Following on from my post about Jason Plato’s 1999 Renault Laguna BTCC car, here are some photos I took on the same day of Anthony Reid’s 1999 Ford Mondeo that was originally prepared by Prodrive.
These photos were taken at the Oulton Park Gold Cup back in August last year, an event that was a sensory overload if you were a fan of older racing cars. The Super Touring era cars were some of the more modern vehicles in attendance and they were always surrounded by eager spectators who, like me, grew up watching these cars going door to door the best part of twenty years ago.
The first BTCC event that I attended was here at Oulton Park in 1997 and, at the time, my dad found himself getting a stern telling off for trying to investigate the finer details of the cars. Nowadays though there is no championship title at stake, so I could get as close as I wanted without being too rude to the current owners.
Considering that manufacturers were spending millions on their BTCC-programmes in the late 90s (which inevitably brought an end to the Super Touring era), it’s extremely interesting to see where all of that money went. The 2000 Ford Mondeo that Prodrive built after this generation stands as the most expensive touring car ever built, with each car being rumoured to have cost over £1million to build.
The engine bay follows the same mantra as the Laguna; big tubs for wheel clearance, a blade style anti-roll bar and the engine (a V6 in the Mondeo) mounted as low as possible with a giant carbon fibre intake sitting on top. The strut towers also appear to have undergone a lot of fabrication work to tie in with the tubs, which is especially apparent when you compare the above photo to this one of a stock Mondeo V6 ST200 engine bay.
I took a look under the front wings (which were radiused as much as possible to accommodate the 19″ wheels ) to see what lay beneath. You can see some of the triangulation from the strut tower in the top right of the photo.
There are a lot of things to take note of in this photo, namely the driveshaft position and where it is in relation to the “V” of the engine. You can also see the pipework for the dry sump system, the carbon fibre front splitter held in place with a tie rod and the tubular lower arm. You can also see a bit of the giant liquid cooled AP brake calipers.
Here you can see some of the pipework for the aforementioned liquid cooled calipers, another view of the front splitter, the driveshaft, a glimpse of the manifold and the end of the anti-roll bar.
The anti-roll bar, manifold, driveshaft and tie rod viewed from above, along with another look of the chassis tubbing and bracing.
Here you can see another look of the strut brace, the carbon fibre intake, the left driveshaft and the dry sump tank.
Moving to the rear and the first thing I noticed behind the giant AP brakes was that the hubs/uprights/knuckles looked extremely similar those in use on the Laguna. I’d love to see the rules for the series from this time to see if there was a control knuckle of some sort that all manufacturers were required to use.
Here you can see a pair of the bespoke rear lower arms with spherical bearings that look to be mounted to a tubular rear subframe. This was different to the Laguna, on which the rear arms appeared to replace the need for a subframe altogether.
The Laguna similarities continued within the rear arch well, with part of the roll cage pipework running through the rear tubs.
I’m not sure what I was trying to highlight with this particular photo but I guess it’s a nice look at part of the exhaust arrangement!
The Mondeos didn’t enjoy a great season in 1999 with Anthony Reid and Alain Menu at the helm but here is a race that they featured quite prominently in (not always for the best reasons) at Thruxton.