Ford RS200 to jedyny samochód, który został zaprojektowany od podstaw, aby konkurować w grupie B. Obdarzony unikalnym nadwoziem, niepodobny był do żadnego modelu produkcyjnego. Jego jedyną wadą było to, że wprowadzono go zbyt późno, aby odegrał główną rolę w rajdowym spektaklu. Po tym, jak Escort RS1700 Turbo okazał się ślepą uliczką, szef działu motorsportu, Stuart Turner, chciał mieć napęd na cztery koła i umieszczony centralnie silnik z turbodoładowaniem. Nad mechaniką pracowali inżynierowie z doświadczeniem w F1, John Wheeler i Tony Southgate. Nadwozie zaprojektowała włoska Ghia. Do stworzenia monokoku użyto najnowocześniejszych rozwiązań i materiałów, wykorzystując sekcje z włókna szklanego, węglowego oraz aluminium. Napędzał go silnik Cosworth BDT o pojemności 1803 cm3. Rozwijał on 250 KM w wersji drogowej i do 450 KM w specyfikacji rajdowej. Chociaż ogólny układ samochodu przypominał Peugeota 205 T16, różnił się od niego pod względem montażu wzdłużnego silnika i skrzyni biegów, która była z przodu. W marcu 1984 roku samochód został zaprezentowany dyrektorom Forda, a następnie został zaprezentowany publicznie na targach w Turynie. Chociaż początkowo przewidywano, że samochód weźmie udział w Rajdowych Mistrzostwach Świata od połowy 1985 roku, produkcja 200 samochodów wymaganych do homologacji zakończyła się dopiero pod koniec 1985 roku. RS200 ostatecznie zadebiutował w Rajdowych Mistrzostwach Świata w lutym 1986 roku podczas Rajdu Szwecji, gdzie lokalny kierowca Kalle Grundel wygrał kilka etapów i zajął trzecie miejsce. To był obiecujący początek, ale radość zespołu była krótkotrwała. Podczas Rajdu Portugalii, Joaquim Santos wypadł z drogi w swoim RS200, zabijając 4 osoby. RS200 był ponownie widziany tylko w dwóch rundach mistrzostw: Rajdzie Akropolu, w którym Blomqvist i Grundel prowadzili przed wycofaniem się z powodu problemów z skrzynią, oraz Rajdzie RAC, w którym Grundel zajął piąte miejsce. Koniec grupy B w sezonie 1986 zakończył karierę RS200 w rajdach, zanim zdążył on w pełni wykorzystać swój potencjał. Tak jak inne B grupowe auta cieszył się nowym życiem w Rallycrossie, gdzie osiągnął największe sukcesy.
Samochód wystawiony na aukcji to okaz Kallea Grundela, który za jego kierownicą w Rajdzie Szwecji zdobył 3 miejsce. Po Rajdzie Szwecji kupił go norweski entuzjasta, którego Olivier Quesnel spotkał podczas startu w rundzie rallycrossu i namówił do sprzedaży auta. Krótka kariera w zawodach wyjaśnia wyjątkowy, oryginalny stan tego samochodu. Ford RS200, nadal noszący numer 8 z Rajdu Szwecji, sprzedany został podczas aukcji w Paryżu za 381440 euro, czyli około 1,7 miliona złotych.
Photos © Peter Singhof
Sale Parisienne 2021 – 05 february 2021 /Lot 6
1986 Ford RS200 usine
1986 Ford RS200 usine
Estimation 250,000 – 400,000 €
Sold 381,440 €
– The best result for an RS200 in the World Rally Championship
– Went almost straight from a rally stage to the museum
– Exceptionally well preserved
– Designed by top English engineers
– Ex-Kalle Grundel, ex-Stig Blomqvist
The Ford RS200 is the only car to have been designed from the ground up to compete in Group B, with unique bodywork unlike any production model. Its only fault was that it was introduced too late to play a leading part.
A delay due to the fact that the programme was implemented after the Escort RS1700 Turbo, which was initially intended to fly the flag for the company. After the Escort proved a dead end, Walter Hayes, the head of Ford, brought Stuart Turner back to run the motorsport department in 1983 and develop the car it needed to win. For Turner (who had dreamt up the GT70), it had to have four-wheel drive and a mid-mounted turbocharged engine. After failing to poach Gordon Murray from Brabham (faced with opposition from Bernie Ecclestone), Turner turned to other top-flight engineers. He selected the proposals made by John Wheeler and Tony Southgate (who were known for their work in F1) and turned to Ghia to design the body, insisting that the windscreen should not be set at too steep an angle, to avoid reflections. The car’s monocoque structure used cutting-edge solutions and materials, employing fibreglass, carbon, aluminium and honeycomb sections. Logically, the engine was the Cosworth BDT (Belt Drive, T-type) intended for the Escort RS 1700 but enlarged to 1803 cc; this developed 250 bhp in roadgoing trim and up to 450 bhp in rally spec. Although the car’s overall layout resembled the Peugeot 205 T16, it differed in terms of the longitudinal installation of the engine and its transmission, with the gearbox at the front and two driveshafts.
In March 1984, the car was presented to Ford’s directors, who gave their approval for five prototypes to be built, and then unveiled to the public at the Turin Show in November that year. Although it was initially envisaged that the car would take part in the World Rally Championship from mid-1985, problems in its development delayed work on the project and the start of production of the 200 cars required for homologation, which would only be completed at the end of 1985.
The RS200 eventually made its first appearance in the World Rally Championship in February 1986 on the Swedish Rally, where the local driver Kalle Grundel won several stages and finished third, behind Kankkunen’s 205 T16 and Alen’s Delta S4. It was a promising start, but the team’s joy was short-lived. During the next event, the Rallye de Portugal, Joaquim Santos ran off the road in his RS200 to avoid some reckless spectators and three people lost their lives.
The RS200 was only seen again on two rounds of the Championship: the Acropolis Rally, where Blomqvist and Grundel were in the lead before retiring with transmission problems, and the RAC Rally, where Grundel achieved the best result, finishing fifth.
The end of Group B after the 1986 season brought the RS200’s career in rallying to a close before it had the chance to realise its full potential. Before this interruption, Ford had been working on an 'Evolution' model with a 2137 cc engine, the BDT-E, designed by Brian Hart and capable of producing 800 bhp. 20 such cars were built, but none took part in the Championship.
After the ban on Group B, the RS200 enjoyed a new lease of life, notably in Rallycross, where its agile handling worked wonders.
The car for sale
After Grundel’s third place on the Swedish Rally (the best result achieved by an RS200 in the WRC), the car we are offering for sale (chassis no. 015, originally registered B200 YOO) took part in 1986 in the Rothmans Circuit of Ireland (where it retired) and the Audi Sport Rally, which it won, driven by Stig Blomqvist.
It was then bought by a Norwegian enthusiast, from whom Olivier Quesnel acquired it, as he explained to us: „I had met the Norwegian driver in Rallycross, where competed with the RS200 Evos in the Glomma Papp team. He had bought Grundel’s Swedish Rally car but didn’t drive it in competition as it was an older model.
I offered to buy it from him, but at first he refused, and I had to use all my powers of persuasion to convince him! I went to see him in Norway and remember it was snowing when we landed: I thought the plane was going to skid …”
A document dated 15 September 1989, on Glomma Papp letterhead, confirms the transaction and the price paid. After this, the car was shipped back to France and put on display in the museum.
We have a document drawn up by Graham Robson, the motoring writer and specialist in the model (he was a close friend of Stuart Graham, who involved him in its development from 1983), stating that 148 RS200s survive and listing chassis no. 015 as a left-hand drive works car for the competition.
Its brief career in competition explains this car’s exceptional original condition, and it still bears the number 8 from the Swedish Rally, as if it had just left the world of rallying. With the distinction of being the best-placed RS200 in international motorsport, this is one of the finest examples of this impressive yet little known model, developed by the most brilliant engineers of its time, which never had the chance to fulfil its potential. The significance of this opportunity will surely not be lost on enthusiasts.
We inform buyers that all the vehicles in the collection have been little used during the last years as they are part of a museum collection. They are sold as presented and therefore require recommissioning before being driven on the road.
COLLECTION MICHEL HOMMELL ET OLIVIER QUESNEL
At the start of the 1970s, I had the privilege of meeting Michel Hommell and Olivier Quesnel, before they had forged the perfect collaboration.
Olivier, Patrick Tambay’s closest childhood friend, started his career working in PR for the Simca Racing Team, before joining Jean Todt at Peugeot Talbot Sport, and Michel Hommell, a former R8 Gordini Cub competitor, was diversifying his motorsport-themed publishing group, which included the flagship publication ” Echappement „. Following a first dinner they shared the uncanny feeling of having known each other forever. They found reasons to meet, particularly for games of squash where the loser offered the winner a case of wine, and the publisher vowed : ” I will ask you to join me when I have the means to pay for your talents „.
This came to pass in 1984 and six months later, Olivier took over the running of the group. For the next 25 years, the two friends lived in each other’s shadow, working in the same office. Two visionaries, one calm, optimistic and tenacious, the other rigorous, quick-witted with an eye for the big picture.
At the end of the 1980s, in his château in Wideville, Jacky Setton assembled a collection of Formula 1 ” winners „, with a vision, originality and ambition that I have described in ” Une Collection d’Avance „. It was with the same aim that our two accomplices approached the rally discipline, amazed by the performance of these cars and the courage and skill required by the drivers to tame them. Michel and Olivier were boosted by their own involvement, during the 1988 season in the French Rallycross Championship, with the talented Bruno Saby at the wheel of the monstrous Lancia Delta S4 in Metal 5 colours. This S4 would form the cornerstone of a collection they went on to assemble from across Europe, just as these ephemeral and iconic Group B cars were leaving the scene, providing an obvious appeal and a guaranteed authenticity. The Group B room is one of the most thrilling sections of the museum in Lohéac, combining the uncompromising brutality of these victorious beauties with an admiration for the talents of their drivers, tightrope walkers on the fragile thread of life.
In 2008 Olivier was offered the management of Citroën Racing, and Peugeot Sport the following year. The result : 4 driver’s and constructor’s world championship titles for Citroën and two first places at Le Mans in 2009, as well as a World Endurance title in 2011 for Peugeot. Meanwhile, Hommell built himself a kind of feudalism of which he has become the benevolent lord. It offers a celebration, reanimating the sleepy village of Lohéac, a museum, bringing together more than 400 cars, an exhibition of popular Arts and Traditions, and sport, with the creation of a circuit capable of hosting a round of the Rallycross World Championship…
The friendship continues, as strong as ever, summed up by the words of Montaigne talking about La Boétie: ” because it was him, because it was me „.
The collection reflects the personality of these two inseparable competitors !