Originally Posted by AutobotVanguard
If I recall correctly it's a homologation special for the rear wing (which Alfa still won without when it was banned because Ford et al. were crying about it).
The Silverstone (aka "Formula", in other markets) was used to homologate the aero' and the engine block for the BTCC racer.
The aero kit was the extendable front splitter and the raise-able rear spolier..
The 1.8 block was used for the BTCC racer since it had a narrower bore than the 2 ltr. Alfa was able make 2 ltrs out of it by increasing the stroke (long stroke makes more torques) while leaving the bore unchanged (as required by the rools).
Ford got the hump because they were favourites that year..
Andy Rouse complained that the cars should be raced "as supplied".. even going to the expense of buying one to prove that the splitter was sold in the "retracted" position.. while the rear spoiler was in the lower position.
The suits agreed... so Alfa withdrew from the 5th round at Oulton Park.. having won the 5 pervious races (3 single and 1 double-header race) allowing Renort's Laguna to win for the first time.
From then on in the rules were tweaked so that manufacturers could introduce their own aero that was not on their original homologation cars (from the 12th round) so then the season became a lot closer.. but by then, the "lowered aero" configuration 155 had done enough and Tarquini became BTCC Champoooon. The rest all became losers!