– 2016 Shrine Retrospective

A WORD FROM THE WEBSITE OWNER

(fun website stats after)

In early 2016, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when transferring the Rally Group B Shrine from my personal blog to this dedicated website. After all, I wasn’t able to find another Group B specific website as complete than my creation, which is the fruit of hundreds of hours of personal research, so I had no way to compare. In February, after the transfer was complete, the search engine crawls of the newly launched website were very slow. I did my best to help the shrine appear higher in search engines in hopes to one day appear in the first page of Group B searches. Progress was slow but yet promising since the shrine was gaining an additional 500 visitors per subsequent month. Then it settled a bit… Would the shrine be stuck in the mud below lesser incomplete websites about Group B?

Unexpectedly, the 2016 edition of the Eifel Rally Festival, which was also a special event to honor the 30th year of the ultimate Group B year (1986), happened to feature a surprise car that most people had never seen or heard of before:

2016 Eifel Rallye Festival copyright: McKleincopyright free for media use
Audi Sport quattro “Gruppe S”

The Audi Sport’s Gruppe S Prototype. Thankfully, I had heard of it before that event, and the car already had a full page dedicated to it, thus making people who were searching to learn more about this car eventually land on the shrine. The website’s progression hasn’t stopped since: now attracting about 4000 visitors per month and still growing. While that number may seem low to some people, it must be noted that the shrine is not promoted anywhere else on social media. Furthermore, Group B only targets a specific audience of nostalgic rally fans or new ones simply curious about the era.

When I consider how much work as already been done to the shrine, I often wonder how I was able to find the time to do it! Currently, this is totally pro bono for me as well, which is rarer these days as everyone wants to get something out of everything. That being said, I wish to thank the few information contributors that I’ve had the pleasure to learn more from over the past year. Also, I wish to thank the 3 people (out of the 23,403 visitors) that found in their heart to contribute a single dollar (to which PayPal took 34% in fees) to help me continue my efforts!

As you know, the shrine is only at a fraction of the vision I have for it. I am close to finding decent partners to further help me down that road. You can expect the shrine to keep expanding and improving in 2017! Hopefully, it will gain respect as a valid source of information about Group B, which for me is all the reward I’d ever want.

Thank you for your trust!

Jay Auger

Website owner & author


2016 / Rally Group B Shrine Fun Facts!

Here’s the least and most popular drivers and cars on the website for this past year based on visitor analytics!

LEAST POPULAR DRIVER (41 views):

How can the 1986 Tour de Corse winner and 1981 French Rally champion be the least popular? Who knows! You can change that for 2017 by learning more about his Group B career HERE!

MOST POPULAR DRIVER (282 views):

Was Group B really only “For Men”? Juha, I’m looking at you! In any case, this fast and furious lady almost won Group B’s inaugural drivers championship (1982), being only edged out by Walter Röhrl himself. In any case, Michèle, you’re the shrine’s 2016 winner!

LEAST POPULAR CAR (RX cars excluded / 256 views):

talbot-sunbeam-lotus

Ironic that the very car which gave Talbot the last Group 4 WRC manufacturer championship in 1981 would be the least popular. Although admittedly the car was simply a carryover in Group B and was soon forgotten…

MOST POPULAR CAR (3,239 views):

audi-gruppe-s-prototype-quarter-front

This result is most likely directly linked with its first public appearance ever at the 2016 Eifel Rally Festival. Hopefully, Audi will let it out again in the future.

In its history, this car had everything going against it from the very start but at the same time it would have been the most fearsome contender to lay siege to the original draft of Group S, if it had ever happened.

Since this shrine is first and foremost a Group B website, it wouldn’t feel right to at least acknowledge the most popular actual Group B car of 2016 (2,124 views / 147 wallpaper downloads):

Jubilaeumsmagazin Motorsport

Is it really surprising that it is also the car with the most downloaded pictures? For most people, the S1 E2 is THE car that is synonymous with Group B. It is quite the achievement if you consider that it only participated in 6 WRC rallies before Audi pulled out after the incidents at the 1986 Portugal rally. While the car turned out not to be the most successful, that matters little compared to how it was able to strike at and stimulate the imagination of the fans; its wild aerodynamic aids was the stuff of dreams, its high flights and twitchy handling the stuff of nightmares, and…. did I forget something? Ah yes, its unmistakable sound the maestro of symphonies which has never seen an equal since.

People remember it for being the most spectacular fire-spitting Group B car to watch and hear; its engine was the most powerful and the driving style needed to make fast times was always on the edge. All of which can’t be much debated no matter if the S1 E2 is your favorite rally car or not! I highly doubt that the Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 will ever be dethroned from its quintessential Group B car pedestal…

COUNTRY WITH THE MOST VISITORS (8,650 views):

  • United Kingdom

I was a bit surprised but then again not when you consider that them jolly good blokes are the most fanatic fans of just about everything, including Group B. Hopefully, you lads don’t mind me using American English when writing in my website! However, I promise to be using both styles in my page revisions. Prepare to see more bonnets on top of hoods and more wings on the fenders instead of on the spoilers!

That being said, I wish a happy 2017 to every Group B fans out there, and don’t forget to attend retro/legend rally events!

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