W201 - Racing Era

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W201 - Racing Era

Mensagem por Daniel AMG em Sab 24 Maio 2008, 23:54



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W201 - Racing Era
Few people know that the Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3-16V-models was actually developed for rallying. Mercedes Benz had been a fairly successful actor in this field, so why shouldn't they try to regain some glory?

The 190 might seem like a strange rally-car indeed, but in 1979 when it was conceived, the 2.3-16 with its sturdy chassis and rear-wheel drive was deemed capable. But when this idea was hatched Mercedes hadn't come up with a beefy enough engine, so they chose to seek expertise outside their own company, they found the expertise they needed from Cosworth Engineering of Northampton.

The plans to conquer rallying again were aborted. As a road car the 2.3-16 did surprisingly well, but Mercedes Benz was overtaken by events, and the four-wheel drive era was already under way when the car was launched. But Mercedes Benz wanted to make use of this extraordinary car, so they used it for racing instead.





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Rally
Although official plans to use the W201 in rally was aborted, there were some private initiatives. This picture appeared in an article about the 1987 World Rally Championship, published in an Argentine car magazine named Parabrisas in January 1988. The article said nothing about the W201, but the comment under the picture said: "In Monte Carlo this Mercedes-Benz 2.3-16 appeared. Its performance was remarkable, however, in rally, power is not the only need." This text indicates that the handling of the car was insufficient in rally, although it had much power.

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Ice Racing
Believe it or not, W201s has even been used in Ice racing! The picture below shows a 190 participating in the 24h on ice at Chamonix in 1994. It was driven by Ari Vatanen and Patrick Tambay, but did unfortunately not finish the race. This particular car is a T3-ice class prototype, and it has a bodykit similar to the Evo II models with a few differences, for instance the enourmous rear wing. The body of the car is probably made of resin, and it is most likely rear engined. The same car was possibly raced by Dany Snobeck during the whole Andros Trophy in 1993.

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Racing W201s now


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These pictures show a 190E 2.3-16 owned by Rick Ellingner. He uses the car to race with a group called [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.].





DTM
A few years after Mercedes Benz presented the 16-valved model, Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) was launched. There were few rules and many competitors, and amongst many BMWs and Porsches this small model from Mercedes Benz did surprisingly well. During the years from 1987 (?) until 1993 (?) many W201's from different teams won the races.


DTM pictures:

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Driver of this car is Danish Kurt Thiim, the race was most probably in Germany



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Daniel AMG
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