Despite the end-of-season string of Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 victories in Australasia and Japan, BMW’s Roberto Ravaglia has been proclaimed the first (and probably only) World Touring Car Champion.
But Ravaglia’s tenure of the WTC tide was subject to the result of an appeal to FISA by the Eggenberger works Ford team, following its disqualification from October’s classic Bathurst 1000km round for irregularities in the dimensions and fitting of its wheel arches.
Second-place finishers Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz learned of their Bathurst exclusion, which cost them the championship lead, on the eve of the series finale in Fuji in November. Though their Sierra went on to win that race, Ravaglia’s third place gave him the superior points tally.
Ravaglia, who was awarded the European Touring Car Championship last year only after FISA discovered an error in the awarding of points for the series, has driven a BMW M3 for the Schnitzer team in every round of the championship. Usually sharing the car with fellow-Italian Emanuele Pirro, he won the second round at Jarama, also achieving numerous other placings.
Irrespective of the result of the Bathurst appeal, Ford has won the manufacturers title.