A Ford RS 200 in Belgium
The brand new Ford weapon will be present in Belgium at the hands of Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten as part of the Belgian Inter Rally Championship.
It is known that Droogmans was revealed to the general public on a Ford Escort RS1800, as were his comrades Snyers and Duez, all three spotted by Gilbert Staepelaere, currently responsible for the sports program of Ford Belgium.
R.A.S. Sport will take charge of this prepared car in Boreham.
Willy Plas is still team manager and the entire team should be in direct competition with Marc Duez Metro.
Like the Metro, the Ford RS200 will be in the colors of the Belga Team.
With this car, Robert Droogmans will move from the role of challenger to the role of favorite for the championship as Patrick Snyers, defending champion, continues in 86 on the Lancia Rally 037 which should be less successful.
After his first tests in England, Robert Droogmans admitted to being amazed by the power and especially the perfectly balanced behavior of the RS200.
Obviously, the difference with a Porsche must be great.
First rally planned: the Boucles de Spa, even before the official debut in the World Championship at the Swedish Rally.
I am shy.
I often blush when I feel uncomfortable ...
I am very anxious ...
I was reproached for being distant, even scornful during the races.
It's not that at all: I'm unable to focus on anything other than the rally and our cars ...
I am very faithful, I was going to say that I have memory, but it's the same thing; I have the sense of friendship; I am uncompromising and resentful ...
I am sensitive to the honors to the extent that They are not awarded to the detriment of the people who are with me ...
I am very curious about what others are doing ...
I do not think I'm sensitive to flattery, but since I'm anxious, I need reassurance.
... My only real regret is not having the family success that I would have liked.
... I have always wanted to take people as "strong" in their specialty.
It is much more motivating to choose high-level professionals than to say, "I'm going to take this one, I'm sure it will not shade me because it's not too strong."
- Which driver do you admire the most?
- I think it's Jim Clark.
I saw him running when I was very young.
I will fill in the question by saying that the driver I am most afraid of right now is Walter Rohrl.
Wherever he comes at the start, I know it will be difficult for Peugeot.
- Do you consider money as an end or as a means?
- I like money but in a measured way.
I live very well but I am not a rich man.
Maybe I could have become rich but I should have taken a totally different path; the one I followed will bring me a lot, but not wealth.
- What place do women occupy in your life?
- An important place.
Women bring balance to the man.
They are also a refuge to the extent that we can find with them what we do not have elsewhere.
- Are you sensitive to what the press writes about you?
- When writing about Peugeot in competition, I obviously feel concerned.
But I am especially sensitive to what the press does not pass on me, but on what I say ...
... that we carry the judgment we want, okay.
But I think that when you transcribe a statement, it must be true.
I must say that the rote of the press, and the media in general, has been decisive in our adventure.
If they do not spread, echoes our part / cJPatl ° n 'we would not have the benefits of which
we benefit today.
"20 Question: Jean Todt", Bernard Gautier-Playboy, November 1985.
The press, a double-edged sword ...
Some like it show
How to silence a strong crowd, it seems, of fifty thousand people.
It's simple: it's enough for the crowd to be Italian and to witness the triumph of Timo Salonen's Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 against Markku Alen's Lancia Delta S4.
In the running, eight drivers: World Champion Timo Salonen, his compatriots Markku Alen and Henri Toivonen, Stig Blomqvist, Miki Bia-sion, Jean Ragnotti, Tony Pond and even Marc Duez.
Which organizer does not dream to gather such a plateau at the start of his race? This is the feat achieved by the FRO (Formula Rally Organization), promoter of the first edition of the Attilio Bettega Memorial.
The event took place on an artificial circuit of 1400 m long drawn on a parking lot adjacent to the famous motorshow of Bologna and took place on December 14 and 15, several tens of thousands of spectators attending a show broadcast in direct by eight television channels.
At the wheel of the best current rally cars, the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, the Lancia Delta S4, the Lancia Rally, the MG Metro 6R4, the Audi Sport Quattro, the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo and the Ferrari 308 GTB, our eight rally musketeers competed in pairs. direct elimination (two winning rounds), each of the protagonists of each round starting from one end of the mixed clay-tarmac circuit.
Five "four-wheel drive" and three propulsion at the start.
The quarter-finals are based on the times of the trials.
Alen (Lancia Delta), Pond (MG Metro) and Duez (MG Metro) leave no chance respectively to Ragnotti (Renault 5 Turbo), Biasion (Lancia Rally), victim of a touch and Toivonen (Ferrari), author of a splendid demonstration of piloting, both spectacular and precise.
The "slowest" (sic) of the four-wheel drive test, poor Stig Blomqvist has the misfortune to "fall" on a Timo Salonen in great form in the last quarter-final which offers spectators the most sensational course of the day .
The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is inaccessible and the Audi Quattro S1 joins the two-wheel drive in the oubliettes.
Timo Salonen continues his momentum in the semifinals and offers himself without the slightest apparent difficulty Marc Duez's scalp.
This is not the case for Markku Alen who has the greatest difficulties in the world to win against the second MG Metro 6R4 driven by Tony Pond.
It is true that the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 evolution 2 "turns" in 1'26 "against 1'28" / 1'29 "for Lancia Delta and other MG Metro.
Not dead, the Peugeot.
Besides, who doubted it.
Pond loses for seven hundredths of a second in the first inning of ten tenths of a second in the second inning.
At first taken aback, the crowd lets burst its joy.
Not for a long time.
The package of Tony Pond leaves Marc Duez to fight alone and the Belgian easily conquers the third place despite contact with the straw boots.
From the first few meters of the first leg of the final, Timo Salonen takes the lead over Markku Alen.
The latter does its utmost to limit the damage until the engine of his Lancia stops at the exit of one of the too many pins of the course.
The same problem as RAC Rally! This is not a good omen before the start of the 1986 season.
Fortunately, the Italian technicians have another month to discover what is wrong with the information sent to the computer.
Electronic injection sometimes has these mysteries.
Scenario identical in the second round and a flamboyant Timo Salonen is imposed on Markku Alen and fifty thousand spectators disappointed.
"Here it did not matter.
See you at Monte Carlo ".
As they are right.
A new sport
The immense hall of this 16th century castle, larger than the circuit, affirms some, welcomes three hundred journalistic guests.
The head of the Formula Rally Organization, a Mr Nelson, thanks the journalists for attending the birth of a new sport.
This is the aim of the promoters of the Bologna meeting.
This is clear and certainly more than the FRO itself described in press releases as the "English subsidiary of a major US group" without any further clarification.
We admit that we have not pushed further our investigations, as the sporting value of the Bologna show seems limited compared to the rounds of the World Rally Championship.
Fifty thousand people, the best cars and the biggest rallymen at the start, more than three hundred journalists present from all countries, the Memorial Attilio Bettega was a great success, without any doubt, but does not it first to the personality of the late Attilio and the will of all to pay tribute to him? Or the enormous means implemented by the organization to ensure the recognition of its test? Marlboro, Lancia and probably Martini participated in the promotion of the Bologna event.
The presence of television unlocks many scholarships, failing to loose the languages.
To speak of success by mentioning the number of journalists present is to take the effect for the cause ... since the great majority of these were invited.
Why would they have missed an exceptional opportunity to converse in a relaxed way with the greatest pilots of the moment if it is not to taste once again the delicious Italian cuisine?
More importantly, the Attilio Bettega Memorial has attracted spectators and television because the presented stage has an aura due ... to the great adventure of the World Rally Championship.
Before being used to promote the rally, the "new sport" has - first - benefited from the popularity of the second most important motor sport after the Formula 1 World Championship.
Let's not reverse roles, please.
Our opinion on an event should perhaps not be influenced by the lack of modesty of its promoters - though - but we can not resist the pleasure of reproducing a few sentences from the presentation note published by the Formula Rally Organization.
The initiative of this one is intended to remedy "the insufficiency of the spectacular contents of these demonstrations (note: the rallies), the impossibility for the public (note: of the rally) to acquire the direction of the race and , for television, to take live shots of the event ".
Here we are.
Further on, the promoter states: "The route was obtained by using a computer in which the characteristics recorded by Lancia expressly equipped cars, of some of the most famous special stages of the Monte-Carlo rallies were introduced. and San Remo.
Bravo to the computer, which had provided, according to the "instructions for use" of the organizer, maximum speeds exceeding 170 km / h and an average speed of around 100 km / h.
In fact, the drivers admitted to "pass" twice the third report and, "crashing" in his final against Markku Alen, Timo Salonen managed to graze the 59 km / h average.
Spilling a few dozen tons of earth on a flat parking, bring a dozen television cameras, three journalists' charters and multiply the service of order is not enough to transport the mountains of Portugal, the bumps of Finland or the undulating paths of New Zealand in the middle of the Bologna motorshow.
Let's stop the irony.
I have eaten well in Bologna, it is not tomorrow the day before that tens of thousands of European spectators will have the opportunity to fly to New Zealand to attend the most beautiful rally in the world and it is obvious that the only thing missing from the rally to get the importance it deserves is ... more TV coverage.
To this extent, the "show" of Bologna is useful, even if the live report of a real special - well chosen according to the television - can only be more representative and even more spectacular.
No need to create a dummy "face to face".
The rally is a sport "against the clock" ...
Skiing too, and no one blames his lack of "telegenics".
No: it is only necessary that the organizers of rallies put together a special for television.
The live report of the Humalamaki special at the 1000 Lakes Rally would be more spectacular and more telegenic than all the shows in Bologna or elsewhere.
The sporting directors of the biggest teams understood it very well, Jean Todt best synthesized the comments by explaining:
"We have come to honor the memory of AttilioBettega.
The Bologna show is very good for the rally because it allows new viewers and viewers to get in touch with our sport.
I do not think it is possible for a builder to take part in more than three or four - maximum - of these events each year.
My wish is to link each of them to a round of the World Rally Championship.
Why not plan these two or three events three weeks before the start of a round of the world championship, when the drivers start their reconnaissance, or three days before the start, when they finish, to give the spectators and the televisions the desire to see and learn more by going on the roads of the "real" rally.
I am in favor of events such as Bologna as long as they do not become a goal in themselves ".
What more can be said?
Pond ejected, Duez was the only one to defend the ticket Metro.
Alen beaten, the Italian crowd was silent. ►
Toivonen and his Ferrari: without AWD no salvation!
An artificial track traced by computer: the reality has not yet joined the fiction.
"Beaten on the RAC by the Lancia S4, the Turbo 16 took his first revenge in Italy.
Salonen king of the show, Alen (right) and Duez princes of the party.
L £ RETURN TO COUNTRY
Michèle Mouton signed at Monte Carlo some of her first exploits.
The bad luck then caused three successive abandonments on Audi.
Michèle, disgusted, voluntarily refrained from taking part in the last two editions of the event.
She returns this year, driving a French car.
-by Michel UZIN-
We met her in the vicinity of Gap where she had just started her reconnaissance with her new teammate, the Irishman Terry Harryman.
"I had never driven the Peugeot, I had not even sat at the wheel before taking possession of my" mule "on Monday, December 16th.
During my first visit to Peugeot Talbot Sport's workshops in early December, mechanics invited me to slip into the living room.
I refused, preferring to wait for "my" car.
You have reached an agreement with Peugeot without having ever driven the 205 Turbo 16.
When were your first contacts with the French manufacturer?
After the Côte d'Ivoire Rally.
There had been a few words before but the precise proposal was not made until I returned from Africa. "
Have you thought long before accepting?
Because of or thanks to a very nice sentence of Jean Todt.
He told me, "We're not going to let you exile yourself to America." Those simple words returned me.
At that moment, I realized that I did not want to follow Audi's proposal, which was limited to taking part in some rallies in the USA. "
During the Peugeot press conference, you went further by thanking Peugeot for giving you "a little hope of continuing your career".
Is it really your feeling of the moment?
I believe that without Jean's proposal, I would finally decide to stop.
The 1985 season allowed me to realize that the competition makes no sense to me if it is not accompanied by motivation.
I am not Blomqvist.
I do not need to have a steering wheel in my hands to feel that I live.
Motivation means responsibility.
To want to keep running, I need something to defend.
At Audi, I had the impression that they said about me: "We can not abandon it".
Such a reaction does not satisfy me.
In nice words, they said to me, "Go have fun in America," but I feel, I know they did not have and do not need me.
At Peugeot Germany, I felt great enthusiasm.
They are nice people who believe in me.
The first contact with the boss of the company, Baehr, was magnificent.
The team has means but the atmosphere is very family.
Who cares for your car?
"Fred Stalder is responsible for the maintenance between the races.
During the rallies, assistance is provided jointly by Stalder and Peugeot Germany.
For the Monte Carlo, it is reinforced by the competition department of Peugeot Talbot Italy. "
Would not you have preferred to start from a 205 Turbo 16 evolution 2? The power does not scare an ex-Audi driver.
"I like progressing gradually, in stages.
New car, new team-mate and competitive debut at the most difficult round of the World Rally Championship: is not the bet already delicate? The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 1 sst World Champion.
It is certainly fast enough for people to judge.
Even that is not important.
For the moment, I think only of the taking in hand of my new horse, to put my confidence in having the certainty nu'elle is good enough to allow me to the arrival, to "make a result". "
Are you hoping to start more than two rounds of the 1986 World Championship?
"One thing is good with Jean Todt: when he does not know, he does not promise.
On the other hand, when he has promised, we can be sure that he will keep his word.
I just hope to fulfill my contract at Monte Carlo as in Corsica.
For this last test, my confidence is less overflowing than the one shown by Jean.
I have not participated in the Tour de Corse for three years, it will be difficult to be in the game, I would have liked beforehand the opportunity to "test me" in Corsica to see if I can hold my place but Jean sweeps all my arguments with a simple "it will go".
It is true that I have always worked well there.
Nevertheless: the challenge scares me a little.
Corsica is the only event for which I feel this sensation.
In Portugal, in Greece, elsewhere, I want to go without any apprehension. "
What are your ambitions from the Monte Carlo and the 1986 season?
"It's simple: to do better than in 1985.
With the Audi, Tannée last, I wondered at the beginning of each rally when I was going to give up.
For the Monte Carlo, I feel like seven years ago, when I found myself driving a Lancia Stratos that I did not know, when I had never driven a powerful car on the snow. .
I feel like I'm going to take part in my first rally of the World Championship: a new car, three weeks of recon-fac7enauni '7 00,63 in English- / fruc
My ambition for this
Ohm6 tl6nt Gn One word; TAKE AWAY. "8First-10 ^ at the wheel of the Peugeot 205 Turbo
"Give me time to have some mpressions.
For now, Terry and I are focusing on the development of our note system. When Jean proposed to join Peugeot, my only hesitation came from the absence of assisted steering on the evolution 1. In fact, it is homologated and can be placed. My mule, which does not have this accessory, is not physically harder to drive than the Quattro with power steering ... and the direction of the Peugeot is in any case much lighter than that of the Fiat 131 Abarth. No fear to have on this side. What else can I say except that the Peugeot, I feel that I will love it. I started my reconnaissance by the Re-vard, traveled at 50 km / h. Without going faster, I realized that the 205 Turbo 16 is a toy. Compared to the Quattro, it looks like a production car. It gives an impression of ease, power, lightness, flexibility. I say impression because I do not think it will be easier for me to drive than the Quattro. I am used to a car that has a lot of power and weight on the front end. To that extent, the Peugeot represents a total change. "
Do you anticipate difficulties of adaptation?
"I have the impression that it will depend on the distribution of the couple. The first days, I was confronted with a light and low power front train, while I have behind me five years of 50/50 power distribution, not to mention the position in front overhang of the Audi engine Quattro. For these two! For reasons, the Quattro behaved more like a traction than a propulsion. My first contact with the Peugeot was quite the opposite: light front, rear that strolls, the typical behavior of a propulsion. It did not work. To be at the wheel of a rally car, I need to feel that the front hangs, pulls. The back follows. My mule was first equipped with a torque distribution providing 1/3 of the power to the train i before and 2/3 to the rear end, ie the 1 usual setting of the Peugeot in the World Championship on the ground or the snow . Kalle Grundel, the driver who preceded me in the Peugeot Germany team, came straight from the front wheel drive. He also likes to feel the power "pass" by the front train. That's why he asked for and obtained a 45% torque split on the front axle and 55% on the rear axle. After two days of recognition, I experimented with his choice and I immediately felt more at home. The first adjustment forced me to control slips at the wheel and throttle. I understand that it suits Ari Vatanen and Timo Salonen, who are used to Escort, Fiat and other Nissan. With the Quattro, I have five years of experience in braking my left foot and I think I could hardly do without this technique. The 45/55 split allows me to use it effectively. Additional experience and testing will be necessary for me to form a definitive opinion, but if I were to make an immediate choice, I would increase the proportion of power passing through the nose gear compared to the habits of the Peugeot factory drivers. I answer because you ask me, but my experience is too modest for me to give a thoughtful enough opinion. "
On the Audi, the left foot was constantly free as the clutch control was located on the shifter.
"Exact. I thought I would have more problems with rehabilitation. The old automatisms are back quickly. You know, all these worries are absolutely minor compared to a single problem whose solution is vital: the setting How does it make you to have a man at your side, during reconnaissance, or during rallies?
"The relationships are different, maybe the complicity is less, but it is not the most important. The bottom line is that the mentalities between the two crew members complement each other so that the experience is rewarding for everyone. This does not prevent me from shedding a tear on the end of my association with Fabrizia. Our deal was so perfect that I felt divorced. If I had been content with the American program of Audi, four or five rallies without recognition, since the course is secret, we would have continued to work together. She is not tired of the rally, since I think she intends to take part in two or three events as a driver.
She just wants to get married and start a family. For this reason, she did not want to be a professional teammate anymore. Are you men unable to understand that? "
What do you think of Roland Gumpert's dismissal?
His change of assignment.
"I think it's not a stylish thank you for the efforts he has made for three years at the management of Audi Sport. I also believe that it is a mistake to the extent that Audi has no more competent person to put in its place. I do not speak against his successor Herwart Kreiner, whom I met once and who is probably someone very capable but Audi has "consumed" five sports directors in six years. That's way too much, especially if we compare this situation to the position of Cesare Fiorio at Fiat or Jean Todt at Peugeot. This distortion is explained by the way in which competition is considered at Audi. Fiorio and Todt are responsible. The director of Audi Sport is an instrument. He is not independent enough. "
Roland Gumpert says his change of posting is, in fact, a promotion.
"It's very good to respect his superiors.
Did you approve of the change of car in Côte d'Ivoire?
"But we did not sing a car in Ivory Coast."
The operation of Audi Sport has often been criticized. Are these criticisms valid for someone who has lived with this team for five years? Miss
"The problem at Audi is that they're starting to rally and technical. They reduce the rally to its technical aspect by neglecting both human contributions and those of experience. Audi has brought so much to motorsport that it's difficult to afford to criticize them All rally cars are equipped with all-wheel drive ... thanks to Audi. I believe that the new semi-automatic gearbox is the next innovation that no one can afford to neglect. Examples of this type due to Audi are innumerable The technique is the strong point of the German team. Unfortunately, it has weaknesses. They do not believe in the experience, do not say "it may be okay" but "it must work" No other team than Audi would run the risk of starting Safari with gearboxes all new and never tried in the race. And all the spare boxes were of the same type! Since they do not think about the possibility of unforeseen problems, they have great difficulty coping with them. So much for the critics but I reaffirm to have lived with Audi a magnificent experience, unique, perhaps the most beautiful that the rally has known. Part of nothing, a team revolutionized a sport. If we keep this global point of view, the weaknesses finally have little weight. "
"Without Jean Todt's proposal, I would decide to stop."
You said goodbye to Ingolstad.
"They were very moving. You do not share the life of a team with impunity for five years. I offered a pot to all the mechanics and team members before starting my reconnaissance for the Monte Carlo. Their last welcome was magnificent. The meeting was super nice. Many obviously had a heartache. Me too and I was happy to have it. "
Michèle Mouton settles in the cockpit of her Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 and caresses the steering wheel.
"This car, I feel like I'm going to love it," she said. His arrival was undoubtedly essential for the continuation of the love affair between Michèle and the rally. A love story, no doubt, but not in any condition. ■
SAME BRAND OTHER FIELD
The French champion of rallies 85 will not put his title in play next year. He will play another, still with Opel, but in Production
Frequelin eclectic has struck again. At least he will do everything for that. After imposing an Opel Manta 400 at the end of his career at the top level of French rallies, he needed, for lack of immediately competitive "Opel" equipment, either to change his brand or to change his field of action. He finally opted for the second solution and chose loyalty to his employer, while other opportunities were available to him. All this deserved some clarification. We asked them.
What can you tell us about your "production" program and your new car?
"It's an Opel Senator with a 5.71 Chevrolet engine, like the Holden cars sold in Australia. In fact it will be a little over 5.81 when prepared at Chevrolet, because in principle we will receive these engines directly from the USA I have not seen the car yet, but Rolf Pflug, our engineer has already gone on the new continent and Australia to get to know this car, some of which are already running there.
From a weight point of view, we will be, I hope, at least the approved scale in our category. In any case, we will do everything for that. My team will be the same as this year, with Rolf, Andy, and the German team already seen this year in rally ".
How do you feel about your return to the circuit?
"I think it's pretty cool, first of all because my car will be very powerful and a car with 500 horsepower is always fun to drive. I have not made a circuit since my production season on the 505 GACP in 82, but it is a discipline that I already know and that is not really confusing compared to the rally, it's not like if I was doing the F.3000. I'm going to run on sedans, with focus problems, brakes and |. of tires, but nothing really unknown. So I think I'm in the game. "
This choice "production" is deliberate, or it's because you had no more self to make the rally?
"We did not have cars anymore because we did not want to repeat a rally season with the Manta 400, the manufacture of which is not the spearhead of Opel. So, pending the homologation of our four-wheel drive, it was more interesting to make production on a model called Senator and is more suited to the product level. On the other hand, we won two championships in rally, we could have won three if the Manta had been as well prepared in 84 as in 85, so we had little more to prove in this area, it So it's a very good thing to do production. "
We'll see you a little rally?
"It will mostly depend on the evolution of the Gr S thereafter. And my schedule for 86. My contract with Opel is not exclusive and, to the extent that they agree, I can very well run with a car of another brand. But goal # 1 is the production and development of the Senator. I have some informal contacts to do the rally, on a case-by-case basis, but I will only take initiatives depending on the time that will remain for me. "
Are you also involved in the development of the Opel 4x4?
"Without a doubt. I have not touched those cars yet. It is obvious that we will try. But all this may not be fully defined before the outcome of the Paris-Dakar. "
This year, you still had contacts with Peugeot. Why did not they succeed?
"On the one hand, I did not quite agree with Jean-Todt on the price, but it's mostly a program problem. If you want, when Jean asked me to stay at home in '82, it was to run fairly well when the cars were operational. To the extent that I refused to go to Opel in 83, he no longer saw things the same way this year. In fact, I would have rather replaced Saby than ran as Kan-kunnen. However, I would have liked to go to Peugeot, but for a complete program of world championship. To do four or five rallies, that did not interest me. "*
And your loyalty to Opel, is it due to moral, financial, or other reasons?
"It is mainly due to reasons of continuity in time. Which go beyond a simple three-year pilot contract. It is even, in the medium term, to exploit a future reconversion. We can do a lot of things, piloting, technical, and also, in agreement with Maurice Kniebihler, boss of GM France, Jean Ferlin, head of marketing and accounting, and Bernard Corbel, the boss of Opel, we have in the spirit of developing the association of the pair Fré-quelin-Opel through a series of commercial and sports parts. We start thinking about it. "
Now that you will take a step back from this discipline, what do you think of the French Rally Championship and the return of the "land" championship?
"A French Rally Cup on Earth can not have enough notoriety for guys to go.
A Championship Label is better.
But two parallel championships, it falls like a hair on the soup at the time when the numbers at the top level in French rally are rather down.
There must be one who will have less fallout and who will be "killed" in relation to the other.
For me, the ideal is a single title, with a mixture in the championship, five rallies "land" and five rallies "asphalt", but not in the tests that would remain 100% tar or 100% land.
In these conditions, we might have continued with Opel.
And there would have been other interesting customers. "
You still do not lose sight of the World Rally Championship?
No, as a pilot, I would really like to do it again.
Everything will depend on how things evolve for the Gr S, and also what will happen in production.
Imagining that this is a great thing for us, we will probably continue two years in a row.
Anyway, I think the Gr S will not come before 1988 in the world championship But we can already do some European championship rallies in 87 while waiting better. "