Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audi A4 Super Touring Era of Dominance

By Tarek Ramchani

In the world of touring car racing, the Audi A4 Super Touring (also known as A4 STW) was without a shadow of a doubt, a legend. The car was built for the FIA Class 2/Super Touring regulations and based on the then new B5 Audi A4. 

Frank Biela - Audi Sport UK  - 1996
The car debuted in 1995 in the German Touring Car Cup and was immediately successful. It even went on to dominated the sport with its unique AWD Quattro system. In 1996 it gave Audi seven major touring car championship titles, including the top three and most demanding British Touring Car Championship with Frank Biela, the German STW with Emanule Pirro, the Italian Superturismo with Dindo Capello. The other title wins came from Spain, South Africa, Belgium and Australia a record for touring car racing. The car remained dominant in Britain, and this meant that the car was heavily penalized with weight penalties and finally four wheel drive was banned from the regulations in 1998. The car failed to repeat its dominance in both 1997 (Weight penalties) and in 1998 (Two wheel drive). The A4 quattro did add more major wins for Audi in 1999, Christian Abt won the German STW with his A4 from team Abt Sportsline. In Sweden a young and still unknown Mattias Ekstom won with Kristoffersson Motorsport the 1999 STCC. The car competed in many series across the world including the 2001 FIA European Super Touring Car Championship where Italian drivers Roberto Colciago and Max Pigoli raced the A4 quattro for team AGS Motorsport, with Colciago finishing 6th in the final overall standing. Roberto Colciago won the 2001 and 2002 STCC title for Kristoffersson Motorsport in Sweden. This ended the official the life of the Audi A4 Super Touring as the world wide touring car regulations were to change. The FIA had replaced the very popular but very expensive FIA Class 2/Super Touring regulations with the new S2000 regulations.

The Audi A4 STWs are still racing today, mainly in Hillclimb racing where the quattro system makes the car a popular choice for hillclimbing. The car is still seen in some smaller national touring car series around the world with the cars always very popular on the used race car markets around the world. 

Roberto Colciago - AGS Motorsport  2001
The fact that the cars are still well sought after today just shows the brilliance of this legend in Touring Car racing. This car that came and dominated everything up until the point that its technology had to be banned to level the playing field is without a doubt an unforgettable legend, the Audi A4 Super Touring.