Group B Rally Cars Back in Action on RAC Rally Stages

Motorsport / 27 Comments

Group B cars is an endangered species but the few left will take part in a spectacular event.

If rally cars were about speed, power and awe then there is no better period in rallying history than the Group B era. The Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205T16, Citroen BX 4TC, Citroen Visa Mille Pistes, Ford RS200, Lancia S4, and MG Metro 6R4 were once the prominent turbocharged 2.0-liter 4X4 monsters that were equipped with the best technology available at the height of the previous turbo era. They were also dangerous with major two deadly incidents.

31 spectators were injured and three were killed during the 1986 Portuguese Rally as a Ford RS200 ploughed into the crowd. A few weeks later two competitors, the Finn Henry Toivonen and his American co-driver Sergio Cresto were burnt to death as their Lancia S4 plunged into an abyss during the Corsican Rally. Group B was soon outlawed and replaced by Group A. For the fans it was a hard pill to swallow. They still could watch the Group B cars racing in earnest and winning in their new arena, the European Rallycross Championship and various other national rallycross events, but the glory days of rallying were over.

Nowadays the few remaining examples of those cars are taking part in demonstration runs as well as auto shows. However, this year those cars will be rallying again at an event called "Rallying with Group B." It will take place in northwest England and will include runs on a few famous RAC Rally special stages. Over 60 cars, most of them Group B and other famous rally cars have already registered for the event. And while those rare cars might not display their full potential on the special stages, watching them and listening to their engines roar in their natural habitat is going to be a pleasure to the eyes and to the ears.

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