Motor

Follow in time series! The story behind the development of the special Ford RS200

This article is"True history" | Inside story at the time the Ford RS200 was being developedIt is a continuation of.

Well-known writer Graham Robson was a Ford consultant at the time the RS200 was in development. He told me about the true history of birth that he knows. Introducing the development of special cars in chronological order.

February 25, 1983
Ford Europe has announced a change in the heads of motorsports, although there has been no sound for about six weeks. As mentioned above, Stuart has become the new responsible person. At the same time, I became the person responsible for planning events for Ford Motorsports fans and RS dealers. But at this point, I didn't hear much about the B200.

March 14, 1983
It was announced that the RS1700T and C100 Group C car plans have been cancelled. According to what I heard later from my manager Peter Ashcroft, it was decided by the board of directors in the morning, and Stewart called me before noon, and all the work was stopped on site that day. The media were so responsive that they were eager to find out what was happening inside Ford. Of course, I knew the inside, but I didn't tell anyone.

March 28, 1983
I had the opportunity to hear the current status of the B200 at a dinner with Stuart. Apparently, development of the turbocharged Escort XR3 and Sierra XR4i has already started. Mike Morton, who is in charge of product planning, has been working hard and prepared a system that no one can overlook.

Mike set a high goal and agreed that a Midship engine 4WD machine is essential for success in Group B. He consulted Brabham's Gordon Murray about the basic design of the new machine, Cosworth's Keith Duckworth about 4WD technology, former Cosworth's own engineering company Brian Hart interviewed about the engine Was. However, during this time, a delay occurred. Because Gordon Murray couldn't afford the time to spend on basic design. However, the fact that Brabham's boss, Bernie Ecclestone, was reluctant to accept this request would have been a factor.

Murray and Morton argued that Ford would not be able to produce 200 cars in-house for homologation. Lotus, Tickford, Aston Martin, TVR and Reliant were among the candidates for the constructor. In fact, Ford called on all the candidates and the whole company was interested. Among them, Reliant was loudly interested, but the company was convenient because it was also a constructor that can make body shells.

April 28, 1983
Ford was struggling to find a star engineer. According to Stuart, Gordon Murray was really enthusiastic. But that meant leaving Brabham, and Ecclestone couldn't agree. Still wanting to borrow Gordon Murray's excellent ideas, Stuart and Brian Hart asked for a one-night intensive lecture. Gordon gave a good explanation of how a special sports car should be designed, Stuart later recalled.

Mid-May 1983
Stuart decided to talk to some of the best freelance engineers and have a "design competition". Specifically Patrick Head [Williams], Tony Southgate, Mike Roseby, Jean Paolo Dallara, Derek Gardner, John Bernard, and Nigel Stroud.

Roseby, Southgate, and Stroud were called upon for further design planning based on the Ford Cosworth BDT turbo engine [200 already procured for the blank RS1700T project]. Stuart's only priority was to make the B200 a debut machine and a championship machine in the rally scene.

"It's important to have visibility in the rally. You don't have to lie down in the" racing position. Equally important is the angle of the front window, "Stuart said. Since the gear itself is responsible for the design itself, I think he wanted to focus only on maximizing the potential as a race car.

Late May 1983
John Wheeler, a former F1 designer who has been involved in the Ford Motorsport design of the RS1700T, became angry that he wasn't being called into the B200 plan at all, and there was also a strong demand from him. As a result, I became the fourth design plan submitter.

The design proposal that Stuart passed in July continues …


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