Only four weeks to go now until the Festival of Speed will be under way. Four weeks! As such it’s high time that we used the 2015 theme of Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge to take a look at the brief, never-to-return age of Group B rallying.
At least one example of all the major players will be in attendance: Lancia Delta S4, Metro 6R4, Lancia 037, Ford RS200 and of course the Audi Quattro and the dominant Peugeot 205 T16. The curtain was brought down on the whole, crazy, wildly-powerful circus in 1986 after a series of very serious and high profile accidents, but by then the spectacle of drivers like Ari Vatanen and Timo Salonen hurling these ferocious machines around the world’s rally stages was firmly established in motor racing folklore.
What we have here is a compilation showing quality action of each of the pre-eminent cars and drivers going very fast, displaying great fearlessness and driving very much on the edge. Sometimes over it. Are we in danger of getting a bit misty-eyed about the past, or was there a certain inimitable grace to these cars when they were sliding about?
As swift poll of the GRR office shows just how much Group B cars can polarise opinion: ‘It has to be the Audi Quattro for the noise and because it led the four-wheel-drive revolution’ or ‘It’s the Lancia Delta S4 for me because it had the maddest engine’ or even ‘nope, the 205 T16 is the daddy because it did most of the winning’ etcetera …
So which Group B car does it for you? Fortunately, whichever one is your favourite you’ll be able to see an example of it up-close at this year’s Festival of Speed.