Formerly the property of Clay Regazzoni, François Mazet,c.1971 Ford Capri RS2600 Coupé  Chassis no. GAEC KG 59310

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Lot 24
Formerly the property of Clay Regazzoni, François Mazet, c.1971 Ford Capri RS2600 Coupé
Chassis no. GAEC KG 59310

Sold for € 80,500 (US$ 93,524) inc. premium

Automobiles de Collection

11 Sep 2010, 15:00 CEST

Paris

Formerly the property of Clay Regazzoni, François Mazet
c.1971 Ford Capri RS2600 Coupé
Chassis no. GAEC KG 59310
Inspired by the success of the Mustang 'pony car' in the USA, Ford introduced the Capri - 'The car you've always promised yourself' - to the European market in 1968. The Capri's imaginative fastback styling was a relatively new departure for the 'Blue Oval' but beneath the skin the car remained typically Ford, sharing engines, gearboxes and many other components with the rest of the range, though the power units used by the British- and German-built versions differed somewhat.
Ford was pursuing a wide-ranging competitions programme at this time, and with its UK operation concentrating on developing the Escort for rallying and circuit racing, Jochen Neerpasch, head of the Motorsport Department in Cologne, was delegated to start work on the racing Capri. Known as the 'RS2600', this would be based on the 2600GT, Ford of Germany's top-of-the-range model at the time, although Cologne's first efforts involved modified 2300GTs. A number of successes, including class wins, were achieved in international rallies in 1969 but it was already clear that the car's greatest potential was as a circuit racer.
In Group 2 racing trim the RS2600's Weslake-developed V6 engine was bored out to 2,995cc and equipped with Kugelfischer fuel injection and dry sump lubrication, in which form it developed in excess of 320bhp. The suspension, brakes and wheels were up-rated appropriately and the bodywork lightened by the extensive use of glassfibre panels. A ZF five-speed gearbox was standard equipment on the racing RS2600, the LHD-only production version, which retained the 2.6-litre engine, having to make do with a Ford four-speed unit. On the racetrack, the RS2600's finest achievement came in 1972 when works driver Jochen Mass, later to enjoy a successful Formula 1 career, was crowned European Touring Car Champion at the season's end. Today these ex-works Capris are among the most sought after of post-war Fords.
Built in Ford's competitions department in Cologne, this particular RS2600 has belonged to French Formula 3 Champion, François Mazet and to Ferrari Formula 1 driver, Clay Regazzoni. In more recent times the Capri has participated in four editions of the Tour Auto, achieving a 2nd place finish in Group G in 2009. The car also finished 3rd in the VHC Rallye d'Automne in 2008 and took part in that year's Tour of Spain, retiring from 6th place overall on the final day.

Ex-Clay Regazzoni et François Mazet

Inspirée par le succès de la « pony car » Mustang aux Etats-Unis, Ford lança la Capri – « La voiture que vous vous étiez toujours promise » - sur le marché européen en 1968. L'imaginatif style fastback était une démarche relativement inédite pour la marque à l'ovale bleu, mais sous l'habillage de tôle, la voiture était typiquement Ford avec de nombreux organes (moteurs, boîtes et autres composants) communs au reste de la gamme bien que les moteurs qui équipaient les versions anglaises et allemandes fussent quelque peu différents.

Ford gérait à l'époque un copieux programme sportif et, tandis que la branche britannique se consacrait au développement de l'Escort pour les rallyes et la vitesse pure sur circuit, Jochen Neerspach, alors à la tête du département compétition à Cologne, fut chargé de lancer l'étude d'une Capri de course. Sous l'appellation « RS2600 », elle devait être fondée sur la 2600 GT, haut de gamme de Ford Allemagne à l'époque, bien que les premières tentatives de Cologne eussent concerné des 2300 GT modifiées. Plusieurs victoires, dont des premières places de catégorie, furent récoltées en 1969 en rallyes internationaux, mais il était évident que le plus gros potentiel de la voiture était celui d'un machine de circuit.

En version Groupe 2, le moteur V6 de la RS2600 développé par Weslake fut réalésé à 2 995 cm3 et muni d'une injection Kugelfisher et d'un graissage à carter sec pour développer plus de 320 ch. Les suspensions, les freins et les roues furent modifiés en conséquence et la carrosserie allégée par adoption de nombreux panneaux en fibre de verre. La boîte de la RS2600 de course était une ZF manuelle à 5 rapports, la version de production, uniquement à conduite à gauche, qui gardait le moteur 2,6 litres, devant se contenter d'une boîte Ford à quatre rapports. Sur la piste, les plus beaux succès de la RS2600 furent signés en 1972 lorsque le pilote d'usine, Jochen Mass, brillant pilote de F1 par la suite, remporta le titre de Champion d'Europe catégorie Tourisme en fin de saison. De nos jours, ces Capri officielles font partie des Ford d'après guerre le plus recherchées en collection.

Construite par le département courses de Ford à Cologne, cette RS2600 a appartenu au Champion de France de F3, François Mazet, et au pilote Ferrari de F1, Clay Regazzoni. Plus récemment, cette Capri a participé à quatre éditions du Tour Auto, obtenant une deuxième place en Groupe G en 2009. Elle a également finit 3e au Rallye d'Automne 2008 couru en VHC et participé au Tour d'Espagne où elle abandonna dans la dernière journée alors qu'elle était en 6e position au général.
Formerly the property of Clay Regazzoni, François Mazet,c.1971 Ford Capri RS2600 Coupé  Chassis no. GAEC KG 59310
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