On November 10th, 1985, that Japanese domestic manufacturer showed off its power in the Group A International Touring Car Endurance Championship, INTER TEC, held in Japan’s Fuji Speedway circuit. The Japan Group A touring car racing series started in 1985 under the influence of its overseas popularity, and the final of 1985 series was INTER TEC. It was also an opportunity for domestic teams to test their abilities. The result surprised domestic manufacturers and fans at the large difference between overseas machines and teams. Motorsport magazines at that time expressed the impact as “The Perry Expedition to Japan motorsport”.
The machine came on an expedition from abroad was the Volvo 240 Turbo, which won the European Touring Car Championship (ETC) in 1985. The Volvo 240 Turbo had a very ordinary sedan body, known as “Flying Brick”, performed overwhelmingly. In the qualifying round, the Volvo 240 Turbo won by a wide margin with Japanese teams, and in the final, the Volvo 240 Turbo expanded its lead right after start and won the race with a perfect race that gave no chance to rivals. Among the rivals, Mitsubishi Starion jumped to the top of Japanese cars as a representative of the Japanese team.
The Mitsubishi Starion was developed based on the Starion GSR, a specialty coupé announced in 1982. The inline 4 cylinder SOHC 1997cc turbo which generated 200 horsepower even in normal, was tuned up from 250 horsepower to 270 horsepower. It is rear wheel drive and the suspension is strut type both front and rear. The Group A Starion was active in overseas Group A races due to Mitsubishi’s strategy. The Mitsubishi Satrion developed its skills mainly at BTCC in the UK. The Group A Starion came back to Japan and made its debut in INTEC TEC in November 1985. The Strarion gathered 3 machines from the UK team, Hong Kong team, and Australia team active overseas. The Starion of Ralliart England from the UK finished third behind two Volvos in qualifying. In the final, Ralliart Hong Kong’s Stallion took over the England team that retired due to trouble, finishing fourth, and showed their top performance for Japanese cars. After that, the Mitsubishi Starion continued to play an active part in touring car racing in Japan in 1986 and 1987.