Submissions are now open until the 26th of December.The rules are now set, and it is safe to submit a car without the risk of rules being tweaked.
Arion Falco RS-R & RS Longtail 1979
Legacy of Great British spirit and sports car excellence.
With Arion’s heritage in racing starting from their first production car: The Aquila, being a successful rally car in the larger categories, marching forth the brand continued racing into many different categories: Formula, Rally Raid, Touring car and Le Mans Prototypes.
Then came their Group 5 debut with the Falco.
Sitting below the supercar tier of Hydrus in their lineup, the Falco featured a Naturally Aspirated 5 litre DOHC 32-valve V8 with mechanical fuel injection per cylinder boasting 340hp. Weighing in at 1191kg with fibreglass panels it was a rocket-machine: 0-62mph in 4.3s and an incredible estimated top speed of 196mph which was disproved even with the drag-inducing ducktail spoiler removed, 179mph was achieved.
With a sporty lightweight interior and luxury sound system, it was an odd mixture of pure driving joy and uncomfortable bumps with an enjoyable audio experience on the road, making it a very undesirable road-car.
It’s true nature was on the race track…
Introducing the Arion Falco RS Longtail: Arion’s Group 5 race car that would go on to become a historic race car icon.
The engine was already built to the limits of road regulations, but with further tuning 420hp was achieved, and a weight reduction even with roll cage and safety equipment to 1090kg. The entire shape of the car was revised to super silhouette proportions, with cooling ducts, more aerodynamic quirks such as vortex generators and a stacked wing setup with a gigantic rear diffuser, even twin-oil coolers were fitted to the rear to help improve performance in endurance racing.
The statistics were quite impressive for the era: 1.2g in 20m & 200m cornering as well as 3.8s 0-62mph time and an astonishing 211mph clocked in qualifying at the 1979 24hr of Le Mans.
Debuting in the 1979 Group 5 season at the 24 hours of Daytona; the Arion Falco RS Longtail driven by Kenneth Walkinshaw, Gerald Watmough and Tony Godwin went on to strike a glorious victory, with many teams retiring or having faults.
Throughout the season, podiums were achieved regularly, but not without mistake: one DNF from a collision with another car at round 6: Coppa Florio, Enna-Pergusa 6 Hours.
At the famous 24 hours of Le Man, Arion with it’s 3 man team achieved podium, but unfortunately a second team car disqualified after breaking 14 hours in, due to a slow-leak of engine oil leading to the engine blowing on the mulsanne straight.
The Falco RS Longtail would continue on to score victories and losses even post Group 5’s demise in 1982, racing in JSPC and IMSA GTX for a couple years more.
The history of the Falco didn’t stop at international events and series. Formed in 1980 was a One-Make race featuring the RS Longtail. All manner of drivers from different forms of motorsport were invited to participate as well as partners to Arion, they were offered the chance to drive on famous British circuits: Donnington Park, Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Croft. Though also more unknown circuits such as Anglesey, Knockhill, and Cadwell park featured.
The prize was money, a trophy, recognition and opportunity but unfortunately after the fourth race in the series, it folded, as proved too expensive for the brand to run.
1982 Hakaru Cren family (roadgoing) with 4 speed manual gearbox and PAS on higher trim models. Hakaru Cren 1.5R Homologation sports model has an uprated 1.5 litre engine with performance enhancing parts for the excited driver.
New all aluminium engine family designed to be fuel efficient and lightweight. Seats four comfortably with BUSINESS-A cassette player as standard across range.
1982 Hakaru Cren Super Maestro was a bit of a problem child as it was a difficult vehicle to drive and work on, but saw success as the underdog amongst the bigger cars due to its light weight of under 700kg and screaming 1.5 litre engine resulting in a lightweight pocket monster with an excellent power to weight ratio. The car was driven by a Hideki Seiji, who raced the car to victory many a time.
With the road car coming in at just 1046kgs there really wasn’t much weight to strip out. Nor was there much power to add to the 3.0L V6TT at 372hp. The same went for top speed, already at a record breaking 200mph…
So how do you improve on perfection? Here’s what Zephorus Racing Department did.
A further extended rear floor and gigantic wing, front splitter and relocation of the lights for better drag, re added the brake cooling vents as this was a very important system for the car, because of the small brakes to save weight they often got quite hot if used for prolonged periods of time, the vents do their best to negate this effect.
The 3.0L V6 has been boosted to 560hp, and the car has been lightened to 999.9kgs. Top speed has been slightly reduced in adding almost 1000kgs of total downforce.
Inside not much has changed, the dash is carbon fibre, and the added variable boost dial and brake bias adjuster in the cockpit allows for easy tuning of the cars handling and speed, as well as all the dials needed to tell when the engine will explode.
are fake wheels allowed for the racing car? , the porsche body is incredibly scuffed so i cant find any other way to do it
Absolutely! I’d reccomend using them, as they provide proper Slick tyres and generally look better than vanilla.
With Automation 4.2 Open Alpha just having released, It is noted that the challenge will remain on Automation 4.1 for the sake of those who already entered finished cars. (Along with instability and possible inconsistency of features in the Alpha itself.)
Remember to send in your cars by the 26th!
CEPHEUS SCEPTRE 2.6
What do you do when the next generation from your brand’s longest running model needs to catch the public’s attention? Well, of course, you send it to race in Group 5!
That was, basically, the thoughts that went through the minds of the members of the board at Cepheus. A few Cepheus Sceptre were taken right from the factory’s first batch, and were heavily modified to be able to race.
The original 2.6 twin turbo V6 was extensively reworked, managing an impressive power output of 412HP out of the original 291HP. Most of this power was needed to deal with the tremendous aerodynamic widebody kit that was installed in the cars.Re-geared transmission, fully cladded undertray, strenghtened suspension and a set of haigh performance semi slicks completed the whole package.
Since the board didn’t want to risk the brand’s popularity, they looked for privateer teams that wanted to race the car. If they got some success, then an official race team would be created. The first team that answered the call was the Frequen-Z performance group. They took the whole batch of racecars and prepped them for the 1982 Group 5 championship.
@Executive & @Ryan93
@ldub0775 & @Maverick74 (Lacking a post, Get on it if you want bonus lore points!)
@Prium Remember to turn in the .car file by the 26th!
To those who haven’t finished their designs, Get your final touches in!
Midlands had been having decent success in touring car racing when they entered into the '80s. The did ok with their Libra Twin-cam sportscar in the mid '70s, even better with their ultralight Io Sprint that used it’s diminutive size to its advantage, and quite well with their sporting focused Ceres sports sedan. Martini had been backing their racing endeavors through the past decade (encouraged by the close friendship between the owners of both companies), and during a cold winter night in the pub celebrating holiday bonuses, one of the Martini representatives posed a challenge to the Midlands design team. With the success of the rear engined V6 Ceres RX as a touring car, putting some fear into some Porsche drivers at the time by executing a similar set up to their own cars, build a winning car out of the heavy, flagship full-sized RR sedan that was the Astrea. Martini would agree to bankroll the entire project if the team at Midlands could produce a suitable touring car to race in group 5 and IMSA. The team at Midlands were a bit hesitant at first, but then at the offer of full funding for the project they jumped at the chance. This would let them get a much needed leg up on their next generation of the Astrea, which they planned to release fairly soon as an update to the frankly bloated sedan. It would also let them work on an updated V8 that would last them well into the '90s.
This is how the 1982 #13 Midlands Martini Astrea GXR was born, from a tipsy bet made on a winter night in a pub. Midlands quickly launched into the redesign of the Astrea platform. They downsized the overall car to fit closer with the '80s trends and produced two base designs for bodywork: the regular 4 sedan for their more traditional customers and an aero conscious fastback 2 door sedan for the bases of the race car. They kept with their tried and true all MacPherson strut suspension, since they had been polishing on it since the start of the company and it was much more reliable and predictable than the swing axels of the slandered American corvairs of the '60s. Where they did pour their attention though was into making the car handle as tightly as possible while still being equipped with a big V8 in the rear. They accomplished this through extensive wind tunnel testing, days spent lapping the car around tracks like Brands Hatch and Silverstone (all on Martini’s dime), and a huge body kit to contain the massive 395 mm rear tyres they were able to have due to their large engine. It was affectionately known within the design team as the flying ingot, due to the squareness of the whole car and its relatively high weight. They also added smooth cone turbofans to the wheels to supposedly aid the aerodynamics of the car even more and add more brake cooling.
For the engine they fitted massive intakes on the rear hatch lid that they pilfered from the design of rallying Alpine A110s they had seen in the past. These were to feed a behemoth of an engine. 6 liters, naturally aspirated in a time when everyone was using turbos, overhead cam V8 was the powerplant they came up with, taking the existing v8 from the outgoing Astrea and boring it out to the maximum it could stand and then making new, slightly more durable casts from that. The result was a 502 hp behemoth that gave the flying ingot a 0-60 of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 169 mph despite the shear amount of downforce the car created. This was all fed through a high torque 5 speed manual gear box that was one of the key reasons the Astrea GXR had such good performance.
The #13 Astrea GXR did relatively well during the course of it’s time in racing, meeting Martini and Midland’s expectations of the car to be a winner. It managed to win the 24hrs de Nürburgring in its class, posting a fastest lap time of 7:44:00. It beat out a lot of its competition through the reliability of a naturally aspirated engine, keeping going at a quick pace while the turbocharged competition had to back off pace to keep their engines running at top efficiency. It repeated this stunt at the Bathurst 24 Hours, using some fuel saving strategies to propel it to a class win. Unfortunately, being focused more on handling than top speed, it struggled at Le Mans it’s debut year, as well as having some odd lightness at the speeds achieved on the mulsanne straight, prompting some unfortunate bodywork damage delays that cost it valuable time not being a fiberglass bodied car and resulting in a 9th place. (The team did figure out the aero tuning for the next year with a slightly longer duck tail design that let the car reach 200 mph). The #13 Midlands Martini Astrea GXR accomplished its goal and Midlands rode the notoriety of this achievement through the middle of the '90s, bring ever more complex Astrea race cars to the table and getting decent performance from all of them.
Seen here in Midland’s iconic Petrol Blue Metallic
The homologation version of the 1982 Midlands Astrea GXR was much tamer than its racing counterpart, though it did still carry the sporting pedigree of the brand well. A heavily stripped back version of the aero that was on the race car was fitted, still keeping the hood radiator exit that would become a trademark of the model. The intake vents were decreased to louvers on the deck lid that was otherwise kept smooth to improve fuel economy for road use. The large front air dam and standard fog lights kept the aggressiveness of the race car intact and the rims were all flatter variations of the original turbofans. The interior was a premium experience of leather, wood, and power features. Despite the interior luxuries, the Astrea only gained about 80 lbs in street form and retained a lot of its nimbleness thanks to relatively large tyres for the time. Where the car flagged a bit was in the road version of the SOHC V8. Sleeved down to 5 liters, it only made 276 hp, still a lot for the era, but was slightly less than the team at Midlands would’ve hoped. Emissions regulations crushed those hopes, however, and the team decided to keep their MPG up as high as they could instead. The car did have a rather respectable top speed of 142 mph, 0-60 of 6.7 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 14.82. Not too shabby for a car with enough space to seat 4 adults comfortably. This homologation liftback body design wasn’t produced in as high numbers as the traditional 4 door, but they still hold their place in the mythos of the Midlands brand identity, the shifting point where they were seen as a true contender in the sports sedan market and started the sort of cult following that they still have to this day.
Made in collaboration with @66mazda
Hinode did not have much of a racing pedigree. Hinode cars have previously competed in various motorsports. However, these cars all raced under private teams as Hinode never had their own factory team. That was until 1982, when Hinode cannonballed their way into one of the world’s most prestigious motorsports: Group 5.
The company’s car was the Garuda, which was first released in 1981. The Garuda was designed as the successor to the Mahkota Coupe, an E-segment personal luxury coupe. While the car would be quite large and boaty compared to its competitors, Hinode’s engineers believed in the Garuda’s potential at the race track while the executives believed in its marketing potential.
And thus with the assistance of Hinode-sponsored racing teams and even rivals such as the Kaizen Corporation, and the Houshou keiretsu (consisting of a movie studio and a shipping company), the Garuda Group 5 was born.
Because Hinode’s existing engines were too small to reliably receive the boost of a turbo, the engineers designed a new engine from the ground up which could displace up to 3.5L. For the race car, however, the engine sleeved to 3.2L and turbocharged to fit under the FIA’s 4.5L class after the FIA 1.4L multiplier for forced induction. The shape of the car was also changed drastically, with a large air dam, enlarged fenders, cooling vents, along with a large wing and diffuser at the back to improve aerodynamics. Thanks to the use of aluminium body panels and other lightening measures, the Garuda Group 5 weighs only 1092kg, about 100kg less than the homologation model and 250kg less than the standard model.
In all, the Garuda Group 5 could dash to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 342km/h at the Yatabe Test Track, while gluing its driver to their seat at 1.32g and 1.61g in 20m and 200m cornering respectively.
The Garuda Group 5 first debuted in the 1982 FIA World Sportscar Championship at Monza, drabbed in Houshou colours and driven by Albert Hoy, a former race car driver and executive at Houshou Studios that went out of retirement for the race. Hoy went on to win the race, scoring the Hinode factory team’s first-ever victory.
After the dissolution of Group 5 by the FIA at the end of 1982, the Garuda continued to compete in other championships such as the All Japan Endurance Championship and the Fuji Super Silhouette Series. For all its greatness, however, the Garuda Group 5 still suffered a number of setbacks throughout its career including crashes due to human error and the general obsolescence of the car as time went by.
In spite of its flaws, the Garuda Group 5 is remembered fondly by many as the car that paved the way for future Hinode motorsport endeavours and for the technologies that it helped to bring to production Hinode models, including the use of aluminium panels and double wishbone rear suspension, and as the underdog that went toe-to-toe with the world’s best.
To comply with Group 5 regulations, Hinode released their homologation car: the 3.5GTR. While the normal Garuda was luscious and heavy, the 3.5GTR was stripped-down and sport-oriented. Powering the 3.5GTR is a 3.5l inline 6 engine derived from the race engine producing 280hp. With its (relatively) low weight of 1197.5kg, 5-speed manual, and limited-slip differential, the 3.5GTR was able to accelerate to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds while its cornering abilities were superb thanks to the double-wishbone suspension system on all four wheels all while the driver sits in relative comfort.
1978 Alvent Automotive 280 Vitalite Group 5
Relatively-new French company Alvent Automotive just released it’s first sportscar, powered by a 2.4 fuel-injected inline 6 engine producing 140 hp. Car was a hit at the time, but it didn’t reach it’s popularity very easily. To advertise the car, they went racing. The car was built in several specs, most notably in Group 2 and 5. Customer teams even built Group 4 rally cars. This very chassis, #280-5-002, is the factory Group 5 car that raced in World Sportscar Championship (today WEC) in the 1978 and 1979 seasons. Just like the production car, this one is equipped with a 2.4 L inline 6 engine. Except this Group 5 version is turbocharged, making 600 hp at 7600 rpm. On top of that, it’s also more than 200 kg lighter than the production car, Group 5 version weighing just over 900 kg. This very chassis is the most successful factory car, that scored 1 overall victory, at Silverstone 6h in 1979 and 4 class and 3 overall podiums. Factory cars were recognizable by their predominantly blue and white Rothmans liveries that they wore throughout the factory campaign. Another 8 customer cars were built which continued to race into the 1980s in World Sportscar Championship, IMSA series and Deutsche Rennsport Meisterchaft. Several teams modified their 280 Vitalite chassis with better bodywork and more powerful engines to keep up with quickly-advancing competition. The final season for a variant of the 280 Vitalite Group 5 car was the 1983 IMSA season, however, the 1982-facelift 280 Vitalite continued to race in other championships around the world such as WRC in special Group B spec until it’s replacement, the mid-engined C12 arrived in 1984 and touring car championships such as ETCC, DTM and ATCC in new Group A spec before it was replaced by the turbocharged 220 in 1987. The 280 Vitalite remains the most raced car Alvent Automotive ever built having raced on approximately more than 2500 occasions.
I just want to add a little comment; these two cars are a bit old at this point, made them this past summer and I simply didn’t have enough time to create an entire new car or completely remake this one having only noticed the challenge yesterday.
So here’s chassis #280-5-002 alongside a production version of the car.
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Tristella A5 “Goshawk”
Tristella’s motorsport program has always been a cornerstone of the brand since its inception and the new era of regulations would be no exception. With the group 5 regulations, they saw their opportunity to develop turbocharging and aerodynamic technology. The base of the racecar was built upon the new Accipiter supercar, with the bodykit widening the already wide car to the limits of the regulation. Through the trails and tribulations of awful reliability issues, exploding engines and aerodynamic quirks, eventually evolved a monster of a racecar. With 770 hp on tap from its 3.0l twin-turbo V8 engine, the A5 was blistering quick down the straights, even if its launches were bogged down compared to its rivals due to its turbo lag and wheelspin. Top speed varied depending on setup, but even on the full attack grip configurations it topped at 345 kph. Weight was up to 1035kg by 1981, after components had been sufficiently beefed up to handle the massive torque and power produced.
Though reliability had always been a bit of an issue for the A5 “Goshawk”, when it all worked it was remarkably fast, bringing huge success when it finished races. Through its span and iterations from 1976 to 1982, its most successful year was 1981 when the stars aligned and reliability woes had only sparsely appeared.
Tristella Accipiter 300QV Turbo
The road going homologation model was the Accipiter 300QV Turbo. While it was sold and produced in the required numbers, these turbocharged models were known to be tricky to drive and unreliable compared to its naturally aspirated models. However, with 330 HP and a weight of just over 1220 kg, cumulating into a 0-100 in the low 4 seconds range and a 310 kph top speed, the 300QV Turbo was very quick when it worked, true to Italian supercar nature.
1980 #88 Turból F4 “Cigarette Boat” G5
Turból’s F4 had a convoluted and lengthy development period dating back to the late 1960s. In the 1960s, Turból’s affordable spots car option was the Anguila, a small and simple FR machine with independent rear suspension and a selection of small engine options.
While the the car was an accomplished and well-reviewed sports car, it sat in weird middle ground: faster and more expensive than cheap and cheerful small options, but smaller and lacking the big-block engine options of it’s primary domestic rival, and less sophisticated and prestigious than many European rivals or it’s mid-engine stablemate Corsair. Development on the next generation model began in the late 1960s, with the intention of keeping the car inexpensive, but with the space for the cheap power of Turból big blocks. Unfortunately, this plan met backlash internally, due to fears that giving the Anguila much larger engines would cannibalize sales of the far more expensive Corsair. After a bit of infighting, development was eventually greenlit, under code name Project F4, with the expectation of releasing the car in the mid 1970s.
The economic turmoil of 1973, however, completely re-directed development. With a flagging global economy over the following years, Turból shelved development of Project F4; the Anguila would instead be replaced by a more versatile product, a low-cost, more passenger-oriented 4 seat vehicle being co-developed with Japanese partner Homura.
While this appeared to be a deathknell for Project F4, it would be thrown a lifeline: in this depressed global economy, Turból executives deemed the mid-engine Corsair was no longer economically viable, and it’s replacement would need to be more affordable and more comfortable. Into the breach once more stepped Project F4, picking up where the project left off, but with re-enineering to do to better fit it’s new direction as a flagship sports/GT.
Meanwhile, in the UK, economic unrest, poor labor relations, and a testy relationship between British and American management, Turból’s mainstream British arm, Legion UK, was shut down in 1975. To try to avoid additional ire of the British people and government, Turból acquired and invested heavily in SAV, an English engineering firm focusing on motorsports. Since the F4 was now destined to become Turból’s flagship sports car, the newly-formed Turból-SAV Engineering Ltd. would joined the engineering efforts to make sure that racing versions of the F4 would be ready to race as soon as the production model could be homologated.
After a famously long development period, the Turból F4 was released in 1979, bearing it’s now famous codename as it’s model name. Although it’s cokebottle shape already looked somewhat out of date, the F4 released to rave reviews.
Upon release in 1979, the F4 was available with two top-tier engines: the familiar Turból big block, 420ci, 6.9 liter OHV V8, and the new Turból-SAV 3244: an all aluminum, flatplane, quad cam, 32 valve, 3.2 liter V8. Racing versions of both were available; Turból semi-works US racing branch, Oates, could produce great power from the old pushrod mill, but the SAV-developed flatplane, with F1 roots, fuel injection, and turbocharging, was a lighter and more powerful engine for teams who could afford to run it.
The most famous example of a Group 5 F4 is this, chassis #3. Raced in the World Sportscar Championship in 1979 in Division 1 with the big block Oates motor, it was affectionately nicknamed the “Cigarette Boat” thanks to it’s bellowing V8 soundtrack and distinctive Morley Cigarettes livery, which turned the boxy rear flares into what looked like giant cigarette packs. Though a fan favorite, it was not especially competitive against the turbocharged competition, so for the 1980 season, the Cigarette Boat was refitted with the SAV twin turbo engine. Although it’s distinctive crossplane bellow was gone, it was much more successful in this guise, producing just over 800 hp and it’s weight reduced to 1045 kg.
Oh I am going to get slapped why does everyone have 800hp, 550hp wasn’t quite enough clearly
i mean i got 660, but its not like it matters here anyway
Note: there are some links within this post. They lead to posts from other threads that contribute to this vehicle’s overall lore.
Made in collaboration with @kookie
Zacspeed Racing partook in Group 5 before the silhouette days. Prior to 1968, Zacspeed ran 875s in the Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars category. Come 1968, however, the FIA restricted Group 6 cars’ engines to three liters in displacement. With the Silver-York 427 four whole liters over this restriction, the 875s were rendered obsolete, meaning the team needed to switch gears.
Group 5 attracted Zacspeed’s attention because starting from 1969, minimum production was reduced from 50 to 25 cars. Since the team rebuilt its race cars with a new chassis every race or two, this gave them the idea to build a whole new car to race in this series. The end result was the Zacspeed 408, which ran 12-cylinder engines hovering around the class’s maxiumum displacement - five liters.
1972 arrived with a bevy of changes, including applying the Group 5 classification to the Group 6 category. Engine sizes were now reduced to three liters, banishing the 408 to Group 7 (better known as Can-Am). In its place came the 248, a 12-cylinder car free from the production restrictions the previous iteration of Group 5 utilized.
With 1976 on the horizon, Group 5 was revamped yet again. No longer could prototypes run in this category - competitors needed to modify production-based vehicles homologated in Groups 1 through 4. Zacspeed could not just throw a 12-cylinder in a light frame and get away with it anymore - they needed to bend one of their few production cars, the Zacspeed ONE, into a race-ready form.
This would not be an easy task. The ONE did its own thing in more production-based classes, such as the ONE GTO finishing second at the 1970 24 Hours of Nürburgring. One of the perks to this program was how its new body tested a wedge-shaped front end with the lights implemented in the front. With improved aerodynamics and favorable owner responses, headlights on the bottom were here to stay.
The next key innovation came from the aforementioned 408. That car was banished to Can-Am, but while there, its 12-cylinder engine grew a few tenths of a liter larger and got hooked up to two turbochargers. This experiment, the 408/7B “Turbohammer,” did more than spit flames and hiss. It proved turbocharging’s viability in motorsport. The Turbohammer program ran from 1972 to 1973, and its findings were put into practice with the 1975 Zacspeed ONE Turbo.
Presented here is a 1982 example for this car. The Turbotarga is what happens when the fanbase prefers their near-death experiences without a top. Inside is the same 3214cc twin-turbocharged flat-six as the racing variants, but the wick is turned down to a reasonable 313 HP. It comes with plenty of turbo lag and is crammed behind the rear axle, which mix to complete a 0-62 MPH sprint in 3.8 seconds.
Despite the more radical bodywork and open top, it weighs it at just over 950kg. Part of this is due to its monocoque chassis and aluminum body, but it is also due to not having much in the first place. Later models, such as the 1989 Turbotarga, came with power steering and ABS. This does not. Add the fact it has a five-speed manual transmission “as God intended,” and it becomes clear why purists flock to this model even if they may not extract the maximum from its package.
Of course, to sell on Monday…
…You must first win on Sunday.
The ONE 5 was built from the ground up to fight. Grip and power were the two factors Zacspeed Racing focused on, especially considering how much weight was stuck in the rear. The bodykits applied to this car grew wide and wild, keeping the lights toward the bottom of the bumper and the wing as large as possible. Restrictions on the flat-six got loosened, and with more boost came almost double the power when it first appeared in 1976. By 1978, some versions made almost 650 HP, and these numbers only climbed as boost increased.
ONE 5s, such as the #38 car called “Peregrine”, rapidly spread across teams as a solid option for seizing high positions. As Zacspeed shifted focus toward other projects in 1979, customer teams developed their own ONE 5 specials, with some exceeding the factory cars on pure performance. Zacspeed Racing caught wind of this one-upmanship, and despite its shift in focus, it set out to build the ultimate ONE 5.
Grip was provided by the same 380-section rear slicks as some other ONE 5s. Turbocharging was advanced further to run an immense 840 HP. There was one new trick up the sleeve, however: ground effect. Ground effect primarily appeared in Formula One at the time; Zacspeed Racing started using it in 1979 with the FZ79. Aerodynamicists from the F1 team noticed that with the ONE’s monocoque chassis, it was possible to implement ground effect tunnels. From there, it was just moving components here and there around to grant clean airflow through them. On top of greater cornering, already aided by a curb weight of 1025kg, ground effect generates less drag, letting the Arctic Hare punch through 340 km/h. The Arctic Hare is the only ONE 5 sporting ground effect.
Concealing this potent package and one transmission mounted upside-down for lower ride height was an ever more extreme fiberglass bodykit. Off visuals alone, the car’s evolution into a prototype not unlike its predecessors was crystal clear. It sounds unfortunate, then, for it to be developed in Group 5’s twilight. Group 5 was shut down in favor of Group B from 1983, the same year, coincidentally, that F1 banned ground effect. That did not stop the Arctic Hare and its ONE 5 brethren from flocking to IMSA GTX and JSPC, where their kind was still accepted. The Arctic Hare in particular did quite well in IMSA even with the rise of purpose-built, ground-effect GTP cars as the Arctic Hair itself was already in essence a GTP car. Its drivers were John Paul Newman and Derek Bellof.
Arctic Hare remains the most extreme interpretation of the ONE 5. It borrowed experience from Zacspeed Racing’s Formula One team to develop aerodynamics to a new level. In return, the ONE 5’s numerous lessons on turbocharging were key to developing the engines Zacspeed relied on throughout the turbo era.