Martin Schanche G4 Rallycross Escort - The Audi Beater
During the early 1980's the Audi Quattro was the dominant force in Rallycross. The G4 was a result of a pact between Gartrac, Mike Endean who later became the owner of Xtrac and Martin Schanche. The plan was hatched at the British Rallycross Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1982 to build a car to beat the Quattro.
Gartrac set about designing a body shell and suspension package, Mike went away and designed the 4WD system and Martin was to supply the engine and other parts as well as financial backing for the project. The lightweight body shell was heavily modified and designed to house the unique 4WD transmission system with active centre diff, locked by turbo boost, the front diff was housed in the engine sump, the car was powered by a turbo charged Zakspeed engine and had fully independent suspension using McPherson struts and a rear atlas beam axle.
Seppo Nittymaki Gartrac Escort
Escort Mk3 in the workshop
The Gartrac / Xtrac 4WD Zakspeed turbo charged Escort Mk3 made its debut a year later at the British Rallycross grand prix at Brands Hatch and demonstrated immediately is was going to revolutionise the rally cross championship.
Gartrac G4 First Test
Martin Schanche in the G4 Rallycross Escort
In 1984 Martin Schanche caused a sensation on the Rallycross scene, dominating the European Championship, he was crowned champion winning 22 races from 28 starts. The Ford Escort was once again the dominant force in Rallycross ending the Audi Quattro domination.
Motoring News - September 1985
Gartrac G4 putting the power down on its first test