Right, since the FIA or whoever have decided to hold 16 round this is simply too much for some teams and it looks like Subie, Mitsu, Ford and Skoda will pull out making it a Peugeot vs Citroen series, now we have the safety side, why not revisit an old horse, why not reinvent Group B rallying? who wants to see drivers pilot 600+bhp monsters through forests without driver aids? I do!
Sorry Inte, I voted no. To me, rally cars should look darn near to the mundane machinery they are based upon and manufacturers should have to produce plenty of them in road going trim to homologate the model.
Don't get me wrong, Group B was a blast but that day is gone.
As it is, there is no protection for spectators on existing stages. Kinda like the Monaco Grand Prix, I think rallying is a disaster waiting to happen.
Sheesh, getting old in my ways.
Now if you ask me do I want a manufacturer to revisit Group B cars as models with current levels of detail and tampo, then the answer is a definite yes.
I don't take a great deal of interest in Rallying but this statement interests me . . .
QUOTE Don't get me wrong, Group B was a blast but that day is gone
If it WAS a blast, why should/could it not be a blast again?
How does one decide "that day is gone"?
And who is "one", anyway?
Please don't tell me that motor sport enthusiasts are becoming like fashion designers, where just a few self appointed, pretentious twats arbitrarily decree what is "in" and what is "out"! Surely the macho world of motor racing is above all that prima-donna superficiality!
I for one miss the days of group B cars. I feel maybe time has dimmed the bad memmories of that time. i don't know how many drivers / co-drivers / spectators were killed by these monsters but i know it wasn't a small number. let me quote Luigi Macaluso a promonante rally driver in the 60'-70's "for me the era of group B was unique an extreme expression of the car" ......."Group B was technically interesting but emotionally difficult"......"It was a dangerous time in rallying and i lost a few close friends in these cars". (Quoted in EVO issue 43).
I remember as a small child my dad taking me to watch the proper RAC on the Kielder stages and having my breath took away by these monsters that chewed Gravel and spat flames. We all would i am sure love to see the spectacle of these cars but do we really want to go back to the time when drivers (etc) were risking their lives for our entertainment?
The current state of rallying or should that be the state next season as this season has been a cracker even though mitsubishi were not represented, is a fine indication of what happens when the FIA (or Knig Max) flexes ihis muscles.
The world wide audience share for the WRC was rising at an exponential (spelling)rate and would have soon caught F1 thanks to the leadership of David Richards he of Prodrive and BAR fame.
I lament the loss of the teams that look likely to pull out of this great spectacle. I hope we arn't just left with a Pug Citreon shoot out.
I have on several occasions used this forum to request the manufactures to produce some of the group B cars in 1/32 (rtr) and some of the older classics Lotus Cortina, Lotus Sunbeam, Manta, MK 1 - 2 Escorts and Stratos.
Safety is one of those undefinable and bottomless pits like health and welfare.
It doesn't matter how much money is thrown at it, exponentially more is always needed and no one is ever satisfied with what the existing money bought. If motor sport COULD somehow be rendered non-dangerous, then it would retain all the attraction of embroidery as a spectator sport and no one would have the slightest interest in it. Human nature, perhaps sadly, rallies more enthusiasm for the spectacularly dangerous than for the safe and brain-deadeningly boring.
QUOTE do we really want to go back to the time when drivers (etc) were risking their lives for our entertainment?
Do you know what Colin McRae gets paid for moaning every few weeks? a small fortune mate! it's their choise as it was back then, ok take Henri Toivenen yes he died, but he wasnt racing because of the money it was because he was good at it and enjoyed it!
Meco, knitting is potentially dangerous so is slot racing (yes were looking in Mopeds direction here) it's just a higher risk! but look how the crashed happened.. the cars didnt fail it was the driver fault, so whats that saying? it's saying that the cars were mediocrely bad or the driver simply werent good enough for the cars!
The safety implications would be too great. Even at the time when Group B was at its height, drivers complained they are having a job focussing on the road due to the speed of the cars...
I would prefer to see cars going back to basic's so to speak* - manual gearshifts, removal of driver aids such as launch-control etc and as Wankel mentioned, cars that could be identified with there road going cousins.
* It would be great to see this approach adopted by F1 too.
QUOTE drivers complained they are having a job focussing on the road due to the speed of the cars...
Does this mean they were incompetent to drive them?
What a bunch of nincompoops!
Obviously the answer is better drivers who CAN drive within their limits, not slower cars!
The following text is taken from a website discussing Group B.
Was it right to ban the Group B cars?
Personally, I think so. If FISA had done a better job of regulating the cars, then maybe the Group B cars could have stayed. But since FISA focused the majority of their attention on F1, they didn't realize how fast the Group B cars had become; it took an accident like Toivonen's to get FISA's attention. The Group B cars had reached the point where they belonged on a racetrack, not on a rally stage. The cars were so fast that a driver's eyes didn't have time to adjust their focus properly between corners. Group B lived a short, but very interesting, life.
The early 1980s saw a category created specifically for manufacturers who wanted to show off their engineering capabilities; Group B was born. The Group B rally supercars quickly evolved into 500+ horsepower, four-wheel-drive chest-thumping beasts with space frames, kevlar bodywork, and many other high-tech pieces. The cars reached a point where many wondered if the cars had reached a point where the drivers could not fully control them. For instance, 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 Portuguese Grand Prix. Nigel Mansell sampled a Peugeot 205 T16 and said it could out-accelerate his F1 car. And, perhaps most impressive (frightening?), the driver's reaction times were cut in half compared with previous rally cars. The Group B rally cars and their pilots were the stuff of which legends are made.
Which is Faster?
Group B vs WRC
This is the question many people want to know the answer to. Well, it depends. On a racetrack, up Pikes Peak, or on fast, sweeping roads like those used in the 1980s, the Group B car would win. On tight, winding stages like those run today (due to the maximum allowable average speed of 120km/h), the WRC car would be quicker. The Lancia's significant power and weight advantages would give it the edge on faster roads, while the Focus' chassis and handling are worlds better than any Group B car, giving it the nod for any modern rally.
In short, the development of the Group B cars was mainly focused on getting as much power as possible out of the engine, while the designers of the current crop of rally cars pay much more attention to the chassis. It's a classic case of brute force versus finesse.
Perhaps it was the girth of these great Gods' goolies that was the problem - no space left for intelligent thought!
It wasn't the cars that were too fast or powerful, but the guys driving them beyond their ability to control. You can't blame a car for the mistakes of its driver or no one would ever fall foul of the law for anything.
The cops tend not to give much credence to this kind of excuse and I think that's logical.
Speaking as someone who had to find Harri Toivonen to tell him his brother had just burned to death, I have to say Group B cars were indeed monsters.
I was lucky in that I was working for Austin Rover and the Metro 6R4s were, a) very strong and,
normally aspirated and so not carrying red hot turbos just inches away from rocket fuel in flimsy weight saving fuel tanks.
Just a day after Toivonen died David LLewellin threw a Metro down a Welsh hillside and not only got out alive, but relatively unscathed. So, I'd say the driver's could handle the cars, but the rules allowed the engineers to design death traps instead of competition cars.
I big problem with Group B cars was the massive power delivered over a tiny rev range that meant precious little sliding gracefully through corners on a balanced throttle. It was a drag race between bends and as such not so great to watch. No doubt today's chassis engineering (i.e. electronics) would have tamed the power, but it would have even less to do with the driver and even more boring to watch.
Personally I don't think there is much wrong with the current car regs. Yes, wider tyres would mean more sliding, but only by those not extracting the maximum traction: Tyres are designed to go in only one direction.
What the WRC needs - in the UK at least - is a regular prime -time TV slot. As it is we have to play hunt the schedule before we see anything on CH4 and it can vary between midday and midnight. Imagine with the footie was scheduled like that.
p.s. a big YES to Fly, Hornby or Ninco making rtr Group B cars, especially Metros. Think of all those liveries they could do..
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