The Days of Madness: Group B Rally Monsters [Video]
The early 1980s was truly theWorld Rally Championship’s Wild West period, thanks in large part to technical formula in place at the time. TheFIA’sGroup B regulationsrequired manufacturers to build at least 200 street legal examples of a car for it to be eligible to compete in the WRC. Beyond that (and restrictions on engine size, minimum weight relative to engine size and a few other criteria), it was pretty much “run what ya brung.” And the manufacturers – amongthemAudi,Ford,Lancia,PeugeotandRenault– brought some truly wild creations packed with features like all-wheel-drive, turbocharged or supercharged (and, in the case of theLanciaDelta S4, both!) mid-mounted engines, and power outputs that, by 1986, topped600hp.
Naturally, these gravel-chucking, fire-farting beasts got to be too fast for their own (or anyone else’s) good. A rash of driver and spectator fatalities – culminating with the loss of ace Lancia shoeHenri Toivonenand his co-driverSergio Crestoon theTour de Corse– prompted the FIA to bring down the axe on Group B (and its would-be-successor,Group S) at the end of the ’86 season. All that was left of this hoary, harrowing chapter in motorsports history were photographs, memories and videotape. YouTube useramjayes2gathered the last of those three to create this amazing tribute to this amazing era.