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BTCC-WINNING SUPER TOURER UP FOR AUCTION

THE Alfa Romeo that clinched the marque’s sole British Touring Car Championship title of the Super Touring era is set to go under the hammer.

RM Sotheby’s is auctioning a Alfa Romeo 155 TS that Gabriele Tarquini drove during the 1994 season, one which the Italian marque dominated.

Tarquini rattled off five consecutive wins to start the season amid controversy over the extended splitter and boot spoiler fitted to his Alfa.

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The parts had been homologated for racing via Alfa’s sale of the limited edition ‘Silverstone’ model of the road-going 155 TS, whose boot contained the necessary parts to raise the standard rear spoiler and extend the front splitter to generate more downforce!

The chassis is the one Tarquini used to clinch the 1994 title. Pic: RM Sotheby’s / Paolo Carlini

The complaints and protests from rival teams reached a fever pitch at the sixth round at Oulton Park where Alfa was told to remove the spacers; Alfa refused and instead packed up and skipped the entire round.

A compromise was eventually reached, and the Alfas competed for the remainder of the year with the spacers removed.

The 155 remained a front-running car even with its advantage trimmed, although BMW and Renault caught up through their own homologation specials.

Tarquini has been the car’s sole owner since being gifted the car by Alfa Corse at the end of its competition life in early 1995. Pic: RM Sotheby’s / Paolo Carlini

However, Tarquini’s early surge meant he was near-unbeatable to the title by the time the car that is up for auction made its debut.

Chassis 90080 debuted at the penultimate round of the season at Silverstone, where a second place in the opening race mathematically secured the title for Tarquini – a feat he celebrated by winning the second race.

The car retired from the opening race of the season finale at Donington before Tarquini claimed fourth in the last race of the year, confirming Alfa Romeo and team Alfa Corse’s victory in the manufacturer’s championship.

Gabriele Tarquini with chassis 90080. Pic: RM Sotheby’s / Paolo Carlini

A rule change for the following season allowed manufacturers to develop bespoke wing and spoiler packages for racing.

According to RM Sotheby’s, this chassis completed pre-season testing for the 1995 season but was reverted to 1994 specifications and gifted to Tarquini as a present by Alfa Corse boss Giorgio Pianta, and he has owned it ever since.

The car is part of RM Sotheby’s upcoming Milan auction on June 15; the car’s price guide is listed as 300,000 to 400,000 euro (AU$474,370 to 632,490).

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