MESSAGE FROM THE WEBSITE OWNER
2017 turned out to be a very busy year for the Rally Group B Shrine! As always, the year was filled with a heavy personal time consuming investment in improving the website with intensive research, homologation papers, new articles, and the addition of new features, all the meanwhile making new acquaintances along the way.
One of these new features are “page jumps” (example below) that allow for quicker browsing of long articles. Look for them to be implemented throughout the entire website in the next months.
QUICK BROWSE CONTENT
Early in the year, an abridged version of the Shrine’s Ford Escort RS1700T article was proudly featured in the February 2017 issue of UK’s Pacenotes Rally Magazine. The collaboration continued on with advertisement. Thank you for trusting the Shrine’s work to promote your amazing motorsport publication! Also, thanks for sticking around to advertise! It is an honour.
Soon afterwards, the Shrine personally begun helping Briton author Bill Munro with research for his upcoming book about the Ferguson Formula 4WD system history (Traction For Sale). This cooperation has led to the massive improvement of the article about the very little known Opel Manta B 400 4WD prototype. You can expect some of the detective work to filter down to Mr. Munro’s book as well. Thanks, Bill, your professionalism has helped me bring up my game.
Contact with the famed Klein family of Germany has brought greater things since the Shrine now features lots of HD pictures from the Eifel Rallye Festival (which is now also freely promoted on the website). This relationship has helped bring more opportunities such as communication with some of Group B’s greats such as John Davenport, John Wheeler, and Ari Vatanen.
On top of that, the Shrine’s professional looking appearance has brought surprise requests from TV productions about acquiring visual media (pictures, videos) for special features that include Group B cars. One such request came in from a well known American car show: Jay Leno’s Garage. The particular episode (which has yet to air at the time of writing) will feature a Group B car (possibly two) along with a snippet of historical footage made possible by the Shrine’s contacts. You’re welcome, mister Jaglin!
On a sadder note, in June, I found out that some bloggers, one in particular, had been plagiarising the Shrine’s work and getting high praise for my articles on a very popular car culture website. The stolen articles were deleted by the blog’s host but it still left a sour taste. Full story HERE.
At the Shrine’s request, Audi Tradition came through with their promise to measure the exterior dimensions and release the full specifications of their amazing Gruppe S prototype. First released to the Shrine, these official specifications brought an end to much speculations about the car.
All the meanwhile, I somehow managed to find the time to also work on my secretive, decade long, Group B tribute car project and finally roll it out the garage door this last November. You can learn more about this unique project, affectionately dubbed the “Gruppe B RS Turbo 16v”, and about my journey to achieve it by CLICKING HERE.
2017 FUN WEBSITE STATS
Thanks to some well executed SEO work and word of mouth, the Shrine’s popularity has tripled compared to 2016! Here’s once again some fun website stats on the least and most popular driver and car based on visitor analytics!
LEAST POPULAR DRIVER (100 views)
For the second year in a row, Bruno Saby is the least popular driver of the Group B era. Quite unfairly in my humble opinion for the 1986 Tour de Corse winner! Albeit it was in that particular event that Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto lost their lives and forever changed rallying history.
MOST POPULAR DRIVER (919 views)
Once more, the black volcano wins the title of Group B’s most popular driver. It is of no surprise that the first lady of rallying continues to draw the attention of rally fans everywhere. No other woman has come closer to winning the WRC driver’s title than Michèle Mouton in 1982 (a mere 12 points behind Walter Rörhl). Group B was definitely not just for men!
LEAST POPULAR CAR (646 views)
No apparent love for the boxy Polish rally car. The Polonez 2000 Rally was after all but a Group 4 carryover that was merely updated to Group B regulations in 1984 with use of polycarbonate panels.
MOST POPULAR CAR (9,293 views)
Last year’s winner, the Audi Gruppe S proto, was edged out by Toyota’s fearsome MR2 222D “black monster” prototype. This was most likely due to the greater exposure of the car on other car culture websites and social media. The fans would then flock to the Shrine to get the most complete information about the car. As always, the Group S prototypes never fail to stir up excitement of what they could have become!
MOST POPULAR WALLPAPER (163 downloads)
Once more, the very same Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 image is the most downloaded wallpaper. In fact, the car occupies the first three spots of all downloads. This truly confirms the S1 E2 as the poster child of Group B.
COUNTRY WITH THE MOST VISITORS (29,815 views)
It was very close this time, with the USA edging out last year’s leader, the UK, by about a thousand views. It is comforting in a way that knowledge about Group B is spreading outside of its fan base in Europe.
Come again next year for more stats and anecdotes!