1988 Gebhardt C88 Group C2: Atypical Ur-Quattro power
In 1988 Gebhardt Motorsport fitted an Audi Turbo engine that had previously served in the legendary Quattro Group B Rally car and the works-Audis in the Trans-Am series, into the aluminium chassis of its Group C car. The 2.1 liter five-cylinder turbo engine produced almost 500 hp and was an atypical racing engine because of its two-valve system and rather unfavorable weight distribution. The intake, exhaust system and turbocharger are all located on the same side of the car. In addition the C88 faces a large ‘turbo lag’ from the KKK turbocharger when accelerating, without any ‘traction control system’, making the car a real handful to drive.
This Gebhardt C88 in MOMO livery was raced in the Interseries in 1989 before heading to America for the 1990 season, competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona and Miami and in the IMSA series. The car bears chassis number 872/1, referring to its original year of construction, 1987, when it competed in the Interseries powered by a Ford Cosworth engine. The ‘career’ of #872/1 ended in 1991, having competed in 24 races with its best result being several 4th. place finishes.
In 2018 the car was put up for auction at Sotheby's. Its creator Fritz Gebhardt found out about it and made a direct offer to the owner. The Gebhardt C88 found its way back to its ‘place of birth’ and was then completely overhauled at Gebhardt Motorsport. It competed in historic racing for the first time in 2019. Some of the actual mechanics from the past and even designer Bill Harris are involved in the historic project.
During the Classic GP Assen the Gebhardt C88 is driven by 3-time Le Mans winner and former sportscar champion Marco Werner from Germany in the KW Group C Supercup.