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November 1974


The first part of Chris Barber's report on the competition activities of Porsche Austria.

In 'News from Europe' this month are some facts and figures about Porsche-Austria. What is of most interest to Beetling readers is, undoubtedly, the effort that the firm makes in the realms of motorsport, and the success that goes with it. The sporting side got going in the second half of the sixties, when it was decided to build, and race, Formula Vee cars. The mechanical brains behind the idea was, and still is, eight years later, Herr Schwarz, who had joined the company in 1961. The products became second to none in their field, namely the successful Austro Vees, which won just about every championship going!

For the 1970 racing season, the firm bought some Porsche 908s and 917s from Porsche Stuttgart (who were giving up direct participation), and with top class drivers (Vic Elford, Hans Herrmann and Dickie Attwood, among others) helped the Gulf Porsches win the International Group 5 and Group 6 Championship. The best results that yearwere wins at Nurburgring and Le Mans, and a 2nd place at Brands Hatch.

Although the Gulf team continued into the 1971 season along with the Martini Porsche Team, Salzburg decided to concentrate on another area of motorsport, i.e. Group 2 Rallying. To do this they started with, and have stuck to, Beetles, their efforts being at first with 1302s, and later with 1303s.

Just how are these Beetles, the most successful of all time in International Rallying, different from their showroom brothers? Well, starting at the most logical place, at the back the 1.6-litre engines produce over 120 DIN hp, at 6000rpm. Although the torque figure of 13.6 mkg (98 lb/ft) is not enormous, the engines deliver power right up from 2000rpm, the flexibility being an integral part of the design. The carburettors used were originally a pair of Solex 40 PII-4s on short aluminium inlet manifolds from Sauer und Sohn, but later on they switched to a pair of Weber 46 IDA/2s, and the passages in the cylinder heads were considerably reworked, altering the original round cross-section. The inlet valves (normal 35.5mm) were replaced by 40mm ones, whilst the exhaust valves remain standard at 32mm. Using their Formula Vee experience to the full the cylinder heads have a complete millimetre skimmed off them. In normal circumstances this would lead to a drastic raising of the compression ratio, but, by working on the combustion chamber, a result of 9.1 to 1 is achieved. The reworked exhaust ports lead to what appears to be a normal stock VW exhaust system, but in fact the noise gives away the fact that there are virtually no interior baffles left!

The crankshaft and flywheel are not lightened, although they are very carefully dynamically balanced. A variety of camshafts have been used, the most successful possibly being one with 1.8mm more life than standard, and an opening duration of not less than 320°!. Dry sump lubrication is used, being the most efficient way of getting rid of the oil surge problem. The stock oil pump is used, getting its supply of oil not from the sump but from the oil tank, which has at times been situated in the left rear wheel arch, but which is usually in the engine compartment. A second oil pump (like an Automatic, mounted onto the first one) pumps the oil from the sump into the tank.