Help arrived in the form of American luminary engineer, designer and race driver Pete Brock, the man responsible for the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray and the Ferrari-bashing Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. Brock had recently given up his position at Shelby after Ford pushed its GT40 program forward, leaving him with little creative input.
Ecclestone had already developed a personal hatred for the lack of professionalism of privateers when F1’s 1989 engine switch had opened the door for a motley crew of underfunded teams. Motivated by this hatred, he finished them off by dissolving the C2 category altogether, citing “reliability problems” as the cause.
Saab was eager to join in on the fun, since the company had only just become a full subsidiary of American automotive giant General Motors. Keen to expand their new asset’s marketability on their home soil, GM felt a Saab participation in one of the nations most famous motorsport events was nothing short of a masterstroke.
So for the 1990 season, Opel started to develop a new challenger around the recently introduced Omega A2. The move was an unusual one, as the Omega was a rather large family sedan. Compared to the lighter and more nimble BMW M3 Sport Evolution and Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo, the Omega was positively gigantic.
As these events were unfolding, one Malcolm Campbell was at the forefront of another great engineering testbed: motor racing. Campbell was the son of a diamond dealer, but he found a much greater interest in the newly developing sport. He started racing motorbikes in 1906 at the age of 21, and switched to cars in 1910.
For a brand new team entering the sport, it was a living hell. As the 1.5L turbo engines were much more complicated and expensive than the increasingly outdated 3.0L naturally aspirated units, finding a competitive means of propulsion was nigh-on impossible. Despite this, Italian Formula Two outfit Minardi Team SpA moved to join Formula One during the course of 1984.
As the Group B RX7 was reaching its absolute peak, the FISA presented a way out for Mazda. Late in 1985 the governing body announced Group S, a formula intended to replace Group B. The ultimate goal of Group S was not to decrease speeds or limit power, but rather to expand on the formula and allow even more manufacturers to compete.
Right in the middle of the rally weapon’s winning streak, Lancia made plans to adapt the car to the new Group 5 Special Production Car GT-regulations taking effect in 1976. This new category was intended to free up technical limitations on production-derived GT-racers, setting the stage for an era of widebody turbocharged insanity.
The Ibiza was a small hatchback in the vein of the Fiat Uno and Volkswagen Polo, with some interesting names involved with its conception. German engineering specialists Porsche had a hand in designing the car’s drivetrain, and Giorgetto Guigiaro’s Italdesign penned the svelte body, which was actually intended as the second generation of the Volkswagen Golf.
Unsatisfied with having to choose between the two, d’Agostino proposed a compromise in the form of the radically different V10 layout. The V10 was more compact, lighter and more fuel efficient than a V12, but produced nearly the same power. With this invention, Pino d’Agostino had unknowingly shaped the future of Formula One.