On this weekend in 1993, 28 years ago, a new age began for the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The Group B cars were gone, replaced a new generation of Group A-based four-wheel drive ‘Supercars’, the direct ancestors of today’s RX1. Gone too were the two-wheel drive Group A cars of the ‘second division’, and in their place came four-wheel drive Group N. That Austrian event at Horn-Fuglau also contained the first event for the new 1400 Cup class.
Kenneth Hansen stepped up to the top class at the start of the 1993 season and, unexpectedly, won in his first start with his new Citroen ZX. the win ushered in not only the new technical era but also the Hansen years. He’d won four FIA titles in the ‘under class’ but over the next 18 years would win ten FIA Championships at the highest level.
Jean-Luc Pailler brought his well-developed Citroen BX to Europe for the 1993 season, and qualified third for the A Final before chasing Hansen home in second place.
Martin Schanche was in great form with his new RS2000-based Escort and secured the A Final pole with fastest times in the first two heats. He led the final but was passed by Hansen and Pailler and finished third.
Per Eklund’s Subaru Legacy looked like a big car on the tiny Nordring but the Swede marked his return to rallycross by qualifying fourth, although he slipped to sixth place in the final.
Tommy Kristoffersson overcame gearbox problems to get his new Audi into the final and finish fifth.
Barry Squibb managed to get his new car to Austria where his compatriots Will Gollop and Pat Doran were both absent. Surviving problems during the event he beat Skogstad to win the B Final and then placed fourth in the A Final with the new Xtrac Escort.
Bjorn Skogstad was another to step up to the top class in 1993. He ran second in the B Final before retiring when the drive belt came off the water pump.
Group N began in Austria and the first winner was Anders Norstedt who, against all expectations, managed to win the first event in his Nissan Sunny GTiR.
Young Englishman Richard Hutton was on course to win the A Final. Having qualified on pole he led the final before running wide in the third lap and going all four wheels off. In those days that was an offence frequently punished by the black flag, which is what happened to Hutton who returned to the paddock and watched as Norstedt inherited the win.
Norwegian Ludvig Hunsbedt was another to star in the new Group N category, placing third in his version of the much favoured Escort Cosworth.
Czech racer Pavel Koutny was not widely known at this stage, but made his mark with an impressive performance in his Escort Cosworth, although punctures in qualifying restricted him to the B Final.
Tony Kuypers was the first winner in the new 1400 Cup class which managed only three starters for its first event.« Previous Post Next Post »