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VOLVO 240 TURBO
GROUP A RACING

Sample Articles from Various Racing Publications



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Here's a sampling of a few GREAT articles written back in the day about Volvo's racing effort. 
If you have any questions or any info you would like to share, please write me.  

-Dave Barton
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An excerpt from the Group A Saloon Car Racing Review for 1983, Autosport, October 1983
by Matthew Carter
But lest manufacturers think that a turbo is the answer to their dreams, they should remember there are other aspects to consider.  In Europe recently homologated extras have shown the Swedish Volvo 240 Turbos to be incredibly fast.  One Jaguar driver at Zolder told me: "I was flat out when I heard this whistle and a flash of Volvo went flying past.  Mind you at the next corner it virtually had to stop to get through . . . those things just don't handle."

From the Official Programme, Round 10 of the FIA ETCC at Silverstone, September, 1984
by Bob Constanduros
British interests, and the huge BMW entry should not be allowed to detract from one of the new names in the European Touring Car Championship: Volvo.  If you, like me, always thought of a Volvo being driven by a glamerous lady with a headscarf, dark glasses, at least two children and probably a couple of labradors in the back, then you and I are exactly the people that the Volvo marketing department wants to get at.  A Mr. Wikas was employed by Volvo to change the company's image, and if you haven't seen these cars racing before, then I think that when you do, you will agree that his ideas have worked.

Volvo has set about the job in quite an intriguing way.  Last year, the works quietly prepared some of their turbos with Eje Elgh doing much of the driving, went round as many of the ETC circuits as they could a couple of weeks after the race.  And Elgh simply tested and developed the car, comparing its performance to that of the regular competitors a couple of weeks before.  It was an experiment that worked well, but it was not going to be for Volvo's own use - yet.  For the moment, they have built engines for the Swedish entrants to use, and any ETC regulars will tell you just how quick the cars are.  Around 360 bhp is mentioned, and of course, with a turbo, the power is on tap.

There are three cars from Sweden entered this weekend, and another two from Belgium.  The basic model is the 242 which is used by the GTM Engineering team run by Guy Trigaux in Belgium.  He used to prepare the Lucky Strike 635 that his drivers Michel Delcourt and Jean-Marie Baert used to drive.  They've now been joined by that modern day Paul Frere, Pierre Dieudonné, while in the second car is Jean-Marie Pirnay, an ex-Capri racer, and the experienced Patrick Neve, the man who drove for Frank Williams at the start of his successful association with Patrick Head.  Gregor Peterson's Sportpromotion car is a similar model.  This is the car driven by Ulf Granberg and Eje Elgh, and there's no lack of speed here.  Elgh, of course, has been driving in F2 for more than five years, and having combined his testing duties with two programmes in Japan, he not only knows the inside of a 747 better than most, but also the inside of a Volvo.  Granberg is a former Volvo Cup winner in Sweden, once did F3, and won the SuperStars (racing with big American cars) series in Sweden.  Peterson prepared the car at Helmstad, south of Gothenberg.  This pair, incidentally, has two fourth places to their credit: at Brno and Salzburgring.

The other two Volvos are a development of the original model: five hundred 240 examples have been built for the American Market, using water injection and bigger intercoolers, plus a rear wing.  One of these is run by Thomas Lindstrom and he, in fact, is the most successful Volvo competitor with 34 points including a fourth at the Osterreichring.  He's an extremely experienced saloon car driver, while his teammate here at Silverstone is the ex-European F3 champion - and a man some say might have gone a lot further - Anders Olofsson.

The fifth Volvo is run by Robert Kvist, a long time associate of Volvo who has done much of the testing for them and who comes from Gothenberg.  His co-driver was uncertain at the time of writing.

Generally speaking, competitors in the ETC see turbocharging as being "the way to go."  That's true in Volvo's case, expected to be one of the principal contestants next year.


From Autosport Magazine, June 1985
Barnstroming Brno
by Jurgen Stiftschraube

Who was it said that the Rovers couldn't keep up with the Volvos on the fast circuits?  At Brno last weekend Tom Walkinshaw showed that the Rovers will not lie down and let the Volvos get away, but when it comes to absolute top speed the aerodynamic Rovers can still hang on, and with a little slip-streaming they can even contemplate overtaking the Swedish cars.  In the end, the Volvos won the day.  It looks convincing on paper but, in truth, it was a close thing.  If the leading Rover had not been held up perhaps Walkinshaw would have been celebrating his fourth Brno victory.  It wasn't for want of trying.

QUALIFYING

The weekend got off to a great start on Friday with the sun beating down on the magnificent circuit.  It is a circuit which requires superlatives, but at the end of the day, words don't really capture the feel of the place.  It is simply awesome.  Touring cars at 160mph have no room for error.  No wonder it attracts such crowds.

The entry, too, was huge.  Come raceday 46 cars would line up to take the rolling start.  The Schnitzer BMWs were back with Gerhard Berger/Roberto Ravaglia and Dieter Quester/Emanuele Pirro the drivers.  And there were new cars too.  A pair of Opel Manta GTEs, an Audi Quattro, a BMW 535i, and also the 323i returned to do battle with the Alfa Romeos.  It was going to be good.

The first practice saw a big surprise.  Tom Walkinshaw's Rover was quickest!  Others were not so lucky.  Walkinshaw himself had an 'off' --- something you don't see often, but it was Gerhard Berger who had the most spectacular time, crashing twice on Friday.  The BMWs were right on the edge, Berger lapping 4secs quicker than Hans Stuck did last year in a car that has had little development.  It's true, the pole time was down on that of the Jags last year, but the Rovers had improved a mammoth 6secs.  Six seconds!

Berger gave himself quite a shock coming into the village at top speed.  "Oh, I thought I was finished, for sure," he commented.  "I spun for a full 300 metres, from one end of the village to the other, and only hit the armco at the end of the town.  The damage wasn't so bad, the problem was that the track was so narrow I couldn't turn round.  In the end I reversed out of the village until it was wide enough to turn."

The times that determined the grid were set on Saturday morning, and it was the Volvo 240 Turbo of Ulf Granberg/Anders Olofsson that took the honours, fractionally ahead of the Gianfranco Brancatelli/Thomas Lindstrom 240.  Over 11 kms of track a second really isn't that much.  Halfway through that all-important session the rains came and the grid was set.  On the second row behind the two flying Volvos was the Rover of Walkinshaw/Percy and the Berger/Ravaglia BMW.  Division 2 was led, as is customary, by the Alfa of Lella Lombardi/Rinaldo Drovandi, while in the smaller class it was the VW Golf of Neymeyer/Mores/Bormann.  The Czechs were there too, Bratislav Enge and Denny Vojtech teaming up in a BMW, 12th on the grid.

RACE

It was Brancatelli who got the drop on the Olofsson Volvo to lead with Walkinshaw clear of Berger.  The weather was overcast, but looked okay for a few laps at least.  These four cars pulled away from the rest, gradually dropping Berger.

Down through the village Brancatelli, Olofsson and Walkinshaw went, wheel-to-wheel.  Lap 2 saw the first specks of rain and immediately Walkinshaw was the man to watch, moving ahead of Brancatelli and setting off after the leader, taking advantage of the tow.  Up the hill the Volvo sucked the Rover along and Walkinshaw would be out trying to get by.  Through the twisty forest sections the Rover was ahead and as they came down the hill at 160mph, absolutely flat, he was still ahead.  The crucial test was the final hairpin.  Accelerating out the Volvo had the edge and time and again the two cars crossed the line side by side.

The leading duo began to pull away from the Olofsson car, but in their hectic dice he was able to close the gap again.  The times were quicker than in qualifying when the circuit began to dry on lap 18 and when the sun came out.  It was a glorious afternoon, with the top three cars exchanging places every lap. 

Berger was hanging on in forth, without the horsepower of the leading cars.  As the race neared half distance, there was a drama.  Branatelli brushed Quester in the village, sending the Austrian into the wall, but although he continued to the pits and Pirro was given a few laps, nothing could be done.  The second BMW's race was run.  A further moment going up the hill saw Branatelli hit the barriers and in the confusion Walkinshaw was held up and Olofsson moved ahead.  Brancatelli headed for the pits for a 3mins stop.  A few laps earlier the second Eggenberger Volvo had ground to a halt with conrod failure, another non-finish for Dieudonne and Muller.

The leading Volvo headed for the pits as Walkinshaw was closing in again and a few laps later the Walkinshaw car came in and Win Percy climbed aboard.  A slight delay in refueling lost time, but the leading Volvo still had one stop to make, and Win set off after the leader.

Almost unnoticed the Thibault/Joosen Rover hit the armco hard and retired.  Jeff Allam and Armin Hahne had been delayed early opn when the German  had hit the armco hard going up the hill  and punctured two tyres, but they too were fighting back.

"I was too far behind the lead car to get any tow," said Percy,  "but I knew they had one more stop to make.  We wouldn't have been far behind at the flag."

As it was, the Rover had a rear axle support crack with 12 laps to go, Win pitted twice, the second a lengthy 10mins stop which dropped the Rover from contention.  All the while the leading Volvo, which Granberg now at the wheel moved on inexorably, the Brancateli car, with Lindstrom in control, was making up for lost time, but it was not going to catch the leader.  Out went Percy again for a string of really fast laps in the closing stages, but all in vain.

When 3 1/2 hours were up the Luna Volvo took the chequer to the delight of Mats Magnusson and his crew, having covered a staggering 630 kilometres, to record a fine win.

The Volvo teams were delighted, but there was disappointment among the Rover men.  They had proved so much, but came away with nothing, and with Lella Lombardi and Rinaldo Drovandi taking the middle class --- with Giorgio Franca/Bernard de Dryver 2secs behind! --- so their championship lead slipped away.

It was, above all, a marvellous race.  Winning might be all important, but the huge Czech crowd went home dreaming of owning these fast Western machines.  After them, even the most souped-up Skoda seemed, somehow, rather plain.

Brno, June 9, 1985, 57 laps, 386.75 miles
Final positions
1.   Ulf Granberg (S)/Anders Olofsson (S)                     Volvo 240 Turbo
2.   Ginafranco Brancatelli (I)/Thomas Lindstrom (S)    Volvo 240 Turbo
3.   Gerhard Berger (A)/Roberto Ravaglia (I)                 BMW 635 CSi
4.   Umberto Grano (I)/Marco Micangeli (I)                     BMW 635 CSi
5.   Rene Metge (F)/PhillipeHaezebruck (F)(I)               BMW 635 CSi
6.   Mauricio Micangeli (I)/George Bosshard (CH)        BMW 635 CSi
7.   Denny Vojtech (CS)/Bratislav Enge (CS)                 BMW 635 CSi
8.   Tom Walkinshaw (GB)/Win Percy (GB)                    Rover Vitesse

From the Official Programme, Round 10 of the FIA ETCC at Silverstone, September, 1985
by Joe Saward
It would be untrue to try to suggest that anyone knows exactly what the situation is in this year's ETC championship.  Decisions have to be made about the eligibility of some of the cars, but as things stand, the championship leaders Thomas Lindstrom and Gianfranco Brancatelli will be here in their Eggenberger Motorsport Volvo 240 Turbo.  The Swedish cars (prepared in Switzerland) have had a dramatic year and to date have chocked up no fewer than five wins (four for Brancatelli and Lindstrom and another for the Volvo Sweden team of Ulf Granberg and Anders Olofsson).  Sadly, the Volvos have been adjudged to have infringed the rules set down by FISA for the homologation of the cars and we must wait till the season's end to see whether or not the Volvos will actually keep their points gained.

At the time of writing it was unclear exactly what spec the 240 would appear in (or indeed if they would appear at all), but it would seem likely that the Swedish machines will be returned to '84 spec.  This is certain to see them deprived of some of their awesome (and I mean awesome) power, but don't be taken in by that, the cars will be quick whatever.  Regulations infringed or not, the cars have been developed considerably since the days they were known affectionately as "The Flying Bricks."

The Eggenberger driver line up is an impressive one (and please excuse my concentrating on the non-British drivers).  Lindstrom is, perhaps, the most experienced of all the Volvo men, having raced with the marque since the very first days of the 240 in Sweden.  His undoubted contribution to the development of the car has seen him rewarded after years as a privateer with what is effectively a works drive.  Thomas won the Swedish Volvo Cup as long ago as 1974 (though he probably would not like to be reminded of the fact too often).  He is a fine driver and no mean engineer either.

Lindstrom's teammate, and co-championship leader, compliments the Swede well.  Gianfranco Brancatelli, the tiny wild-eyed Italian, is perhaps one of the most under-rated drivers in any form of racing.  A sparkling single seater was frustrated on the verge of Grand Prix racing when he worked on Willi Kauhsen's ill-fated Formula 1 project in 1979.  The offer of a Ferrari testing contract came to nought after the news was leaked to the press, and Gianfranco, disillusioned with the sport, turned his back on racing and went to university.  Two years later he was convinced to come back by friends and embarked on a season of European Touring Car racing in a small class Alfa Romeo GTV6.  Since then his progress has been rapid and he is now one of the most respected saloon car drivers around (and another qualified engineer to boot!).

These two are supported in ETC by a second entry driven by Belgian Pierre Dieudonne and German Sigi Muller, Jr.  Dieudonne is one of the most experienced ETC campaigners around.  The personable Belgian (who not only drives, but is a journalist too), shared the European title back in 1976 driving a Luigi BMW CSL with Jean Xhenceval.  After three years with Tom Walkinshaw Racing he joined the Volvo fold at the start of 1983.  In keeping with the rest of the Eggenberger team he is also a qualified mechanical engineer!

Sigi Muller is the youngest of the Eggenberger team, a qualified electrical engineer, and a past ETC champion as well, following in the footsteps of his father, who took the title in 1975.  It isn't a well known fact, but Sigi finished sixth in the 1978 World Karting Championship, pipping a certain Ayrton Senna, though he never pushed a single seater career.

The third Volvo appearing in this year's Tourist Trophy is the Team Sweden car sponsored by Luna Tools and known by all as the "Lunatic" Volvo.  Anders Olofsson, of course, made his name in Formula 3 in the mid-seventies and needs little introduction - another man to miss out in single seaters, but the immensely Swedish looking Ulf Granberg is less well known, although walking around the paddock you can scarcely miss the huge blond haired Scandinavian.  Ulf made his name in the Volvo Cup in Sweden, before spending a couple of years in Chevrolet Camaros in the national SuperStar series.  After that it was back to Volvos again and then finally ETC, where his spectacular style has not gone unnoticed!  This year, however, the Swedish team has suffered engine failure and has not fulfilled the potential that is obviously there.


From Autosport Magazine, October 1985
Turbo Takeaway (Zolder)
by Joe Saward

The matter was settled on the first corner.  Coming into it, old rivals Gianfranco Brancatelli and Tom Walkinshaw were side by side, then suddenly the Rover was spinning and it was all over.  The pursuing field accounted for Walkinshaw's car --- just two races old --- slain as the midfield boys came pounding in.  Crunch!  Exit TW.  The TWR survivors did what they could, but an axle failure sidelined Win Percy (in the Steve Soper/Jean-Louis Schlesser car) and Armin Hahne/Jeff Allam were delayed with flat-spotted tyres.  And the Volvos walked it.  Simple as that.  No major problems and another 1-2 finished, assuming that FISA does not dictate otherwise.

QUALIFYING

If it's Friday, it must be Belgium, where the people love football and, just right now, they aren't too keen on the British.  The Brits, after all, are the cause of them having an election.  In a perfect world sport and politics might not be linked, but in Belgium the government fell after the Heysel Stadium . . .  Everywhere you looked there was a poster suggesting you vote for Mr Hurglespurg or whoever.

Zolder itself is deep in the Flemish part of Belgium, where they talk an incomprehensible language and you feel as though you ought to give them a thump on the back or call a doctor when they're talking --- after all they might swallow their tongues.  It is here they eat the most descriptive breakfasts in the world.  Imagine being woken and faced with spiegeleikes, spek, worstjes met brood for breakfast.  And they drink a rather alarming beer called Kwak.  All rather daunting . . .

As a circuit the Omloop Terlamen is a pretty daunting place.  You can't visit the track without thinking of Gilles Villeneuve.  There are reminders everywhere.  Even for ETC cars this is quite a circuit.  It was only last year that Bastos and Texaco were put together for the first time, when Lucien Guitteny flew off the circuit in his Bastos BMW and went through a Texaco advertising hoarding. 

This year the Bastos Texaco colours have been worn by the Rover team, and it was no great surprise to see pole position taken by the reigning ETC champion, Tom Walkinshaw.  The only thing that was surprising was that Gianfranco Brancatelli's Volvo looked a fair bit quicker . . .

If you went to consult the Austin Rover or Eggenberger timing computers you would discover that 'Branca' topped their charts --- not so the organisers.  Enough said.  Still they did pretty well in the circumstances.

The circumstances?  Fog, and plenty of it.  Come first qualifying of Friday morning the countryside was wreathed in a decidely fhilly fog.  Down at the Kanaalbocht the lake was steaming and you half expected to see Sherlock Holmes emerge from the swirling mist to challenge some bounder to a duel.  This was 11 o'clock in the morning --- and in the paddock the ETC men waited for the sun to burn off the mist.

The Zolder paddock is always a join at this time of year in the ETC world.  The fees may not be as high as those in F1, but there's a silly season nonetheless, with earnet conversations taking place behind piles of tyres as everyone looks for the best deal for '86.  Nothing like a good silly season . . .

So, Walkinshaw had the pole, for better or for worse.  But it was not without drama.  Midway through the first session, the fog just beginning to lift, TW bolted on his qualifiers and was out looking for a time.  You've got only two laps in ETC these days, so you have to chance it, and chance it Tom did.  Flying down into the first turn he encountered traffic --- Zolder is a pretty small place with 58 cars out at the same time --- in the form of three small class cars outbraking each other furiously.  No problem.  Well, until someone decided to let another car out of the pitlane.  The result?  A severely clogged track with Walkinshaw bearing down at 30-40 mph quicker that the small cars.  Avoiding action was called for and off Tom went across the inside of the track, straight across it in front of the frightened small cars and nose first into the tyre barrier.  Boom.  The impact, though, was not too serious, and spoiler flapping and headlights smashed, Tom set off back to the pits with four flat-spotted qualifiers.  Repairs done he hurried out and abracadabra pole position.  Ai-ai-ai, as they say over here . . .

Lining up alongside the Rover was the season-long adversary Gianfranco Brancatelli.  Volvo sells a lot of cars in Belgium and this race is important to them.  It was only a year ago that the 240 Turbo won its first race here., with Ulf Granberg driving like crazy.  Well, this year ther was no Ulf (sadly).  Was it that the Luna Volvo was on engine number 20 for the season?  I think not.  Politics seems to have reared again in Goteberg.  Works engines are supposed to be quicker than the privateers.  The trouble is the Luna team had a brilliant engine man by the name of Mats Magnusson and the Luna car was going a bit too fast for the powers that be . . . So no Granberg.  But we did have a third Volvo in the shape of the OK car from Germany.  Last time we saw the car was in Anderstorp where it worked its way through a mountain of Bridgestone tyres.  Here they had Goodyears.  What can they be up to?  Well the car was still locking up ferociously . . .

Pirelli certainly seemed to do the trick for Brancatelli.  "They are very sticky," commented 'Branca' after his flying, headlight-blazing lap.  Friday's practice had seen Brancatelli with too much boost and a computer misbehaving, but on Saturday the Volvo was flying.  No more Rover 1-2-3 results.  "tomorrow," said Thomas Lindstrom, with an alarming confidence, "we will win."

The Rover men would like to believe otherwise and Jean-Louis Schlesser and Armin Hahne backed up their threat by setting third and fourth quickest times.  'Schless,' fresh from a Williams F1 test at Croix-en-Ternois, had no problems.  "It is better to be third," he was heard to comment, "that way I can follow everyone."  Some people have an answer for everything.  By Schlesser logic Hahne was even better placed to follow the other after the first session.  The third Rover had broken an axle early in first practice.  A quick change and Armin went out for a time.  And the flag came out . . .

The second session, though, once Jeff Allam had qualified with some lappery to do some pad tests, saw Hahne really flying to bump himself up to fourth ahead of the second Eggenberger Volvo.  "The brakes were a bit tired," commented Pierre Dieudonne, who, it has to be said, looked wild in the first session.

Fifth on the grid was the leading BMW, as normal, the leading Schnitzer car with Gerhard Berger and Roberto Ravaglia aboard.  This was a brand new chassis --- Schnitzer's 12th 635CSi --- and it was a late starter, built up only after the team had leased one of their Spa cars to Bob Jane in Australia for the Bathurst event.  The new car misbehaved itself.  Berger, with 'qualifying' red and silver racing boots --- more fitted to a boxing ring so they said --- found the beast taxing indeed.  Not one session passed without the Austrian trying totally new mixes of settings.  Shocks, springs, cambers and ride heights were changed as the team sought the set-up they were after.  It was a brave lap, that quick one, and, if there had been no traffic it would have been quicker.  If Berger/Ravaglia were slower than expected the Dieter Quester/Markus Oestreidh car was way off, down in 22nd.  "I didn't know Dieter was driving a Class 2 car," muttered Jean-Louis Schlesser.  He wasn't, but this weekend the BMW looked like one.

Behind the third Volvo was Claude Ballot-Lena in a Bavaria Automobiles 635 followed by six other similar cars and then the Class 2 leaders, Winni Vogt and Franz Dufter in their 323i just clear of the first of the Alfas --- the Luigi version of Giorgio Francia and Georges Cremer.  Where were Rinaldo Drovandi and Lella Lombardi?  Poor Lella was ill and Rinaldo had his regular car explode in lurid metal-hurling fashion in the first session and had to resort to one of the slower Imberti cars.  Championship points will be a struggle . . .

Class 1 was oversubscribed with 12 cars failing to qualify.  Fastest time went to Roger Rutten and Jordi Ripolles in their VW Golf half a second clear of the Toyota of Phillippe Muller and Franz Bollinger.

Other cars of interest included a Ford Escort driven by Manfred Burchard and German lady Beate Nodes.  If she could drive as well as she looked she was clearly going to be a star.  The pitlane rakes were drolling . . . Oh, the car, by the way, was third fastest in Class 2.

RACE

Race morning and more fog --- you could hardly see the election posters --- but thanks to the change of European time by an hour this didn't cause a major problem.  Did Walkinshaw have any worries?  Brakes?  Tyres?  "No, just Volvos." 

At the rolling start, the fog now evaporated and the sun blazing, the man with the Belgian flag could do little once the pace car had pulled off, the race was already started and Tom tried to outblast 'Branca's' Volvo.  Darting fropm sise to side the lead Rover looked for a gap and found one on the inside.  But, it was too much, the Rover locked up and spun.  Gianfranco somehow missed the errant Rover, but behind him there were 43 other cars.  When it came it was a big smash.  Walkinshaw, facing the oncoming traffic, watched as a CiBiEmme BMW plowed straight into his Rover head-on.  The car slewed round and was clipped by two others, Volker Strycek retiring his 635 on the spot and Michel Maillien in the CiBiEmme car only just making it to the pits --- front end wrecked.

Now though, we had a pace car.  And so soon after the start.  For five laps they came round in line astern while the wreckage was cleared and then finally they were racing and immediately Jean-Louis Schlesser was past Brancatelli, with Walkinshaw out there were no team orders, Jean-Louis could win!

Already out was the class 2 Escort Turbo with clutch problems --- after but one lap, we would never know how fast Ms Nodes could be . . . At the front though we had a battle, Brancatelli going bananas  to try and get past Schlesser.  No way.  For 29 laps the two were nose to tail, before we had another pace car.  There was a goodly amount of oil at the chicane behind the pits, so out they came again.  And when they passed the pits in line astern Brancatelli was in front!

Those early laps saw a monumental battle between Hahne's Rover and Muller's Volvo --- the two Germans playing chicken.  No quarter given.  This, naturally, led to drama with Sigi indulging in a big spin at the fast right handers at the back of the track, flat-spotting his tyres.  Hahne too had 'squared' his tyres in the excitement and armin pitted on the 4oth lap --- way before schedule.  Behind them the breathless BMWs fought among themselves, Ravaglia quickly clear and dicing with the OK Volvo, but Ballot-Lena, Guitteny and Denny Vojtech engaged in a battle royal for seventh place.  Vogt had already built a massive Class 2 lead while the Muller/Bollinger Toyota had somehow been collected by the leading pace car in the first few laps and now had a massive cushion on its disgruntled opposition.  Fist-waving stuff!

Once Brancatelli had the lead after the second pace car incident Schlesser fought to hold on, but the Volvo pulled inexorably away.  There was a long gap back to Muller, delayed behind the second of the pace cars in the second incident.  Ravaglia was now by himself, the OK Volvo having given up the ghost with axle failure on lap 51.  Markus Oestreich had driven well from his lowly grid spot, but he was already a lap down on the front men.

The leading Volvo stayed out when Schlesser came into the pits to hand over to Win Percy (yes, Winston was allowed to go for points even if Walkinshaw was out --- a sporting gesture by the team chief).  When 'Branca' came in to hand over to Lindstrom on lap 56 the lead was not lost, even if Percy was right up with the Volvo again.  Winston drove mightily, but the Volvo was that tiny bit quicker and the Rover dropped back inexorably until finally on lap 82 the rear axle failed . . . No points for Mr Percy.

Thereafter the Volvos ran away with only a fired up Jeff Allam challenging, the Englishman too far back to do anything about the 'Egg 'n burger' cars.  It was to be another long afternoon before the flag finally came out, with Lindstrom heading for home and Dieudonne struggling in second when his gear lever knob came off and spent the rest of the afternoon rattling round the cockpit while the Belgian battled with a knobless stick.

Lindstrom pitted with 15mins to go to top off with fuel, but the race was already won.  In a lonely fourth Gerhard Berger suffered a mid-stint misfire but a pitstop cured that and he was back in the groove, while Dieter Quester struggled on with his mishanding car.  No-one else looked like challenging . . . Winni Vogt duly walked it to Class 2 honours, while Muller and Bollinger built on the advantage they had gained from the pace car and easily won Class 1.

The day though was Volvo's and it was an all 240 Turbo podium, Jeff Allam and Armin Hahne having been whisked away, bound for Bathurst, leaving the third step empty.  "I told you so," said an elated Lindstrom.  He had.

Volvo, as the old cliche goes, might have won this battle but the war goes on.  Next engagement is Estoril in two weeks time.  And the Rover team have some food for thought.

Zolder, September 29, 1985, round 12 ETCC, 113 laps, 299.22 miles
Final positions
1.   Ginafranco Brancatelli (I)/Thomas Lindstrom (S)    Volvo 240 Turbo
2.   Sigi Muller (D)/Pierre Dieudonne (B)                       Volvo 240 Turbo
3.   Armin Hahne (GB)/Jeff Allam (GB                           
Rover Vitesse
4.   Roberto Ravaglia (I)/Gerhard Berger (A)                 BMW 635 CSi
5.   Dieter Quester (A)/Markus Oestriech (D)               
BMW 635 CSi
6.   Mauricio Micangeli (I)/Umberto Grano (I)                 BMW 635 CSi
7.   Winni Vogt (D)/Franz Dufter (D)                                BMW 323i
8.   Giorgio Francia (I)/Georges Cramer (B)                  Alfa Romeo GTV6
9.   Marcello Cipriani (I)/Rinaldo Drovandi (I)                
Alfa Romeo GTV6
10. Jean-Pierre Castel (F)/ Lucien Guitteny (B)            
BMW 635 CSi

R    Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Steve Soper (GB)/ Win Percy (GB)               Rover Vitesse      82 laps --- Axle failure
R    Per Gunnar Andersson (S)/ Mats Linden (S)/ Gregor Pettersson (S)    Volvo 240 Turbo  52 laps --- Axle failure


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