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Tim's Forza History Class

Audi 90 Quattro GTO

By Tim DeLong- 05-19-2015



Next up in the history lesson is the Audi 90 Quattro GTO.
The Audi 90 Quattro seems to be both loved and hated by the Forza community. Loved for its phenomenal yet forgiving handling and brazen 5 cylinder roar, yet hated because it has a hard time fitting into a class. Unmodified the 90 Quattro suffers slightly on tracks where top speed is key, yet fully modified the car just doesn’t match up with the larger displacement competitors in Forza 5’s higher racing classes. This car’s true potential comes to light in the corners. If you know what you’re doing in the bendy parts, this car will let you push it to the limit and beyond.

In 1998 Audi of America teamed with the successful former SCCA (Sports Car Club of America)TRANS-AM series and IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) GTP winners Group 44. Group 44 was started by driver, builder, and marketing expert, BoB Tullius. The team had just come off of their tenure with Jaguar, racing in IMSA’s top GTP class.

The Audi/Group 44 collaboration was so successful in the SCCA TRANS-AM series that the cars were panelized with added weight each time they won a race. The added weight did not stop them from dominating the 1988 season. The SCCA banned AWD cars from the TRANS-AM series starting in the 1989 season.

Having been banned from SCCA TRANS-AM competition, Audi of America turned their attention to the IMSA GTO class. Audi and Group 44 developed the 90 Quattro GTO using knowledge and experience form the SCCA as well as Audi’s long history in European Rally Competition. Along with the 5 cylinder, 2.2 liter, 20 valve turbocharged engine and the Quattro AWD system Audi used in the fabled Group B rally competition, were two more German secret weapons, Walter Röhrl and Hans-Joachim Stück, who would share seat time in the number 4 car. Audi’s potent 5 cylinders were producing roughly 700 bhp at around 530 ft. lbs of torque to all four of the massive 14 inch wide Goodyear tires resulting in astonishing grip and a huge advantage in the corners.

In the number 5 car were Americans Hurley Haywood and Scott Goodyear. Stück and Haywood were to be the main drivers throughout the 1989 season. Audi chose not to enter the season opener, 24 Hours of Daytona or the third race, the 12 Hours of Sebring stating that the car was still under development. The team stuck to the sprint races for the remainder of the season. The Audis debut at the Grand Prix of Miami was pretty much a dismal failure. Stück managed to last for 19 laps before gearbox failure ended his race. Stück’s teammate, Haywood, had worse luck after getting caught up in a collision on the 11th lap.

The next round was a Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia. The Audis finished 1-2 with the number 4 of Stück edging out the number 5 of Haywood by 4 seconds. The duo would repeat the 1-2 dominating finish two more times that season. Stück would go on to win 6 races that year, assisted by Röhrl on occasion. Haywood would finish in the top 5 several times occasionally sharing the seat with Scott Goodyear.

The wins were enough for Stück to capture second place in the championship. This is an impressive feat especially considering the team sat out the two biggest points generating endurance races of the season and did not finish their first or last race of the season due to mechanical issues. After the 1998 season Audi headed back to Germany to compete in the DTM series with the 90 Quattro GTO’s successor, the Audi V8 Quattro DTM. The Audi 90 Quattro GTO may have only ran one, partial season however it easily earned its place among some of the most innovative race cars of all time.

 

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