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welch wednesday

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  • welch wednesday

    John welch debuting his "new" opel xtrac turbo at cadwell park, november 1987.

    at the start of 1986 three kadett rallye 4x4 shells came to the uk made by matter motorsport in germany. two which opel had built and entered in the 1986 paris dakar, plus a third shell which GM dealersport would eventually turn into the supercharged astra 4S. after group B and its intended replacement group S were scrapped by FIA in may, opel gave the two paris dakar cars to john welch, plus 2 truck loads of spares. over the later end of 1986 and early 1987 john stripped all the endurance equipment from one of the paris dakar cars, long time colaborator john minty built him a 2.1 version of the original manta400 engine, with added turbo and fuel injection lifted straight from his old G4 escort, plus mapping by swindon race engines, it produced 650bhp in qualifying trim ! in the picture below you can see john being chased by 1986 british rallycross champion mark rennison in his RS200 evo, john would go on to win this event at cadwell park, narrowly beating mark, and would start a 6 year relationship with the astra in UK and europe.

    Last edited by DarrenH; 07-08-2019, 11:13 PM.

  • #2
    more welch wednesday. another picture from cadwell in 1987. note that Mark Rennison RS200 has GB1 on the door, honorary entry number given to reigning british champions. Mark had white washed the British championship in 1987 gaining the title at the end of august. He won every round, comprehensively outpacing John in his old zakspeed powered G4 escort. The astra managed to win this round of the winter series, despite being undeveloped. John called it a fluky win but it still gave a good indication of how competitive the "new" astra could be... (picture credit bill routledge)