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  Ford Capri RS Cosworth

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1974
Numbers built:4
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 08, 2007
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Click here to download printer friendly versionMotor racing success has often proven to be a very powerful marketing tool, so it came as no surprise that Ford announced a racing program soon after the launch of the all new Capri in 1969. With a slightly modified Capri 2300 GT, Ford competed in GT racing in 1969 and 1970 and with some success, highlighted by a class victory in the Tour de France Automobile in 1969.

For 1970, Weslake was called upon to develop more sophisticated aluminium heads for the Ford V6 engine. Communication problems between the Cologne, Germany based Ford racing team and the British Weslake greatly hampered the development of the new engines. The Capri was not on pace in the GT class anymore and halfway through the season Ford decided to switch to Group 2 Touring car racing for which at least 1000 examples had to be produced.

Especially for Touring car racing, the RS 2600 model was launched as a homologation special. With the help of Peter Ashcroft, the 2.6 litre V6 was modified to displace just under 3.0 litres. Fitted with the Weslake heads and Kugelfischer Fuel Injection the OHV V6 engine produced well over 280 bhp. Compared to its nearest and usually more powerful rivals, the Capri RS was as light as the proverbial feather, which gave it an edge over its competition.

In 1971 the Capri RS was the car to beat in the European Touring Car Championship and it was beaten only once. Jochen Mass took the driver's title, but it was Alfa Romeo who campaigned in a smaller class, that took the manufacturer's title. More competition was expected in 1972 from the newly founded BMW Motorsport team. Driving force behind the new team was Jochen Neerpasch, who had left Ford after the first race of 1972.

With the engine developed as far as the regulations allowed, Ford focussed on the chassis and especially on the suspension for 1972. Road going Capris featured McPherson struts front suspension and a live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear and according to the regulations no changes could be made to this basic setup. Ford evaded this rule by fitting very thin and basically useless leaf springs at the rear combined with 'additional' coil springs, which completely took over from the leafs.

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  Article Image gallery (103) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (3)