One of Audi’s most successful circuit racers will be running at this weekend’s SuperTouring Festival at Knockhill
Audi’s most dominant Super Touring car is set to make a very special appearance this weekend, at Knockhill’s SuperTouring Festival in Scotland. The A4 quattro – the only four-wheel drive Super Touring car – will be reunited with Audi driver Frank Biela this weekend.
The car dominated the BTCC in 1996, however its success led to weight penalties the next year, as well as an eventual ban on all-wheel-drive from 1998.
But this weekend the machine makes a comeback, along with other thoroughbred touring cars from the seventies, eighties and nineties, which will go toe-to-toe in the event’s finale.
Biela is the weekend’s guest of honour, which is an unsurprising accolade given the 52-year-old racing star’s startling race resume. Among his many achievements are five 24-Hours Le Mans will and a host of Touring Car race victories in international championships.> Read our top 10 Super Touring Car feature here
But Knockhill’s a significant location for Biela, too. It was at the Knockhill round of the 1996 BTCC where Biela recorded the fastest lap in his A4 quattro SuperTourer, and went on to win one of the two races staged that weekend. That year he contributed six further fastest lap times to the total of eight achieved by the A4 in the 26-race series, and took pole on no less than six occasions. Biela’s wins enabled him to clinch the Drivers’ Championship title and also contributed to Audi winning the Manufacturers’ Championship.
The A4 undoubtedly held the trump card thanks to its four-wheel drive system. The car entered seven national championships on three continents in 1996 and won them all.
As a result, the configuration was believed to have facilitated the virtual whitewash by Biela in the BTCC, and this was duly taken to task by the championship organisers. They imposed various weight penalties on the car for the 1997 season and this limitation, it’s believed, meant that Biela initially struggled that year.
Halfway through the race calendar, however, the weight penalty was halved and Biela back to take second place overall in the Drivers’ Championship.