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Toyota Celica GT4 - the last of the saga
The third and final Celica of the GT-Four series had the potential to surpass the sporting success of its predecessor, but little more left than a huge shame spot for the Toyota Team Europe and for Toyota.
Indeed, the ST205 was presented in early 1994 and, more powerful and sophisticated, with the innovative "super strut suspension" than the previous Celica of WRC, it soon revealed as a worthy competitor to the reputation of the Ove Andersson Team.
The 1995 season even began to feature for TTE, with the victory of the French double Auriol-Giraudet in the Tour de Corse, but the technical verifications on the Catalonia Rally revealed the use of an illegal turbo inlet restrictor, which led to FIA to ban from competition for a year, the German-Japanese team.
The cutaway drawing of the ST205, presented in this work, was commissioned by TTE and sponsored by Castrol. The invitation to do so came by surprise in the spring of 1994 and led to a change of my short-term work plans and my visit to the fabulous team's facility in Cologne. At the time of my visit, the car was in its final stage of preparation, in the most restrict department of the Team, the R&D, to which it was acceded by a secret code.
It was a lightning visit and accompanied by friendly Evi Baumgartner, right arm of Ms. Marion-Bell Andersson on the Relations with the Press Department, I photographed the car from one end to the other. After a nice lunch, while waiting for the revelation of the images, I returned to Portugal.
It was the last drawing I did of a modern car that I had access to all the information that I needed, to illustrate even the smallest details. Indeed, the phobia of industrial espionage, which was very real, spread from Formula 1, where the gates of the garages began to close in the late '80s, to all the other disciplines of motor sport. This limited the access of photographers to the mechanics of racing cars and drastically reduced the technical information available to carry out this type of illustration.
Frank Williams was right when, in the late 80s, he said, to justify the hide of his Team’s cars from photographers that it was not admissible to spend 500,000 pounds on wind tunnel testing for, in a split second, the result of this effort to be copied by an opposing team.
Years later, in 2002, René Hilhorst, head of the Aerodynamics Department of the Toyota F1 Team told me, during one of the many conversations we had, that the more important in a racing car is not visible.
Despite the apparent contradiction in the opinions of these two protagonists, we understand the need and interest of the teams in hiding as much as possible their technical innovations. We're sorry that this trend has withdrawn interest and reason for our work, but in spite of all this, it was great that we could have had the privilege of working, for some time, without any limitations or constraints.