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Old 29 Dec 2005, 12:04   #1
DazS1Turbo
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DazS1Turbo should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
John Welch's Vauxhall Astra Xtrac?

Just reading another Ford forum and the chaps on there were talking about this Car

John Welch Vauxhall Astra Xtrac 2.1t 4x4 Raced in Rallycross early 90's?

Does anyone have any old pic's info on this beast? Is it still around doing dispays ect? Ive not seen it at Performance Vauxhall shows......

Cheers
Darren
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 13:07   #2
ian.stewart
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From what I remember it was built up from Vauxhauls stillborn forray into Grp B? rallying, 4x4 supercars, when the series was cancled, they had a couple of cars built which John Welch bought or was loaned to race with in rallyX, It never was as fast as the escort, I think there was a full feature on the car in rally trim in CCC, what date, I couldent tell you.
Ian
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Old 1 Jan 2006, 12:20   #3
Tim Wilkinson
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I think it was based around the Astra 4S, which was going to be Vauxhalls entry into Group S (the evolution of Group B). I think one ran once on a Welsh regional rally, and didn't finish, before Group S and the 4S project were canned.

I've seen a feature on one of the astra forums about the 4S, which may have been the article Ian was referring to, but the link is gone now.

I've searched the net before for 4S info, and very little turned up. One of the 4Ss was at PVS '03, with the Pete Stevens Carlton and a Brookes Chevette.
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Old 2 Jan 2006, 19:57   #4
chunder
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chunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Daz,
Here we go.
Jpohn built two rallycross Astra;s, the first was based on the Daker car that Opel used in the mid eighties. It is not based on the 4S. That was supercharged and driven by ANdrew Wood in late 86. You may have seen one on a Vauxhall stand at NetQ once or twice.
John's car was powered by a sleeved down and turboed Manta 400 engine using a BMW F1 Turbo system and the familkiar Xtrac transmission used on his earlier Escort.
The first car was damaged in a big shunt that hurt Johns back I thyink and a new one was built that was more successful.
That car I think was sold to a Swede called Tommy Kristoffersen I think or it may have been Jernberg who bought the car for its transmission only.
Not sure if he still has any bits, he probly does as he did most of the work himself with his team.
It was a very good car and really very different to anything else coz most were using Group B cars and Johns was really a 'special'
It handled really well and was very powerful, Jpohn beat many big names in Britain and Europe in the car and rememebr at the time he was racing against the likes of Rennison, Gollop, Schanche Alamaki. It was always very good in the wet.
Any more info and I would be glad to help
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Old 3 Jan 2006, 09:56   #5
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Thanks for that. I've seen it mentioned in so many places that Welch's Astra was a 4S, but never found anything as definitive as the above about its origins.
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Old 3 Jan 2006, 17:24   #6
chunder
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chunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridchunder should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Was such a huge fan of the sport in the eighties, I even wrote to John and he was kind enough to send me a lood of posters and stickers and stuff, and some great spec sheets fore the car.\I will see if i can dig them out. Might be interesting for some of you!
Rallycross was a hotbed for designers in the eighties, loads of cars on the market after Group B ban, and the F1 teams were all using massive turbos, so they were available for bigger power outputs. You were nowhere with les than 600 brake!
And no active diffs and stuff, proper stuff!
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Old 6 Jan 2006, 10:34   #7
BertMk2
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BertMk2 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBertMk2 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBertMk2 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBertMk2 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
One of our ten-tenths members Allen Mead spoke at length to John about the car(s) a while back. He also got some stickers, posters etc and has articles on the 4S as well. As far as I can remember both cars have now been destroyed - one in a racing accident and the other was more recently broken up.

There's a thread here that talks about the car. I'm sure Allen would be more than happy to give you as much info as he's got (he's rather keen on his Astras!).
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