Today I learned: Twin engined Golf Mk2 almost won at Pikes Peak
You learn all sorts of things while working, especially if your work consists of research into the rich motorsport heritage of a major car brand. The brand in question is Volkswagen, and they surely have a lot to say about motorsport. They’ve organized some of the most successful cup series on the planet and steered the careers of motorsport legends. These days, they’re conquering the World Rally Championship stages en route to double title this year.
Many drivers competed in Volkswagen machines, but some of them became true legends. One such driver is Jochi Kleint. In 1977 Volkswagen entered German Rally Championship with 121 HP Golf GTI, and Jochi Kleint was behind the wheel. In 1978 Kleint won the Estering Cup, which later became German Rallycross Championship, driving a Golf GTI 1600. A decade later, it was time for a different challenge.
As we prepare for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb race later this month, it’s nice to learn a bit about the history of this race. And the history says that in 1986 Volkswagen entered the race with Jochi Kleint driving a Golf Mk2, propelled by two independently working engines! Two 1.3 litre Polo motors were combined to produce 2×250 HP. Kleint finished fourth. For 1987, car received major upgrades – it still used two engines, but now these were 1.8 litre 16 valve pieces with combined power of 652 HP. Volkswagen states that this 1050 kilogram beast of a car needed only 3.4 seconds to sprint from 0 do 100 km/h. Kleint ended up leading the proceedings after the first split time, but it wasnt’t meant to be. The front suspension gave way few corners before the finish, and Kleint was forced to retire.