My 5 Favourite Touring Cars
Touring Cars are wonderful machines. They showed people that production cars, with a few tweakes, could rule the world and put on a better show than a F1 grid. Well, paint drying puts on a better show than a F1 grid. But anyway, here's my 5 favourite Touring Cars.
5: 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina
Let's start at square one. The Lotus Cortina was Ford's way of getting their plucky, little family car into racing. Like most good cars, Colin Chapman had something to do with it. In the Cortina's case it started with Colin and his mate Harry designing a twin-cam version of the Ford Kent unit. I imagine many teas were brewed and many "how hard can it be"s muttered. Thankfully, the teas and optimism payed off, as Ford approached Chapman to ask him if he would put the engine into a 2-door Cortina and add some other race-derived goodies. Mr. Chapman being the man he is, accepted and the Lotus Cortina was born. The Lotus Cortina saw great success in Touring Car racing and its most notable driver was none other than the legendary Jim Clark. Nothing is more iconic than a Cortina going through a corner on three wheels...
4: 2016 Subaru Levorg GT
From the 60s to... well, now. The Subaru Levorg is one of the great Touring Cars for one reason. It's an estate! Like the iconic Volvo 850, the Levorg competes in the British Touring Car Championship. It doesn't just compete, it wins. In 2017, the big Scooby clinched a 3rd in the team's championship and gave Ash Sutton a driver's championship. Unfortunately, there isn't much history on this car, but what there is, sheds a very good light on the big booted Levorg.
3: 1997 Nissan Primera GT
Born from the rather woeful Primera, the GT Touring Car was a part of the super touring era of the BTCC. The Primera GT utilised a 2 litre straight 4 that produced a healthy 320 HP and revved to a mental 8,300 RPM. Nissan's opening year with the Primera got off to an iffy start, but when '98 came round it was a whole new story. Unlike the '97 season, Nissan got to undertake a winter test program. This gave them the edge to obtain the title and etch the Vodafone livery into motorsport fan's memories.
2: 1990 Audi V8 DTM
I'd like to have a talk to Audi's aero department and ask why they used a brick as their inspiration for the V8 DTM. Audi produced the V8 to race in DTM as a full factory effort and gave it a 3.6 litre V8 that ,after a few modifications, produced 456 HP and sounds biblical. When you have drivers like Hans Stuck and Walter Röhrl you're bound to win championships. And so they did. The V8 DTM won the 1990 team's championship and Stuck got the driver's. What the the V8 teach the world? Aerodynamics are overrated...
1: 1993 Volvo 850 BTCC
Clearly Volvo went to the Audi school of aero only they took the lessons to the extreme. Back when Volvo released the 850, they want to up their image, so they approached Tom Walkinshaw Racing to build them some racing 850s to compete in the BTCC. After some crafty engineering (I'll include a video of it) the 850 was ready to go racing. Nestled under the bonnet was a 2 litre in-line 5 that pushed out 280 HP. Once the car was complete TWR needed to find some drivers. What they did was get Rickard Rydell and former F1 driver Jan Lammers. Sadly, once the '95 season started Volvo ditched the estate and went with a saloon body. Why Volvo. Why!
Thank you very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed!
-Joseph Le Corre-