Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 był jednym z największych sukcesów przemysłowych i technologicznych Francji, podobnie jak Concorde i TGV. Zdominował Rajdowe Mistrzostwa Świata zdobywając dwa tytuły w 1985 i 1986 roku, pomimo silnej konkurencji ze strony Audi i Lancii. Założenia projektowe dla T16 były proste: samochód miał wyglądać jak Peugeot 205, ważyć nie więcej niż 950 kg, mieć zamontowany centralnie silnik z turbodoładowaniem i napęd na cztery koła, tak jak Audi. Aby osiągnąć cel, Jean Todt zebrał wysokiej klasy zespół kreatywnych i pełnych pasji współpracowników. 29 marca 1984 roku zespołowi FIA zaprezentowano 200 egzemplarzy wersji drogowej 205 Turbo 16 (niezbędnych do homologacji) oraz 20 samochodów rajdowych w wersji „Evolution”. T16 został homologowany 1 kwietnia, a już miesiąc później zademonstrował swój potencjał na Tour de Corse, gdzie Jean-Pierre Nicolas zajął 4. miejsce. W Evo 2 praktycznie wszystko zostało poprawione lub zmienione: hamulce, sprzęgło, skrzynia biegów, głowica cylindrów, wtrysk, aerodynamika i układ chłodzenia. Tragiczna śmierć Toivonena i Cresto na Tour de Corse w 1986 roku także miała wpływ na konstrukcję Evo 2. Poprawiono układ przewodów paliwowych, a pod siedzeniami zamontowano dużą osłonę podwozia o grubości 1 cm i wadze 70 kg. Mimo zabiegów bezpieczeństwa Evo 2 i tak był lżejszy i znacznie sztywniejszy niż Evo 1, stał się również bardziej zwinny i łatwiejszy w prowadzeniu. Samochody Evo 2 otrzymały numery od C201 do C220, i nie należy mylić ich z numerami podwozia.
Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2 wystawiony na aukcji to część niezwykłej kolekcji Michela Hommella i Oliviera Quesnela.
Pod koniec lat 80. Michel Hommell poprosił swojego przyjaciela Oliviera Quesnela o pozyskanie kilku samochodów Grupy B do muzeum w Lohéac w Bretanii. Pierwszy upatrzony, gotowy do zakupu T16 Evo 2 należący do grupy dealerskiej Peugeota, z którym Fréquelin i Wambergue wygrali francuskie mistrzostwa rallycrossowe w 1988 i 1989 roku, niestety został skradziony.
Dlatego też Quesnel zaczął szukać kolejnego T16 Evo 2. Udało się wynegocjować samochód od fińskiego mistrza rallycrossu, Matti Alamäki. Po zakupie został on wysłany do Peugeot Talbot Sport w celu pełnego przywrócenia do specyfikacji WRC z 1986 roku. Okaz wystawiony na aukcji to C201, polakierowany w barwy używane przez Saby i Fauchille na Tour de Corse w 1985 roku.
T16 Evo 2 jest w znakomitym stanie, kompletny i wyposażony tylko w części dostarczane bezpośrednio przez PTS. Od czasu przebudowy na początku lat 90-tych został wystawiony na ekspozycji, więc będzie wymagał pełnego serwisu przed próbą uruchomienia. Okaz zawiera ostatnie zmiany wprowadzone w modelu, takie jak wspomaganie kierownicy. Jeden z zaledwie 20 zbudowanych Evo 2, z których wiele zostało zniszczonych, to prawdziwy Święty Graal dla miłośników samochodów Grupy B. sprzedany został podczas aukcji w Paryżu za 977440 euro, czyli ponad 4,3 miliona złotych.
Photos ©Peter Singhof
Sale Parisienne 2021 – 05 february 2021
1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2
Estimation 600,000 – 800,000 €
Sold 977,440 €
Chassis n° VF3741R76E5200009
– Second on the 1985 Tour de Corse with Saby/Fauchille
– Driven in the World Rally Championship by Saby and Salonen
– C201: „Granny”, the grand old lady of the Evo 2 family
– Still registered in the name of Peugeot Sport
– The Group B car which was twice World Champion
The 205 Turbo 16 was one of France’s greatest industrial and technological successes, like Concorde and the TGV. It soon dominated the world championship and won two titles, in 1985 and 1986, despite strong competition from Audi and Lancia. The Group B programme was announced by Jean Todt at the end of 1981, with its first entry on the Tour de Corse in 1984! The design brief was simple: the car had to look like Peugeot’s best-selling 205, weigh no more than 950kg and have a mid-mounted turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive, like the Audi. The last point demonstrated Todt’s vision as early as 1981, whereas other manufacturers only went down this route much later.
To achieve this, Todt assembled a high-quality team of creative, passionate and pragmatic contributors like those that France, in its eternal glory, can produce when it believes in itself. They included Jean-Pierre Nicolas as test driver, Jean-Claude Vaucard from the R&D department, and two notable hires poached from Renault: the engine specialist Jean-Pierre Boudy and, above all, the chassis engineer André de Cortanze who was working on the Moto Elf. Many key figures in the T16’s history had spent time at Alpine, winner of the WRC in 1973: Nicolas, Saby, Jabouille, Fréquelin and, of course, Todt and de Cortanze!
On 29 March 1984, the 200 customer versions of the 205 Turbo 16 – essential for the 20 „Evolution” competition cars to be homologated – were presented to the FIA. They had been produced in less than 12 months, the rule for homologation in Group B. The next day, the 20 competition cars were brought in to be counted and approved by the FIA. The T16 was duly homologated on 1 April. A month later, on the 1984 Tour de Corse, the T16 demonstrated its potential: Nicolas finished 4th, exactly 20 years after driving a Renault Dauphine in the 1964 Tour de Corse! „Jumbo” still had what it took, Todt had not been wrong … Vatanen, who was in the lead for a time, came off the road and his T16 went up in smoke, leaving a deep mark on de Cortanze.
20 Evo 1 cars were built by PTS, with the production numbers C1 to C20. The Evo 2 cars were numbered C201 to C220. These production numbers should not be confused with the chassis numbers, which were linked to a registration document … and could be inconsistent! The competition T16 Evo 1s and the first Evo 2s were given the chassis numbers VF3741R76E5200001 to 20 so they could be registered in 1984. These chassis numbers were all slightly different from those of the „200-series” T16s. From October 1985, the Evo 2s were given chassis numbers starting VF3741R76F5591501. As in all motorsport departments, the number was not stamped on the bodyshells. The production number was painted on the doorjamb and a manufacturer’s plate riveted in place, but the registration document could be passed from one car to another …
EVOLUTION 1 AND EVOLUTION 2
Nicolas recently confirmed that the first T16, later known as the Evo 1, was a real truck: it was difficult to drive and exhausting in rallying, with 150bhp going through the front wheels. Bruno Saby thought the same of the Evo 2 without power steering … As for de Cortanze, he considered his own roadgoing T16 impossible to use in town as its steering was so heavy!
As soon as he arrived at PTS, de Cortanze set to work improving and developing the T16. With his infectious enthusiasm, he told us of the work he did on the chassis to develop the Evo 2:
– Removing the rear girder section, held in place by two arms locating the engine and suspension. A major handicap for the service crews, this assembly was replaced by a tubular chassis, which also made it possible to fit a large silencer between the engine and the rear of the car.
– Rethinking and rationalising the front of the car, with changes to the spare wheel support, wheelarches etc.
– Fitting an integrated roll cage and carrying out extensive work to save weight.
As a result, the Evo 2 was much lighter (saving 35kg on the bodyshell alone) and much stiffer than the Evo 1. It was much easier to work on the engine. In addition, having been deeply affected by the fire on Vatanen’s car, de Cortanze improved the layout of the fuel pipes, with connections at the back of the fuel tanks rather than underneath. A large skidplate – 1cm thick and weighing 70kg – was fitted to protect the fuel tanks under the seats. The tragic deaths of Toivonen and Cresto on the 1986 Tour de Corse proved him right and justified his obsession with the risk of fire.
The other major change on the Evo 2 was to fit power steering … but only from the 1985 San Remo! It was not fitted to C201 for the 1985 Tour de Corse which, according to Saby, made the T16 Evo 2 very hard to drive, with its greatly increased power (430 instead of 350bhp) and lighter weight. A power steering pump used in aeronautics and operating at 300 bars was then fitted, with the help of Dassault Aviation. The extremely high pressure made it possible to fit a smaller cylinder. Meanwhile, Guy Micard, a former Matra engineer, directed the work of the Magneti Marelli technicians to re-program the mechanical injection system. De Cortanze also introduced some novel solutions on the Evo 2, such as using the engine coolant to heat the shock absorbers in Sweden, as on the night-time special stages at -40°, the suspension was otherwise completely inoperative, even long after the start! Virtually everything was revised or changed on the Evo 2: the brakes, clutch, transmission, cylinder head, water injection, intercooler, aerodynamics and cooling system. With its large rear spoiler, it was probably the best-looking Group B car built, as it must be admitted that next to the Audi Sport or S4, it was like comparing plain Jane with Brigitte Bardot!
The result of this almost complete makeover lived up to expectations: more powerful (by at least 80bhp) and lighter by 50kg, the Evo 2 was, in the words of Nicolas, „more agile and easier to drive”, and, according to Saby, a delight to drive, admittedly a monster in its 500bhp final versions, but a great car with an engine that was easy to make the most of. Quite a feat at this level of motorsport!
THE TURBO 16 EVO 2 CHASSIS NO. VF3741R76E5200009
Registered as 24 FGV 75, the car made its competition début on the 1985 Tour de Corse, with Saby at the wheel. It was the Evo 2’s first appearance in competition and a trial run, as the Evo 1’s career would continue for several months until the new model was fully operational. The PTS archives record the production number of this car as C201, making it the first Evo 2, and it was also nicknamed „Granny”.
The favourites for the Tour de Corse were Vatanen and Salonen, both driving Evo 1s. Saby’s job was to get some miles under the wheels of the new model. However Salonen retired almost immediately and Vatanen, fighting Ragnotti in his Maxi 5 Turbo, came off the road abruptly and destroyed his T16, fortunately without any injuries. Peugeot’s hopes now rested on Saby and Fauchille, and Todt directed them to finish in the points and bring the car home on the podium. Saby told us that the car was exhausting without power steering, proving very hard to drive and tricky to control. Despite this, he won two stages outright at the end of the rally and achieved an unhoped-for second place, quite a feat given the work remaining to complete the Evo 2’s development.
C201 was then extensively tested by Jean-Pierre Jabouille on the Michelin track at Ladoux, to bring about some much needed improvements! Next, it left for Greece, before the Acropolis Rally, for Saby to test it on poor gravel. Finally, it went to Finland, to be tested on good-quality fast surfaces. In December 1985, C201 was sent to Italy, for the Bettega Memorial held in Bologna in honour of the Lancia driver. Up against the new S4, the T16 Evo 2 driven by Salonen won the final, much to the dismay of the 50,000 tifosi present! Still registered 24 FGV 75, C201 showed up on the snow during the recces for the 1986 Monte-Carlo Rally. It is easy to imagine that at the time the recces were driven at quite a lick …
The number 24 FGV 75 turned up again on the 1986 Monte on Salonen’s T16, which finished second. The PTS archives indicate that the Evo 2 C206 was assigned to him … C201 was considered somewhat worn-out and it was only natural for the team’s star driver to be allocated a new car! The use of the same registration document for different cars was common practice by all the teams at the time, including Peugeot, Renault and Lancia.
C201 then went into early retirement in the PTS facility at Boulogne. The registration 24 FGV 75 was no longer seen on the cars Peugeot entered in the WRC, so it is fair to assume that the registration document reverted to C201 after its time with C206 on the Monte.
In 1986, Peugeot was once again World Rally Champion. But Group B was banned at the end of the year, following the accidents in Portugal and the deaths of Toivonen and Cresto in a Lancia S4 on the Tour de Corse. For the former stars of Group B, the only options were long-distance rallies like the Dakar or rallycross.
One Evolution 2 was sold in 1987 to Peugeot Finland, for the use of Matti Alamäki in the European rallycross championship. There is a very high likelihood, according to witnesses at the time, that this car was C201, aka „Granny”. A previous winner of the championship, Alamäki competed in the 1987 season with an S4 but lost the title to another Finnish driver, Seppo Niitymäki, in a T16. He therefore turned to Sochaux, and with Peugeot Finland’s T16 repainted in red, he won the European title three years in a row, in 1988, 1989 and 1990, despite competition from several other former Group B cars, such as the Audi Quattro Sport, Lancia S4 and Maxi Turbo. In the meantime, he had bought the T16 from Peugeot Finland, its French registration document as 24 FGV 75 still in Peugeot’s name, probably to avoid customs duties.
THE LOHEAC YEARS
At the end of the 1980s, Michel Hommell asked his friend Olivier Quesnel to source some Group B cars for the museum at Lohéac in Brittany. Formerly responsible for promoting PTS, Quesnel was very familiar with the world of rallying and everyone in it. The T16 Evo 2 belonging to the Peugeot dealer group with which Fréquelin and Wambergue had won the French rallycross championship in 1988 and 1989 was available, and was destined for the museum. But PTS needed the car for shows and as a spare car for the Race of Champions organised by Michèle Mouton, as the letter from Nicolas in November 1989 states. PTS therefore sent two mechanics to pick up the car from Oreca, near the Paul Ricard track. They stopped at a restaurant in the Bouches-du-Rhône, and when they came out, their Peugeot estate, trailer and T16 had disappeared! They were never recovered.
Quesnel therefore set about looking for another genuine T16 Evo 2 and negotiated with Alamäki to buy for Michel Hommell the rallycross-winning car. The negotiation lasted a year and the car was collected from the French border. It was then sent to PTS to be fully restored and returned to its 1986 WRC spec. Quesnel confirmed to us that it is C201 and that it was therefore fitted out in the colours and with the bucket seats used by Saby and Fauchille on the 1985 Tour de Corse. During the restoration, the production number was painted over, as the interior of the museum’s T16 was completely resprayed.
This T16 Evo 2 is now in remarkable condition, complete and fitted only with parts supplied directly by PTS. It looks magnificent in its works livery. Since the car’s rebuild at the start of the 1990s, it is as if it has been frozen in time. It will therefore need to be fully overhauled, as it has been jealously preserved in the museum and has not been driven for several decades.
In our view, it is the best-looking Group B car. It is fitted with power steering and features the final changes made to the model. Only 20 Evo 2s were built, many of which have been destroyed. This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire the Holy Grail of Group B cars, the best T16 according to Saby and Nicolas and a car that is fundamentally different from the Evo 1, thanks to de Cortanze’s work.
To crown it all, the T16 from Lohéac can boast a remarkable tally of results: second on the Tour de Corse with Saby, the winner of the Bettega Memorial with Salonen and three times European rallycross champion with Alamäki.
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 !