Biela returns! Knockhill reunion with awesome Audi

  • Audi ace Frank Biela Knockhill’s guest of honour
  • He’ll be re-acquainted with all-conquering A4 quattro
  • 20th anniversary of BTCC race shocker

BIELA'S BATTLE WAGON: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi

KNOCKHILL, Scotland – Twenty years after he drove the governing body of the British Touring Car Championship to distraction with his all-conquering Audi A4 quattro SuperTourer, racing legend Frank Biela is to be reunited with the outlawed all-wheel-drive sidekick at the September 11/12 weekend‘s David Leslie SuperTouring Festival.

The now 52-year-old, who can reflect on five Le Mans 24-Hour wins and a host of Touring Car race victories in international championships, will on be the guest of honour at the evocative festival which will bring legendary Touring Cars from across the decades to Scotland’s famous Knockhill Circuit.

BIELA'S BATTLE WAGON: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi
THE MAN HIMSELF: The first racing Audi A4 quattro driver back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi

It was at the Knockhill round of the 1996 BTCC that Biela recorded the fastest lap in his A4 quattro SuperTourer and went on to win one of the two races that weekend. That year he contributed six more fastest laps to the eight achieved by the A4 in the 26-race series and took pole six times.

FWD CARS HAD NO ANSWER

Eight wins secured him the Drivers’ championship and contributed to him and team-mate John Bintcliffe scoring the the Manufacturers’ championship for Audi.

Versus a field of front-wheel-driven competitors,

The A4 SuperTouring held the trump card with its all-wheel-drive technology; the car entered seven National championships on three continents in 1996 and won them all.

Such stunning success seriously teed off the championship organisers who became a bunch of spoilsports by imposed weight penalties on the car for the 1997 season. Biela at first struggled in that year’s but midway through the race calendar the weight penalty was halved and Biela fought back to second overall in the Drivers’ championship and so helped Audi to second overall.

READ MORE Audi features on Carman’s Corner

The following year, 1998, instead of the other manufacturers jacking up their game to challenge Audi’s supremacy all-wheel drive was largely banished from European Touring Car competition.

BIELA'S BATTLE WAGON: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi
REFLECTIONS FROM THE PAST: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi

Audi UK still has a number of A4 quattro SuperTourers in its Heritage Fleet and one will be on static display at Knockhill, along with an Audi 80 GLE replica in Stirling Moss’s colours which campaigned in the 1980 British Saloon Car championship.

EXCEPTIONAL SPECTACLE

Biela will, however, take a blast down Memory Lane in a 222kW two-litre A4 thanks to a private owner who’s entrusted his ex-Audi Sport car to the German race ace for parade laps.

Biela’s track sortie will be a highlight of what promises to be an exceptional spectacle for fans of Touring Car racing.

The UK’s Historic Sports Car Club will also stage the thrilling finale of its Super Touring Car championship as part of the event, bringing thoroughbred Touring Cars from the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties back to the grid for classic bumper-to-bumper racing in the best traditions of the format.

The legacy and dominance of quattro cars in the SuperTouring championship and a multitude of other motorsport disciplines from the 1980’s to the present day continues to drive unwavering demand for the legendary all-wheel drive system.

Today a quattro variant is available to order in each of the 13 Audi models and indeed one in every Audi road car sold in the UK has the system.

BIELA'S BATTLE WAGON: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi
ONLY TWO LITRES, BUT 220kW: The automotive work of art that powered the first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi
BIELA'S BATTLE WAGON: The first racing Audi A4 quattro back in 1996. Image: Newspress/Audi
RACING REVOLUTION: The first racing Audi A4 quattro stunned crowds at Knockhill track in Scotland back in 1996 when it simply blew away the opposition. Image: Newspress/Audi

 

 

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