewer in number this year, but the 'big four' teams, Rouse, Trakstar, Graham Goode, and the Rouse-run Team Labatt's were still present with a pair of cars each.

The Kaliber sponsorship deal had ended, and Rouse was back in ICS colours. Team-mate would be Sean Walker, moving over from running a third Goode car, and bringing his regular FAI Automotive sponsorship

Graham Goode reverted to running just a pair of cars, otherwise nothing else changed- Goode and Mike Newman, with Listerine sponsorship again in what would turn out to be the final BTCC season as drivers for both- Mike missing several races mid-season, and Andy Middlehurst stepping in for one of them.

The Bristow/Harvey/Team Labatt's combination continued unchanged, apart from a new paintjob, the cars carrying a prominent 'Don't Drink & Drive' message

Trakstar also continued with the same driver pairing- Gravett and Smith, but the cars would look very different to 1989. The Cartel/NEC backing from '89 had gone- and there was no title sponsor to replace it. Robb Gravett starting the season in a pristine white (a new car I think?) RS500, with only a few Shell decals. Smith wouldn't appear until round 2- and then his car wore the previous year's red and white paintscheme, but with no more sponsorship than Robb's. Moreover, for his debut at the Donington 1-hour race, Mike was sharing with Graham Hathaway- the car's new owner. Hathaway would continue to run the ex-Trakstar car himself, but the next time we'd see Smith in an RS500 would be Silverstone- in July...This was a far cry from 1989's well-funded effort, with various one-off sponsors appearing from time to time- Qubie Computers,Champion, Dianetics...Ford Credit stepped in late season. Fortunately, although the team's finances were uncertain, the car was as effective as it had been in '89

That was it for regular Sierras- Graham Hathaway did about half a season in his ex-Trakstar car, as did Dennis Leech in his new RS500 (sadly in plain white, rather than the distinctive black and dayglo orange of his Rover)

The others the others were occasional visitors, only doing a few races. Dave Brodie did a few rounds in the second half of the year, ), Italian Amato Ferrari visited a couple of times with a car run by F3000 team Crypton Engineering, and Stuart Donnan appeared once
Just to be strictly pedantic here. Mike Newman started the year without sponsorship, running the car in plain black (and a "Mad Mike" sunstrip in reference to a televiesd comment from Dave Brodie!), his Listerine sponsorship re-appeared later in the season...
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Old 28 Jan 2010, 11:48   #12
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Just to be strictly pedantic here. Mike Newman started the year without sponsorship, running the car in plain black (and a "Mad Mike" sunstrip in reference to a televiesd comment from Dave Brodie!), his Listerine sponsorship re-appeared later in the season...
Thanks- I'd completely forgotten about that! Now you mention it, I half-remember the bit about Brodie's comments- wasn't it from a bit of pre-race interview for the BBC, something like 'We've got Mad Mike Newman on the front row, so anything could happen?'
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Old 28 Jan 2010, 12:02   #13
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Thanks- I'd completely forgotten about that! Now you mention it, I half-remember the bit about Brodie's comments- wasn't it from a bit of pre-race interview for the BBC, something like 'We've got Mad Mike Newman on the front row, so anything could happen?'
That's right KA. I can't remember it word-for-word, but something very close to what you remember I'm sure.
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Old 29 Jan 2010, 16:47   #14
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That's right KA. I can't remember it word-for-word, but something very close to what you remember I'm sure.
Same here, it sounds right. Dave didn't have many good words to say about his fellow racers that year did he?

I know where the Starion is and the owner gets on here from time to time.

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Old 29 Jan 2010, 16:58   #15
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Same here, it sounds right. Dave didn't have many good words to say about his fellow racers that year did he?

I know where the Starion is and the owner gets on here form time to time.
He probably had a part-time job as a youngster keeping the local church clock going. He's certainly an entertaining wind-up merchant!
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