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This 750hp Opel Ascona Is not Your Common Time Attacker


When you concentrate on time assault vehicles, what’s the primary issues that come to thoughts?

For me personally, it’s late ’90s Japanese tuner vehicles that seem like they’re able to take flight, with extra pointy carbon fiber bits and items than my creativeness permits. Thanks, Dino.

For Håkan Olofsson from Sweden, it’s his 1975 Opel Ascona A. I caught up with the pair within the 2023 Gatebil Mantorp paddock.


Håkan first laid eyes on the Opel race automotive in 2012 whereas take a look at driving his son’s BMW E36 at Kinnekulle Ring (situated 152km from Gothenburg). The Ascona wasn’t on the market on the time, however a few months later it was, so Håkan did what any rational particular person would do and purchased it immediately.


There had been two earlier motorsport competitor homeowners earlier than Håkan, and from what he might inform they’d each used it in the identical primary observe specification. It was lacking its drivetrain and injectors, however that was of no actual concern to Håkan as he had his personal plans for the automotive.


From a naturally aspirated BMW M52B28 motor to a turbocharged BMW M50B25 engine, Håkan’s present setup is now constructed round a completely cast BMW S54B30 from an E46 M3 spitting out 754hp by way of a GearMotive BMW ZF S5D H-pattern canine field transmission.


You might need seen that the engine sits fairly far again within the bay, which is after all by design. Not solely did positioning the engine extra rearward open up room for an oil cooler, intercooler and giant racing radiator, however the entrance of the inline-six now sits straight above the middle line of the entrance wheels, leading to 50/50 weight distribution over every axle.


For the present setup, a lot of the work was achieved by Håkan and his son Tobias, who’re each well-versed in engine constructing. One of many few issues they wanted assist with was machining the block, which now comprises DP cast pistons in customized T-Components sleeves, PPF Professional H-beam cast rods and extra. It’s arduous to see the turbo, however there’s a Precision 6266 hiding within the bay that goes nuts at 3,400rpm with 1.8bar (26.5psi) of increase.


The massive-boosting M3 engine is a thirsty factor, and it’s suitably fuelled from the rear through a 50-litre Sellholm Tuning gas cell with an built-in surge tank and two Bosch Motorsport 044 pumps. The gas and spark is all managed by a MaxxECU engine administration system.


I first noticed Håkan’s Opel operating laps at Mantorp Park again in 2020, its wild customized exterior the very first thing that caught my eye. The bubble-arched fenders had been impressed by these seen in basic rallying, whereas the rear wing is comprised of half plastic/half aluminium stays and a Porsche 911 GT3 blade.


The Opel rides on GAZ coilovers, with the wheel and tire combos tucking underneath the fenders. I say combos, as a result of Håkan has three setups to select from – 16-inch BBS RS and 16-inch Compomotive wheels each shod in Kumho racing tires, and the setup pictured, which marries 17-inch BMW M5 Type 21 wheels with Yokohama Advan slicks.

As for the brakes, Porsche Boxter 4-piston callipers are used in any respect 4 corners with 330mm entrance and 265mm rear discs, and PFC pads. The automotive solely weighs 1,120kg (2,469lb) totally moist, so it stops very nicely in accordance with Håkan.


Inside, it’s all enterprise. All the inside was totally stripped and solely racing necessities had been put again in.


The seats, harnesses and steering wheel are by GP-Race, the shifter is a Coolerworx merchandise, and the total cage got here from Today, digital tablets and devoted sprint shows are commonplace in each up to date and classic race vehicles, however Håkan has saved it old-fashioned in his Ascona with analog gauges.


For Håkan, it’s not about being the quickest within the sequence. “There are quite a lot of quick vehicles and sooner drivers, however I believe I’ve essentially the most enjoyable,” he stated.

Regardless of not at all times ending first in his class, there are at all times individuals questioning why his smile is larger than everybody else’s. Nicely, driving flat out, sooner than some supercars, in a ’70s coupe that was by no means supposed for use as a race automotive is certain to place a grin on anybody’s face.

Alen Haseta
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