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Old 11-10-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
GQ
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Default What happened to Group B?

Why do we no longer see the awesome Audi's and Lancia's of group B rally racing? Did it go away because the speed and lack of safety?
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:57 AM   #2
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yup, in a nutshell
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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Yep.

Oddly enough we still have the lack of safety (spectator), and the speeds are probably catching up with development even though the horsepower is not allowed to approach Group B levels.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:07 AM   #4
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But aero is better now
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:18 AM   #5
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Its the drivetrain. not aerodynamics. (not that they dont play a role, just not a huge as trick el-mec diffs and paddleshift trannies)

http://www.stormloader.com/groupb/

http://www.rallycars.com/Cars/CarsBase.html
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:39 AM   #6
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ya but were group B cars really that much faster? i dont think so. Today's rallies are more agressive, have more technology, and different driving techniques... so im not really sure groub B was too much faster than today's WRC car around any turns... maybe on straight aways they were a little bit faster. but thats it.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:00 PM   #7
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As far as pure speed goes, they were faster. In a straight line there would be no comparison, mainly due to the weight of the Group B cars. The Peugeot 205 T16 weighed like 2000 lbs, compared to the 2700 lbs required by todays cars. In the later stages they were quite a bit more horsepower as well, but that was just as Group B was ending. Audi had built an engine after 1986 that they said would produce almost 1000 hp. The cars just were too light and too powerful to control in those days.

What makes cars fast now are the fancy differentials for the most part, the ones they are getting rid of for next year.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:17 PM   #8
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Henri Toivonen went out of control, running his Lancia Delta S4 off the road killing himself and his co-driver in a huge inferno that so throughly burned the car, Lancia technicians could never determine what caused the crash.

All of the Group B teams took the rest of the year off out of respect for Henri, and Group B and the in-development Group S were cancelled for safety reasons.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:25 PM   #9
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They also used a lethal cocktail of fuels to run that much boost.......
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:58 PM   #10
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The big difference between Group B and current rally classing was Group B's almost total lack of regulations regarding drivetrain layout.

Most of the successful Group B competitors migrated to a mid-engine, AWD format with very short overhangs and very low weight. The notable exceptions to this were the Audi Quattro and Lancia 037, but they were considered old-tech by the time the Group B class reached its maturity with the evolution versions of the Ford RS200, Peugeot 205t16, and Lancia Delta S4.

Essentially the cars became too fast for the terrain they competed on. When you have enormous traction and ridiculous levels of instantaneous torque deliverable with very little provocation to the "go" pedal, the limitations of human reaction time become a very real problem. HP and torque outputs were literally double (at minimum!) what is currently seen in the WRC. Co-driver stress was so high that some of the teams literally employed hypnosis techniques and had mind-relaxing gurus on staff to help the teams cope.

It should also be noted that Group B was about to expand into road racing when the FIA banned the class... the Jaguar XJ220 was developed as a Group B class vehicle. Also, Ferrari's 288GTO was developed for Group B competition, possibly as a tarmac rally competitor. It later evolved into the F40. Some of the rally cars that raced but never reached full development were the Citroen BX 4TC and the Rover MG Metro 6R4. The Metro was unusual in that it used a naturally aspirated 6-cyl motor, though still mid-engine AWD like the rest of the class. The same 6-cyl engine later made a (retuned) appearance in the abovementioned Jaguar XJ220.

I highly recommend the film "Too Fast To Race: The Group B Story" to anyone curious about this era of motorsport. I got my copy from www.ewacars.com


Also, the short film "Climb Dance" is worth searching for and downloading... it is a really well-filmed piece showing the Peugeot 405t16 of Ari Vatanen running the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in (I believe) 1987. The 405t16 was a rebodied 205t16 Group B rally car with huge wings for downforce.

Last edited by Porter; 11-10-2005 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:08 PM   #11
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There's a good small overview of the Group B vehicles on this site:

http://www.stormloader.com/groupb/


A good quote from the site (which is true btw):

"the Lancia Delta S4 could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.3 seconds on a gravel road. Henri Toivonen drove an S4 around Estoril, the Portuguese Grand Prix circuit, so quickly that he would have qualified sixth for the 1986 [Formula 1] Portuguese Grand Prix"
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:16 PM   #12
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BTW... it's too bad Toyota's MR2 Evolution Group S rally competitor never got to race due to the cancellation of the Group B (and planned Group S) classes. It was even AWD... consider an AWD MR2 for a moment! This thing looks mean:

It's the black one at the bottom
http://www.stormloader.com/groupb/toyota.html



Another interesting bit of trivia is that the Mitsubishi Starion was developed in 4WD trim for competition in Group B, but was never homologated. Interesting connection for any of you Starion/Conquest fans.



More good Group B info available here, many links to good info:

http://www.answers.com/topic/group-b-1

Last edited by Porter; 11-10-2005 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:32 PM   #13
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Porter- Jump my train why dontcha?
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyveWRX
Porter- Jump my train why dontcha?
Que?

Blame me, I told him about the thread. I knew he was a walking textbook of info on Group B rally as I had heard him rattle off lots of this sort of info when I lived with him in SC. Also got to watch some of the older footage films he had of Group B and mid-90s style rally where Colin McRae dominated in the Subaru GC bodied cars. Very cool stuff.

-Biggly
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:20 PM   #15
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Damn Porter i didnt know you were so into rallying. I love this stuff...and that site is awesome for info. I need to actually watch some of the old group b footage, i havent seen very much of it.

Its cool to see Stig still rallying....more than double my age and better than i could ever hope to be.
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Old 11-10-2005, 07:27 PM   #16
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Porter.... WOW

Great job.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:03 PM   #17
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"Too fast to race" is a great video that chronicles the rise and fall of Group B.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvanSTI
ya but were group B cars really that much faster? i dont think so. Today's rallies are more agressive, have more technology, and different driving techniques... so im not really sure groub B was too much faster than today's WRC car around any turns... maybe on straight aways they were a little bit faster. but thats it.
The Group B cars were faster in rallies like the 1000 Lakes Finland rally where the roads were smooth and flowing. Todays WRC cars are faster in more technical rallies like the Acropolis.

However, I consider those days to be 'real' rally...if you know what I mean. These days there are soo many electronic devices that control the differentials, transmission, engine, etc. It just IMO takes away from what rally should really be...more of a driver challenge then a technological car challenge.


~Mark
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:13 AM   #19
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:43 PM   #20
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porter you did an awesome job above. also one of the main problems back then which by no means helped Group B, was crowd control. there where no really bad accidents and then a string of mortalities. several spectators where killed when an RS200 ford went of the road on a stage i believe in corsica when the crowds where literally filling the entire road. this started the "are the cars too fast landslide" followed swiflty by Ari Vatianen piling the Peuget T16 off the road and almost killing him and his co-driver. then the fatal Henri Toivonen accident in the ever powerful Lancia S4. this was the final nail in the coffin of group B. there was so much more to see, my dad owned three MG metro 6r4's and they where awesome. David Llewelan 1986 circuit of ireland winning car, Tony Pond's Isle of Man Car and a clubman car.

this was the real era of rallying and i miss standing on the hedges watching the real cars in action in ireland. nothing like the sheer power noise of one of those cars on full song coming towards you!!!!!

anyways this is a great thread

keep it up
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Old 11-12-2005, 12:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XenoWolf
Dude, were there even bodies after that?

Edit: That vid was of the 1986 Hessen Rally. Marc Surer survived with burns all over his body and went on to be a motorsports director for BMW. His co-driver perished though.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:48 AM   #22
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interesting crash-free group b video:

http://www.rally.sk/foto/video/group...ally4u_net.wmv
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Old 11-12-2005, 03:37 PM   #23
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10 points, the "Too fast to race" vid is one of my favorite all-time car videos! I heard that there are a few groups in europe that are very devoted to the group-B effort and have restored and maintained alot of the cars and have exhibitions periodically. I'd love to see those cars go around even if just for fun. alot of problems with group-B that led to its demise can be parralleled to incidents that happen in WRC (going off cliffs,drivers&co dying, fans injured/killed etc. so I don't know why Group-B had to go and crap like Nascar can stay. they didn't shut down Nascar when Dale Earnhhart died. p.s. j/k Nascar fans
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Old 11-12-2005, 06:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles38WRX
interesting crash-free group b video:

http://www.rally.sk/foto/video/group...ally4u_net.wmv
Cool vid. Those things sound awesome.
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Old 11-12-2005, 06:12 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadturbowrxgtr-s
10 points, the "Too fast to race" vid is one of my favorite all-time car videos! I heard that there are a few groups in europe that are very devoted to the group-B effort and have restored and maintained alot of the cars and have exhibitions periodically. I'd love to see those cars go around even if just for fun. alot of problems with group-B that led to its demise can be parralleled to incidents that happen in WRC (going off cliffs,drivers&co dying, fans injured/killed etc. so I don't know why Group-B had to go and crap like Nascar can stay. they didn't shut down Nascar when Dale Earnhhart died. p.s. j/k Nascar fans
I think the big difference is that with Group B the FIA realized that there was nothing they could do to decrease (dramatically) the chance of a fatal accident without stifling the series. NASCAR on the other hand had plenty of room to impose new safety regulations. Also remember that the Earnhardt wreck will forever be under debate... (did he losen his belts? was his belt cut or ripped? etc)
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