JUN 25th 2015

FoS Top Five: Touring Cars

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Hot on the heels of our FoS Top 10: Le Mans racing cars comes the list of our top five Touring Cars coming to the Festival of Speed. These aren’t necessarily intended to be the best or most successful cars of their type, just the ones we’re most excited about at the FoS.

5) Volkswagen-Chevrolet Beetle
An enthusiast’s favourite ever since its creation in 1976, this car is actually a custom spaceframe chassis with predominantly March Formula 5000 suspension and of course the ubiquitous Chevrolet V8 fitted, with a Beetle cockpit. In-period it had little trouble winning a hatful of Super Saloon races and nowadays it runs a slightly larger version of the Chevy V8… probably because 500bhp in something so light just wasn’t quite cutting it!

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4) Jaguar XJ-S TWR
Yes it looks cool. Yes it was engineered and driven often by Tom Walkinshaw. Yes it won the Spa 24 Hours… and the European Touring Car Driver’s Championship. Yes one hit 180mph on the famous Conrod Straight at Bathurst. We could go on about the many virtues of the XJ-S TWR, but most of all we just want the sound its V12 screaming up the hill. Just wait until you hear this… 

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3) Zakspeed Ford Capri
Contrary to appearances, the fearsome Zakspeed Capris shared only the A and C roof pillars with the production car (even then the C pillar was cut to allow it to come off with the rest of the rear panels). Everything else was built to comply with DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft) regulations which, in a nutshell were: Make it very wide, very low and very very fast. Racing alongside similarly-prepared BMW 320s, Porsche 935s, Lancia Beta Montecarlos and the like it must surely rans as one of the best-looking touring cars ever to race?

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2) Mazda RX-7
Variety has always added spice to touring car racing, and a rotary powered coupé added exactly that to the British Touring Car Championship in the early 1980s. Win Percy lived up to his name when he took overall championship honours with the the Tom Walkinshaw Racing prepared Mazda RX-7. The Motul liveried car will be on the hill this weekend, distinctive rotary soundtrack and all…

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1) Ford Sierra RS500
In the late 1980s and ’90s, there was only one car to have in the Group A class of the BTCC. It was a blue collar hero in the shape of the Ford Sierra RS500. In fact, by 1990 – the final year of Group A regulations – it had saturated the class with every car in the class being a Sierra. 

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