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Peugeot 505 Turbo diesel, a surprise in the rally

In 1982, in the middle of the boom of diesel engines, Peugeot Italy decided to launch a challenge in the racing world with a large sedan that was getting good feedback on our market, especially with the motor drive and diesel.

So, in the Italian rally Championship, in 1982, the Italian subsidiary of lion brand made a bold choice by deciding to race a 505 Turbodiesel, even though it could seem like a gamble in view of the competition berlinetta sports driven by engines that could exceed 300 Hp.

that season came into force new technical regulations with the debut of the cars of Group N and tourism series), Group A (tourism preparation) and Group B (built in small series), which for a year would have kept the cohabitation with the previous Group 1,2,3 and 4.

The Csai, in addition to the overall title, offered a prize of even those Groups, including a ranking specific for cars with diesel engines, a factor that encouraged further Peugeot Italia, which acquired the French subsidiary of one of the 505 TD deployed the year before in the championship the ground and driven by ex-F1 driver José Dolhem (who is a cousin of Didier Pironi).

and then in the technical partner of the Italian branch, the Ast Valerio Avogadro, was entrusted with the task of preparation and handling of the car in the version Group A (did not require homologation in Group N, even if the 505 TD rally kept the general outline of the characteristics of the series model).

In reality, it took a few measures to set up the car for the races of the Italian championship and the only modification to the stock engine, the four-cylinder engine 2.300 cc turbo Garrett from 88 Hp to 4,700 rev/min, was the adoption of a bevel gear pair shorter and reports to the exchange at close distances.

The flagship of the Peugeot 604, then were adopted the disc brakes with the rear discs, ventilated in place of the full planned series, and the structure was optimized with the shock absorbers, reinforced for funds from the dirt and mounted racing tyres on standard rims.

Overall, in terms of reduction of weight, always with respect to the limits allowed by the regulation, the “care” of the preparer had missed the model racing a hundred pounds than at the start of the series (from 1,300 to 1,200 kg).

As a pilot was chosen, Gianni Del Zoppo, coming from a couple of seasons of success with the Peugeot 104 ZS, flanked by Elizabeth “Betty” Tognana, the sister of the pilot that year, then you would win the Italian title.

the debut of The 505 Turbo diesel was at the rally Targa Florio where it won with ease in its category on the fast and challenging circuit in sicily.

“In fact, the 505 Turbo-diesel proved to be then suitable to all funds – emphasize to the headquarters – despite the objective handicap resulting from the weight and the range of use of the turbo that had a large hole in supply at the bottom and into practical function by 2,500 rpm/min., with the maximum of benefits paid between 4,000 and 5,000 revolutions/min”.

In the middle of the season, however, the Csai decided to cancel the diesel category, forcing the 505 Turbo-diesel to compete in the Group A, where, however, managed to impose itself thanks to the first (Of the Lame) and second place (Pittoni) group in the world rally championship, the Sanremo and the 11th place in San Marino.

On the circuit of the Titan, the car was driven by The Lame, in the end came third in the ranking of the Group, the category that year, he saw to impose Fabrizio Fabbri, the current technical partner of Peugeot Italy. (m.r.)

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