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Dunlop ,( JTCC ) Andy Rouse Group A rs500

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Desc bription:

Andy Rouse and his company, Andy Ro use Engineering (ARE) are firmly ingrained in the folklore, of the mighty Group A RS500 Sierra.

Hired by Ford Motor Company as a development engineer, to take the XR4Ti from a contender, to a winner, Andy and his gang were instrumental in making the Group A RS500 the global success story it was.

In late 87 and early 1988, you only had two choices if you wanted to buy a brand new, competitive RS500 and ARE, who won the prestigious RAC TT against the DJR and Eggenberger cars in 1988, were a smart choice for a cashed up team. In 1988, Japan’s economy was absolutely booming and Group A was too, with the popular series racing in Australia, Germany, UK, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and anywhere else that had a racetrack and wasn’t the USA. Poor old USA dipped out, again…

In the Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC) there were 44 entries in that year’s championship alone and after the 1987 WTCC, it was obvious that an RS500 was what was needed to run at the front. The TRAMPIO team struck 1st blood with buying Andy’s WTCC car in 1987 while the circus was in town, then pulling a rabbit out of the proverbial and buying an Eggenberger customer car, the first one ever, for the start of the 1988 JTCC! A Group A arms race was escalating quickly and one seriously cashed up team, SUNTEC SHIMIZU, with team sponsors Dunlop, purchased a complete customer Group A RS500 Sierra, chassis # ARE RSCA 007 88, from Andy Rouse Engineering (ARE) in early 1988.

The 7th car built in 1988 by ARE, she was sporting all the latest upgrades and evolutions learned, after the furiously paced WTCC highlighted the early RS500’s fast, but fragile nature. #007 Raced in the Japanese Touring Car Championship from 20/3/1988, Rd 2 of the JTCC, until the 11/11/1990 at the Mt Fuji InterTec, the 6th and final round of 1990. Fortunately for history buffs (AKA; me.) #007 was the only RS500 Sierra raced by the team and always had the same distinct, Dunlop works paint scheme, which is still on the car. Another bonus for tracking her history is that #007 always raced in #3 or #30 for 1988, then was #13 for 1989 and 1990. If only they were all this easy!

To add to her international flavour, #007 was raced by the famous Naoki Nagasaka (Japan), Mauricio Sala (Brazil), Eje Elgh (Sweden), Mauro Martini (Italian) and Jeff Krosnoff (USA). So this English car, that raced in Japan and now resides in Australia has always had a very cosmopolitan life. How could you not love Group A?

Of its 3 years in period competition in the JTCC and 17 starts, #007’s highlights were:

  • 1988 Rd 4. Race de Nippon, 2nd Sala / Elgh.
  • 1988 Rd 5. Sugo 300, 1st Sala / Elgh.

Lowest qualifying result was 6th for all of 1988 season.

  • 1989 Rd 1. Nishi Nippon 300, 1st Nagasaka / Sala.

Lowest qualifying result was 3rd for all of 1989 season.

  • 1990 Rd 1. Nishi Nippon 300, 3rd Krosnoff / Martini.

Lowest qualifying result was 6th for all of 1990 season.

If you have a hunt about Youtube for the JTCC, you will find that nearly every round from 1987 onwards is up there (Not always correctly labelled though!) and watching #007 is most enjoyable. The team either had orders that only Qualifying and the race start counted (Like Kerry Packer and the KB Camaro), or they just loved being the fastest Group A car and weren’t too fussed about actual results. The pattern for # 007’s race weekend seemed to be: Qualify extremely well, then, when the flag drops, run like a red-assed ape, until the car expires in a most glorious manner. As the results above show, occasionally you will win with this method, but one thing that is guaranteed, is that the car becomes famous! My personal favourite #007 moment is the 1989 Inter – Tec (Japan’s Bathurst 1000, or Spa 24Hr) where 007 starts in Q2 and when the flag drops, she absolutely clears out on the pack. Leaving the works HR31 Nissan’s and Eggenberger and other Sierra’s in her dust. Of course she blows up 76 laps later, but it is classic footage! History will show that #007 wasn’t much of a finisher, especially as the JTCC races were all about 300K’s long, but she was blisteringly quick.

Come 1990, the reign of the RS500 in the JTCC was over. Nissan’s legendary BNR-32 GTR “Godzilla” won on its 1st round debut on the 18th of March, with #007 coming home 3rd, behind the 2 leading Godzilla’s. To cut a long, but interesting, story short; 29 races later, on the 31st of October in 1993, the GTR had won every single round of the JTCC since it’s glorious debut. Try as she might with her amazing speed, #007 was now obsolete. Even her old party trick of running out the front at 11/10th’s, wasn’t enough to stay in front of the mighty GTR’s. #007’s last race in Group A was at the Inter-Tec on the 11/11/1990. With an accomplished career and a chassis that never received any big hits, she was then used by the race teams preparatory race school and was sold to one of the team boss’s friends, Mr Hashimoto, to join his collection of old race cars. There she lived a great life in retirement, being used occasionally for club days and nostalgia events.

In 2012 #007 was sold, with 3 other siginificant cars, to Ecurie Bowden, who dusted her off and went racing in Group A historics, while the teams trusty Group C RX7, was finished 

being repaired. In late 2013 a deal was struck with family friend Duncan Mackellar and #007 found a new, enthusiastic owner. She was given a comprehensive restoration, with every component pulled down and refreshed, with all the CAMS upgrades allowed (Motec, Steel roll-cage, Ball-bearing Turbo etc) incorporated. The fresh, beautiful and FAST #007 made her debut at the Australian Grand Prix, much to the delight of the Japanese members, of Australia’s most international race. She was then off to Bathurst for the Easter event, where she finally found some pace, as the team came to grips with the new Motec system. (Very easy, when you know how…) After Bathurst, #007’s true form came to be shown. At certain stages of the 2015 Heritage Touring Cars season, #007 was leading the Heritage Touring Cars Group A National Championship. How’s that for pace and reliability!?

Duncan has upgraded to a late spec’ Eggenberger RS500, so #007 needs a new home. #007 will come with a freshly rebuilt engine and minimal hours on the driveline, ready for the 2016 Heritage Touring Cars Season Hopefully #007’s new owner will be someone who likes to run at the front, but maybe at 9/10th’s this time around?       

Works completed in #007’s restoration:

Engine rebuild using mostly new parts.

ECU upgrade to Motec. Safe tune, with dyno charts.

Original Rouse “Zytec” adjustable boost adapted to the Motec (1 to 5 settings; wet to qualifying).

Steel roll cage custom designed for driver safety and chassis rigidity.

Bare metal respray.

Every suspension part stripped crack-tested and rebuilt.

New rose joints everywhere.

Her HUGE brakes stripped and rebuilt.

New set of wheels.

Race fettled with an eye to outright speed and ease of use. 

A$ 225,000

 

+61 438269938



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Website:

http://ecuriebowden.com/1988-group-rs500-sierr

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There is so little out there in english about the Japanese RS500s so that was a great read.

When I stumbled across my old RS500 in Japan in 2010 I also found some pics of this car at a track day at the same time but could never find any info on it, good to see it later headed to Aus and is now in superb order.

 

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