Volvo 200 Series
Group A 240 Turbo
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Group A 240 Turbo

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In 1986 the Belgian racing specialist firm RAS prepared the 240 for the European Touring Car Championship

European Touring
Car Championship

Take a Volvo 240 Turbo in two doors guise and let this car compete in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) following the Group A rule book and you let a BMW 635 CSI, a Jaguar XJ-S and a Rover 3500 bite the dust. Sounds simple, but it is a fact though. Already during its first race of the 1984 season the 240 was heading the field 100 of 150 laps.

In 1984 the Volvo 240 made its début in the ETCC which had started in 1963. A year later the 240 won the championship. 1986 would have ended with another championship had not primarily Tom Walkinshaw with his Rover protested against the 240. This car was not competing according to the rules in Tom Walkinshaws opinion. The Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) disqualified Volvo, because the 240 on Anderstorp was driving on unleaded standard petrol with an octane rate of 99, while on Zeltweg the car was competing with a prohibited size of the fuel tank and an illegal dashboard. Two victories were therefore deleted. On the other hand, the FISA was already keeping an eye on Volvo in 1985. The 240 Turbo was homologated for the American market in 1983. Five hundred evolution models were delivered there and then, but the American authorities had not registered the 240s. The rules of the FISA were the reason why Volvo retreated from the championship two weeks after the last race on Estoril in 1986.

The car

A car from the Group A class of the ETCC has got to be a four-seater, which has to be build in a series of at least 500 identical vehicles within a year. Average customers must be able to buy these cars and to drive them on the public road. By the way, prior to the 500 evolution cars, 5000 standard cars has to be made as well, that is 5000 240Turbos.

The Group A 240 Turbo is a car with 270-330 (1984), 340 (1985) or 340-350 (1986) brake horsepower, delivered by a B21 engine with a Garret exhaust turbo, Volvo’s own intercooler, a patented Volvo water injection and an inhouse electronic ignition system. The cylinder head of the B21 was almost standard with two valves per cylinder. Some more figures (1985): the top speed of the Group A 240 Turbo amounts approximately 260 kilometres per hour. The acceleration from standstill to 100 kilometres per hour takes about six seconds. The 200 kilometres per hour can be reached from a standstill in about 20 seconds.

The weight of the car varied from 1100 kilograms to 1065 kilograms in respectively 1984 and 1986.

During the final race of the 240 on Estoril, the Electronic Traction Control (ETC) was used. The ETC has to increase the traction of the car, when the external circumstances demands such an increase. Within four milliseconds the turbo pressure and the fuel supply are corrected automatically to keep the 240 on the right track.

In 1985 the Turbo was standing on Pirelli P7 tyres with the dimensions 25/62 VR 17 (front) and 26/64 VR 17 (back). In 1986 Pirelli D3 tyres were used.

The five speed gearbox of the Group A 240 comes from Getrag. Furthermore has the car a Borg & Beck clutch, a rear axle with a limited-slip differential from Volvo, gas-filled shock absorbers from Bilstein and a power steering from Volvo, but without the power.

The teams

Volvo never competed as a factory in the ETCC. The only thing Volvo did, was supplying the construction and the classification of the 240. The race department of Volvo, Volvo Motorsport, sold parts to private teams, which prepared the actual racing cars. 1984 saw the participation of a Swedish and a Belgian team. The second year a Swiss and a Swedish and the final year a Belgian team were competing to win the championship.

The victories

The first real victory was not achieved in the ETCC, but in the German DTCC. Per Sturesson won before an army of BMWs the race in 1984. In the same year Ulf Granberg and Robert Kvist won on Zolder the first race of the 240 counting for the ETCC. By the way, the other three competing 240s came in on a fifth, sixth and tenth place.

The drivers

Except for the champions of 1985, Gianfranco Brancatelli, nicknamed Brancan, and Thomas Lindström, several drivers were competing in a Group A 240 Turbo, like Eje Elgh, Ulf Granberg, Johnny Cecotto, Mauro Baldi, Pierre Dieudonné, Sigi Müller and Didier Theys. In 1985 Gianfranco Brancatelli and Thomas Lindström were driving for the team Volvo Dealer Team Europe of Rudi Eggenberger. The year before Eggenberger was still preparing BMWs. In 1986 Ford Sierra was next on the list, but the success of 1985 was not repeated by the Swiss.

  • 280 hästar och en tjej / Krister Göranson. – Ratten. – nummer 1, 1984. – pagina/sida 43
  • Afscheid van een kampioen : circuittest Volvo 240 / Mike Cotton. – Autoselekt. – nummer 12, december 1986. – pagina/sida 46-49
  • Antique racers for antique dealers : old racing Volvos : Roger Bell says tanks for the memory. – Car Magazine, issue 421, september 1997. – pagina/sida 125
  • Europees Kampioenschap toerwagens : Volvo en Rover : oorlog. – Autovisie. – nummer 14, 5 juli 1986. – pagina/sida 64
  • Nu gäller bara VM för Volvo! / av Tege Tornvall. – Bilsport. – nummer 22, 23 oktober-5 november 1986. – pagina/sida 74, 75
  • "Nu ska vi vinna EM!". – Ratten. – nummer 1, 1985. – pagina/sida 27
  • Radarparet som gjort Volvo snabbast i Europa / av Anders Hultberg. – Ratten. – nummer 1, 1986. – pagina/sida 32-38
  • Snabbt, fruktansvärt snabbt! / Henrik Moberger. – Ratten. – nummer 3, 1984. – pagina/sida 36, 37
  • Toekomst toerwagenraces / Rob Wiedenhoff. – Autovisie. – nummer 11, 24 mei 1986. – pagina/sida 54-59
  • Volvo 240 Turbo op kop in Europees Toerwagen Kampioenschap. – Volvo Journaal. – najaar 1985. – pagina/sida 47
  • Volvo igen! . – Ratten. – nummer 4, 1984. – pagina, sida 48
  • Volvo triomfen omstreden. – Autovisie. – nummer 15, 20 juli 1985. – pagina/sida 51
  • Årets krutpaket / av Carleric Johansson. – Ratten. – nummer 2, 1985. – pagina/sida 34-37
  Nice to know

"Winning is not the most important thing for us"

Thomas Lindström and Gianfranco Brancatelli about winning the ETCC in 1985 in Ratten issue 1 from 1986

"I've driven some mad machinery but nothing with such an excess of grunt over grip as this"

Roger Bell in Car from September 1997 about test driving a Group A 240 Turbo

Anders Olofsson alias Olof Andersom

Anders Olofsson got Olof Andersom (Olof The Other Way Round) as a nickname from Jan Lammers, when both were driving Formula 3

Source: Autovisie, 22 June 1985

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This page was updated on 27 May 2002