FIA Touring Car World Cup: 93-95 – Three years of huge fields

The FIA Touring Car World Cup was started in 1993 and lasted for three years, attracting massive fields in the races at Monza, Donington Park and Paul Ricard.

Touring car drivers, teams and manufacturers from all over the world took part in the races which was open to Super Touring (FIA Class II) cars.

More or less all top touring car drivers, of which over a third had F1 experience, and manufacturers, 12 in 1994 for example, were there to race for the world title over a single race weekend.

1993 – Monza

The first FIA Touring Car World Cup (then named Challenge) was held at Monza in Italy with a field of 43 cars.

The race weekend format was two races of 15 laps each where points were awarded to the top 20 drivers to crown a world champion when adding the points of the both races together.

Nine different manufacturers were represented in the form of Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall and 43 drivers from 12 countries, of which 15 had previously raced in F1.

Qualifying, which was divided into two sessions, had Peugeot factory driver Yannick Dalmas and Ford factory driver Paul Radisich fighting for pole position. Radisich clinched pole by a mere 0.080 seconds ahead of Dalmas, who had driven selected races in the 1993 French Touring Car Championship.

There were controversies among the teams as cars differed on various technical details such as aerodynamics, driver position and more, due to different interpretations of regulations around the world.

There was drama on track in qualifying as well with Gabriele Tarquini rolling his Alfa Romeo 155 after suffering from brake failure. The team was able to repair his car in time for the races, but he had to start second to last.

Qualifying – Top 10

1 Paul Radisich Ford Mondeo 1:54.520
2 Yannick Dalmas Peugeot 405 +0.080
3 Alain Cudini Opel Vectra +0.377
4 Nicola Larini Alfa Romeo 155 +0.512
5 Robb Gravett Peugeot 405 +0.642
6 Joachim Winkelhock BMW 318i +0.756
7 Christophe Bouchut Peugeot 405 +0.761
8 Andy Rouse Ford Mondeo +0.809
9 Fabrizio Giovanardi Peugeot 405 +0.834
10 Eric van de Poele Nissan Primera +0.849

Race 1 – Monza

The first race, held in damp conditions, saw local hero Nicola Larini taking the lead from third place on the grid. While the entire 43-car field made it through the first chicanes, bar South African BMW driver Deon Joubert being pushed around by Audi’s Hans-Joackim Stuck, the race was about to be red-flagged due to an incident involving three cars in Curva Grande.

BMW driver Steve Soper and Peugeot driver Fabrizio Giovanardi came together and spun hard into the barriers, collecting Ford driver Andy Rouse on the way.

Pole man Paul Radisich took the restart and went into a lead he was never to lose. The Ford Mondeo driver won the race 1.5 seconds ahead of French Opel Vectra driver Alain Cudini and Alfa Romeo 155 driver Nicola Larini.

Scottish hero John Cleland made an impressive charge from 18th on the grid to finish fourth, just one tenth behind Larini.

Race 1 – Top 10

1 Paul Radisich Ford Mondeo 15 laps
2 Alain Cudini Opel Vectra +1.517
3 Nicola Larini Alfa Romeo 155 +3.607
4 John Cleland Vauxhall Vectra +3.718
5 Alessandro Nannini Alfa Romeo 155 +5.679
6 Yannick Dalmas Peugeot 405 +16.505
7 Joachim Winkelhock BMW 318i +17.596
8 Robb Gravett Peugeot 405 +19.821
9 Julian Bailey Toyota Carina +20.498
10 Christophe Bouchut Peugeot 405 +21.165

Race 2 – Monza

The second race, with its grid being formed from the race one results, saw Paul Radisich again taking the lead. The New Zealander was challenged by Alain Cudini in the early stages of the race, but was able to pull away to ultimate win the race and the world title.

Nicola Larini crossed the line in second place, just 0.662 seconds behind Radisich, and secured second place overall thanks to two podium finishes. The Italian was involved in a clash with Cleland on the first lap, resulting in a very angry Scot who had to retire from the race.

Philippe Gache made it two Alfa Romeos in the top three with third position, two seconds from the leading duo.

The race had several incidents, including Team Securicor Toyota man and former F1 driver Julian Bailey rolling his Carina E after being hit from behind by Portuguese Opel Astra driver Ni Amorim, as shown in the video below.

Race 2 – Top 10

1 Paul Radisich Ford Mondeo 15 laps
2 Nicola Larini Alfa Romeo 155 +0.662
3 Philippe Gache Alfa Romeo 155 +2.142
4 Alexander Burgstaller BMW 318i +4.691
5 Eric van de Poele Nissan Primera +5.619
6 Emanuele Pirro BMW 318i +6.241
7 Stefano Modena BMW 318i +6.774
8 Jean-Pierre Malcher BMW 318i +6.932
9 Christophe Bouchut Peugeot 405 +7.074
10 Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 155 +7.466

Overall Result – Top 10

1 Paul Radisich 80 pts
2 Nicola Larini 54
3 Philippe Gache 33
4 Alain Cudini 30
5 Alexander Burgstaller 30
6 John Cleland 24
7 Christophe Bouchut 23
8 Yannick Dalmas 20
9 Eric van de Poele 19
10 Jean-Pierre Malcher 18

1994 – Donington Park

A year later and Donington Park in the UK was host for the FIA Touring Car World Cup. 40 drivers from 13 countries representing 12 manufacturers in the form of Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Ford, Nissan, Mazda, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volvo took part in the race.

In testing and qualifying it was again Ford’s Paul Radisich, then aged 32, who set the pace. The New Zealander took pole position ahead of BMW driver Steve Soper with a margin of 0.17 seconds.

Newly crowned BTCC champion and Alfa Romeo 155 driver Gabriele Tarquini claimed third on the gird and the BTCC drivers were in command on their home grounds. The best non-BTCC driver was Italian champion Emanuele Pirro in sixth position, driving the four-wheel driven Audi 80.

Qualifying – Top 10

1 Paul Radisch Ford Mondeo 1:38.09
2 Steve Soper BMW 318i +0.17
3 Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 155 +0.30
4 John Cleland Vauxhall Cavalier +0.35
5 Tim Harvey Renault Laguna +0.40
6 Emanuele Pirro Audi 80 +0.40
7 Alain Menu Renault Laguna +0.46
8 Anthony Reid Vauxhall Cavalier +0.50
9 Stefano Modena Audi 80 +0.56
10 Frank Biela Audi 80 +0.61

Race – Donington Park

The race weekend setup was changed from the previous year, going from two races to just one of 25 laps.

This meant higher stakes going into the first corner and the predicted chaos was there. John Cleland had made a strong start from fourth position on the grid to take the lead ahead of pole man Paul Radisich and Steve Soper.

But his lead was only to last for one lap as the race was red-flagged due to a big incident in the start, involving seven cars. Three cars started the series of incidents with South African BMW driver Shaun van der Linde being squeezed by the Ford duo of Philippe Gache and Robb Gravett.

The incident sent the cars spinning across the track, collecting Jan Lammers in the Volvo 850 Estate, Keith O’Dor in the Nissan Primera and David Leslie, making an appearance for Renault, as well as Czech BMW driver Milo Bychi. The sole drivers involved in the incident able to restart the race was the Ford duo of Gache and Gravett.

The disaster continued for Renault as Alain Menu locked his brakes and went straight into the back of Frank Biela’s Audi 80 Quattro at the Melbourne Hairpin, retiring on the spot. The disaster was completed not long after as the third and final Renault driver Tim Harvey, who had qualified a strong fifth, had to retire due to engine problems.

As the race was restarted, Paul Radisich made the most of his second chance and took the lead this time ahead of Steve Soper, Gabriele Tarquini and John Cleland.

The first lap of the restart saw a couple of casualties, the first after an incident between Anthony Reid and Stefano Modena, with the Alfa Romeo driver locking up and crashing into the back of the Vauxhall Vectra of Reid.

Two corners later and Gabriele Tarquini managed to take out John Cleland and Emanuele Pirro, trying to pass the both of them in the final corner. Tarquini was able to continue and charge up to a strong fourth position in the end.

Frank Biela, who was to become BTCC champion two years later, held third place for a good portion of the race under pressure from 1993 BTCC champion Joachim Winkelhock. The race ended in the gravel for Biela who made a rare mistake at Coppice, beaching his Audi 80 Quattro deep in the sand.

Ford Mondeo driver Paul Radisich crossed the line first after 25 laps to take his second straight world title. Steve Soper finished second, 1.92 seconds behind, with Joachim Winkelhock surviving a late-charging Tarquini to take the final podium spot.

Former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck made a notable charge through the field from 21st position on the grid to take fifth position, albeit 30 seconds from the lead.

Results – Top 10

1 Paul Radisich Ford Mondeo 25 laps
2 Steve Soper BMW 318i +1.92
3 Joachim Winkelhock BMW 318i +7.11
4 Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 155 +7.96
5 Hans-Joachim Stuck Audi 80 +29.50
6 Johnny Cecotto BMW 318i +31.22
7 Yvan Muller BMW 318i +32.12
8 Markus Oestrich Ford Mondeo +34.56
9 Marc Duez BMW 318i +38.35
10 Roberto Ravaglia BMW 318i +40.65

1995 – Paul Ricard

The third and final year saw the FIA World Touring Car Cup being hosted at Paul Ricard in France. This was the first year for the updated Super Touring regulations with front splitter and rear wing on the cars.

40 drivers were, just as the previous year, entered from 14 countries, representing ten manufacturers in the form of Audi, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Honda, Opel, Nissan, Renault, Vauxhall and Volvo.

The race weekend was completely dominated by primarily Audi but also BMW. The two German manufacturers claimed the top six positions for both races in qualifying, the best front-wheel driven car was the Renault Laguna of Alain Menu in seventh position for the first race and the Vauxhall Cavalier of Anthony Reid for the second race in eighth position, both being over half a second from the top.

Audi claimed the top three positions for both races with reigning Italian champion Emanuele Pirro taking two pole positions ahead of manufacturer colleagues Frank Biela and Hans-Joachim Stuck. The race format had changed back to the 1993 setup of two races of 26 laps, with the combined results crowning the champion.

Qualifying – Race 1 – Top 10

1 Emanuele Pirro Audi A4 1:27.478
2 Frank Biela Audi A4 +0.005
3 Hans-Joachim Stuck Audi A4 +0.062
4 Steve Soper BMW 318is +0.194
5 Jonny Cecotto BMW 318is +0.294
6 Yvan Muller BMW 318is +0.468
7 Alain Menu Renault Laguna +0.529
8 Roberto Ravaglia BMW 318is +0.557
9 Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 +0.750
10 Rickard Rydell Volvo 850 +0.812

Qualifying – Race 2 – Top 10

1 Emanuele Pirro Audi A4 1:27.319
2 Hans-Joachim Stuck Audi A4 +0.202
3 Frank Biela Audi A4 +0.217
4 Steve Soper BMW 318is +0.283
5 Jonny Cecotto BMW 318is +0.408
6 Yvan Muller BMW 318is +0.443
7 Roberto Ravaglia BMW 318is +0.493
8 Anthony Reid Vauxhall Cavalier +0.668
9 Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 +0.689
10 Alain Menu Renault Laguna +0.692

Race 1 – Paul Ricard

Emanuele Pirro took the start from pole position in the first race and was closely followed by Frank Biela. But the Italian only managed to keep the lead for three laps before he made a mistake, went wide and dropped to seventh position.

Frank Biela took over the lead which he held until the end, winning the race five seconds ahead of Steve Soper, despite the BMW Team Schnitzer driver setting the fastest lap of the race. Third was Yvan Muller, racing for BMW Team Fina, crossing the line a full 14 seconds behind the winner.

The top front-wheel driven car was the Ford Mondeo of Kelvin Burt who made a strong drive from eleventh on the grid to finish sixth behind Jonny Cecotto and Hans-Joachim Stuck, who fought hard for fourth position throughout the race.

BTCC driver Alain Menu looked set for a podium finish in the Williams prepared Renault Laguna, fighting for second with Steve Soper in the early part of the race. But the Swiss driver was forced to retire on lap nine due to engine problems.

One incident in the race involved Roberto Ravaglia, BMW, Will Hoy, Renault, and John Cleland, Vauxhall. Ravaglia made contact with Hoy in the Beausset corner and collected Cleland while spinning off track. Hoy had to retire while Ravaglia and Cleland were able to continue, both fighting hard back up through the field with Ravaglia finishing 14th and Cleland 16th.

Race 1 – Top 10

1 Frank Biela Audi A4 26 laps
2 Steve Soper BMW 318is +4.911
3 Yvan Muller BMW 318is +14.209
4 Johnny Cecotto BMW 318is +17.665
5 Hans Stuck Audi A4 +18.068
6 Kelvin Burt Ford Mondeo +25.134
7 Emanuele Pirro Audi A4 +27.274
8 Joachim Winkelhock BMW 318is +32.785
9 David Brabham BMW 318is +33.381
10 Rickard Rydell Volvo 850 +47.999

Race 2 – Paul Ricard

Hans-Joachim Stuck headed the field in the second race from second position on the grid. But the joy for the 1990 DTM champion was short lived as he had to retire from the race due to technical problems not long after.

Pole sitter Emanuele Pirro took over the lead and was initially chased by the fast starting BMW driver Yvan Muller. The Frenchman was however not able to stay in the top and dropped to fourth position in the end.

Steve Soper made his way past Muller to second place, but was chased down and passed by race one winner Frank Biela towards the end of the race.

Emanuele Pirro won the second race, but with his mistake in the first race, it was not enough to beat Audi colleague Frank Biela to the overall victory as the German finished second in the second race ahead of Steve Soper.

Biela was crowned world champion, 16 points ahead of Pirro and Soper who both ended up on 54 points, but with Pirro getting second place thanks to his victory in the second race.

Alain Menu made up for his race one retirement and finished fifth in the second race as best non Audi or BMW driver, 13 seconds behind Pirro.

1993 and 1994 world champion Paul Radisich had a dreadful weekend, retiring from the first race with a puncture and finished 17th in the second race after a spin.

Race 2 – Top 10

1 Emanuele Pirro 26 laps
2 Frank Biela Audi A4 +2.211
3 Steve Soper BMW 318is +3.570
4 Yvan Muller BMW 318is +6.554s
5 Alain Menu Renault Laguna +13.294
6 Jonny Cecotto BMW 318is +16.405
7 Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 +16.864
8 Klaus Niedzwiedz Honda Accord +37.745
9 Armin Hahne Honda Accord +38.697
10 Anthony Reid Vauxhall Cavalier +44.935

Overall Results – Top 10

1 Frank Biela 70 pts
2 Emanuele Pirro 54
3 Steve Soper 54
4 Yvan Muller 44
5 Johnny Cecotto 35
6 Kelvin Burt 23
7 Klaus Niedzwiedz 22
8 Armin Hahne 22
9 Hans-Joachim Stuck 16
10 Alain Menu 16

1996 – A1 Ring

The FIA Touring Car World Cup ended after 1995. A new race weekend was planned for 1996 at A1 Ring in Austria. But as many manufacturers chose not to enter the the race in Austria early on, the cup was cancelled and never to be started again.

It was not until 2005 when the FIA World Touring Car Championship was started that a touring car world champion was to be crowned again.

Will we ever see a new FIA Touring Car World Cup event thriving again? Not in the near future with the touring car world currently being separated by many different regulations. For it to happen again, FIA regulations need to spread around the globe to national championships like Super Touring did.

Are the new TC1 regulations up to it? Time will tell.

Entry List – 1993

1 Tony Longhurst (AUS) BMW 318i
2 Mark Skaife (AUS) Nissan Primera
3 Eric Bachelart (BEL) Peugeot 405
4 Marc Duez (BEL) BMW 318i
5 Eric van de Poele (BEL) Nissan Primera
7 Thierry Tassin (BEL) BMW 318i
9 Bernard Thuner (SUI) Peugeot 405
11 Frank Biela (GER) Audi 80
12 Alexander Burgstaller (GER) BMW 318i
13 Christian Danner (GER) Alfa Romeo 155
14 Franz Engstler (GER) Alfa Romeo 155
15 Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER) Audi 80
16 Joachim Winkelhock (GER) BMW 318i
17 Laurent Aiello (FRA) BMW 318i
18 Paul Belmondo (FRA) Opel Vectra
19 Christophe Bouchut (FRA) Peugeot 405
20 Alain Cudini (FRA) Opel Vectra
21 Phillipe Gache (FRA) Alfa Romeo 155
22 Yannick Dalmas (FRA) Peugeot 405
23 Jean-PIerre Malcher (FRA) BMW 318i
24 Marc Sourd (FRA) Audi 80
25 Julian Bailey (GBR) Toyota Carina
26 John Cleland (GBR) Vauxhall Cavalier
27 Robb Gravett (GBR) Peugeot 405
28 Will Hoy (GBR) Toyota Carina
29 David Leslie (GBR) Vauxhall Vectra
30 Kieth O’Dor (GBR) Nissan Primera
31 Andy Rouse (GBR) Ford Mondeo
32 Steve Soper (GBR) BMW 318i
33 Ivan Capelli (ITA) Nissan Primera
34 Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) Peugeot 405
35 Nicola Larini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
36 Stefano Modena (ITA) BMW 318i
37 Alessandro Nannini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
38 Emanuele Pirro (ITA) BMW 318i
39 Roberto Ravaglia (ITA) BMW 318i
40 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
41 Paul Radisich (NZL) Ford Mondeo
42 Ni Amorim (POR) Opel Astra
43 Per-Gunnar Andersson (SWE) BMW 318i
44 Slim Borgudd (SWE) Mazda Xedos 6
45 Jonny Cecotto (VEN) BMW 318i
49 Deon Joubert (RSA) BMW 318i

Entry List – 1994

1 Marc Duez (BEL) BMW 318i
2 Thierry Tassin (BEL) BMW 318i
3 Alain Menu (SUI) Renault Laguna
4 Bernard Thuner (SUI) Peugeot 405
5 Vaclav Bervid (CZE) BMW 318i
6 Milos Bychl (CZE) BMW 318i
7 Michael Bartels (GER) Nissan Primera
8 Frank Biela (GER) Audi 80
9 Markus Oestrich (GER) Ford Mondeo
10 Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER) Audi 80
11 Joachim Winkelhock (GER) BMW 318i
12 Antonio Albacete (ESP) Opel Vectra
13 Adrián Campos (ESP) Alfa Romeo 155
14 Carlos Palau (ESP) Ford Mondeo
15 Luis Pérez-Sala (ESP) Nissan Primera
16 Luis Villamil (ESP) Alfa Romeo 155
18 Phillipe Gache (FRA) Ford Mondeo
19 Yvan Muller (FRA) BMW 318i
20 John Cleland (GBR) Vauxhall Cavalier
21 Robb Gravett (GBR) Ford Mondeo
22 Anthony Reid (GBR) Vauxhall Cavalier
23 Steve Soper (GBR) BMW 318i
24 Patrick Watts (GBR) Peugeot 405
25 Stefano Modena (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
26 Emanuele Pirro (ITA) Audi 80
27 Roberto Ravaglia (ITA) BMW 318i
28 Antonio Tamburini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
29 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
30 Jan Lammers (NED) Volvo 850
31 Paul Radisich (NZL) Ford Mondeo
32 Per-Gunnar Andersson (SWE) BMW 318i
33 Slim Borgudd (SWE) Mazda Xedos 6
34 Johnny Cecotto (VEN) BMW 318i
35 Shaun van der Linde (RSA) BMW 318i
40 Julian Bailey (GBR) Toyota Carina
41 Tim Harvey (GBR) Renault Laguna
42 Will Hoy (GBR) Toyota Carina
43 David Leslie (GBR) Renault Laguna
44 Matt Neal (GBR) Mazda 323F
45 Keith O’Dor (GBR) Nissan Primera

Entry List – 1995

1 Roland Asch (GER) Ford Mondeo
2 Vaclav Bervid (CZE) BMW 318i
3 Frank Biela (GER) Audi A4
4 Thierry Boutsen (BEL) Ford Mondeo
5 David Brabham (AUS) BMW 318i
6 Michael Briggs (RSA) Opel Vectra
7 Kelvin Burt (GBR) Ford Mondeo
8 Milos Bychl (CZE) BMW 318i
9 Rinaldo Capello (ITA) Audi A4
10 Johnny Cecotto (VEN) BMW 318i
11 John Cleland (GBR) Vauxhall Cavalier
12 Roberto Colciago (ITA) Opel Vectra
13 Alain Cudini (FRA) Opel Vectra
14 Armin Hahne (GER) Honda Accord
15 Tim Harvey (GBR) Volvo 850
16 Johnny Hauser (SUI) Ford Mondeo
17 Eric Helary (FRA) Opel Vectra
18 Will Hoy (GBR) Renault Laguna
19 Josef Kopecky (CZE) Ford Mondeo
20 Peter Kox (NED) BMW 318i
21 Otakar Kramsky (CZE) BMW 318i
22 David Leslie (GBR) Honda Accord
23 Sascha Maassen (GER) Nissan Primera
24 Alain Menu (SUI) Renault Laguna
25 Josef Michl (CZE) BMW 318i
26 Yvan Muller (FRA) BMW 318i
27 Emanuele Naspetti (ITA) BMW 318i
28 Matt Neal (GBR) Ford Mondeo
29 Klaus Niedzwiedz (GER) Honda Accord
30 Luis Pérez-Sala (SPA) Nissan Primera
31 Emanuele Pirro (ITA) Audi A4
32 Paul Radisich (NZL) Ford Mondeo
33 Roberto Ravaglia (ITA) BMW 318i
34 Anthony Reid (GBR) Opel Vectra
35 Rickard Rydell (SWE) Volvo 850
36 Steve Soper (GBR) BMW 318i
37 Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER) Audi A4
38 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Alfa Romeo 155
39 Eric van de Poele (BEL) Nissan Primera
40 Joachim Winkelhock (GER) BMW 318i