I would have added this to the history and motorsports thread:
But it seemed to deserve its own thread.
The important details:
This is GM's second "world car" after the Gemini PF / Kadett C. This means it was a single design of outward appearance and basic body structure with details and drivetrain specific to the region it was built.
Aska's sisters were the Ascona C, Cavalier, Camira, and Monza.
The Aska was FWD with a 140 PS 2.0 liter turbo, later found in the Piazza Turbo (with revised bellhousing bolt pattern). The appearance was fine tuned to match the family look of the Piazza and Gemini. Given the content of the video, build quality and engineering was significantly better than the US counterpart, and either rivaled or surpassed the European counterpart.
The car was entered in the RAC Rally six months after it was introduced. The driver was Masami Sugiyama, who had already had a long career as an Isuzu Works driver with many victories in Gemini PF cars. He went on to be part of the 1990 and 1991 Japan Rally Series victories in Gemini JT191 cars. He runs the Open Road shop, remains active as a privateer driver in Rally Japan, and is considered a living legend.
The Isuzu Works team did not have any facilities in England and operated out of the Bridgestone facilities.
Their initial goal was just to finish.
Other competitors in Group A / Class 7 were: Opel Manta GT/E, Volkswagen Golf GTi, Mitsubishi Lancer, Opel Ascona, Opel Kadett GT/E, Opel Ascona, Opel Manta, Rover 3500, Nissan Bluebird Turbo, Mitsubishi Colt Lancer, and Mazda RX7.
Competitors fell from attrition: Lancer Turbo and RX-7 retired from the race.
They took first place in Group A, Class 7, in a car model that had never previously been entered in any rally race. This is a true case of the first try leading directly to the podium, and another example of Isuzu's unique motorsports strategy. Rather than maintaining a presence over a long time, they throw the entire weight of their effort into one try, usually resulting in very impressive results, and having proven they could compete and win, they consider their point proven and move on to something else.[/list]