– 2020 Shrine Retrospective

MESSAGE FROM THE WEBSITE OWNER

2021 greetings to all Group B rally fans! Some of you might have noticed that there were, once more, no website news posted between today and last year’s retrospective. 2020 has of course been difficult for most people around the world – this includes to a less important extent the annulation of most historical rally events.

While some people had much time off due to the pandemic, I personally was kept very busy by family, career and other important projects that unfortunately could not include much emphasis on continuing the Shrine’s mission and website expansion. We did however reach the 1,000,000 visitor milestone in 2020 thanks to a marginal increase in overall traffic.

For the Shrine, the C-19 crisis made it more difficult to keep the very small sponsorships that we have. I however was able to secure it for another calendar year. I expect that 2021 will make these renewals a battle once more. As such, if you enjoy the Rally Group B Shrine website then please consider a small donation of your choosing (CLICK HERE).

Importantly, for those who were diligently supporting the Shrine through the purchase of books on the Book Depository website, please know that their Affiliates system has switched to the AWIN platform. For the Shrine to continue on receiving commissions on each sale, it is therefore paramount that you use the new links that were updated in the Group B Book Store and elsewhere on the website. By the way, do check the store again since there’s been new publications made available for Group B fans!

As it is the tradition, we would like to extend our best wishes to all Group B fans and to anyone involved in keeping its vast history documented – may the legend of Group B continue to live on!

Jay Auger
Rally Group B Shrine owner, chief editor & main author


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2020 RETROSPECTIVE

For a third year in a row, the Shrine’s on-the-field mission was to be focused on the unique one-off Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, chassis #091, that was heavily modified by Lotus in the mid-1980s for General Motors (CLICK HERE if you somehow missed this incredible story). The owner of the car decided not to sell the car on the BAT website as originally planned since a clutch failure damaged a sensor critical to the starting of the engine. C-19 however threw everything under the bus with the enduring travel ban. 2021 should, with luck, bring the car out of the shadows again. Stay tuned…

As for the Rally Group B Shrine website itself, we were delighted to have been contacted by Federico Baglini – author on the very popular Italian rally news website Rallyssimo. Federico had much interest in translating the Shrine’s articles from English to Italian, first starting with the Renault 5 Turbo article even though its original author regarded it as “an excerpt” of what it could be. Notwithstanding, it felt good enough for Federico, thus arduously translating the article for the reading pleasure of the Italians fans! You can find the translated article on Rallyssimo’s website HERE.

It is with the latter in mind that the Rally Group B Shrine seeks passionate people that are fluent in other languages to help translate articles on the website. As with all work done on the Shrine, it is on a voluntary basis and does not incur direct compensation. For further information, please contact the owner by filling out this form below:


2020 FUN WEBSITE STATS

Did surpassing the 1,000,000 visitors change anything towards the trends that developed these past years? Let’s find out with the stats on the least and most popular Group B-era driver and car based on the site’s analytics!

LEAST POPULAR DRIVER (188 views)

Bruno Saby

For the fifth year in a row, Bruno Saby is the least popular driver of the Group B era, the 1986 Tour de Corse winner even suffering a decrease in page views! It is note to mention we have yet to include many Group B-era drivers into the bio list available on the website… so with any luck Mr. Saby might escape his recurring fate sometime in the future!

MOST POPULAR DRIVER (3,739 views)

The Black Volcano wins the honours for the fifth year in a row, again by a very large margin. It is of no surprise since women all over the world are increasingly putting men’s prides through some rough paces! Everyone should be proud of Michèle Mouton‘s exploits, notwithstanding! Group B’s legendary status remains strongly tied with the fastest woman in rally history… maybe a new challenger is in the works?

LEAST POPULAR CAR (930 views)

There’s seemingly no appreciation for the unassuming Polonez 2000 Rally from the former Eastern Block – losing out four years in a row. Maybe Group 4 carryover cars just aren’t up to the task when it comes to the Group B experience – taking into consideration that the exotic and quite more expensive Ferrari 308 GTB had but a handful more views! Thus, is this a “win” for the Polonez? Maybe it is…

MOST POPULAR CAR (13,560 views)

The immortal poster-child of Group B, the Audi Sport quattro S1 / E2, overpowered the Peugeot 205 T16 to secure a hat-trick of titles! The latter might have been the most successful car in Group B but the Audi reigns supreme in the hearts of fans. It is note to mention that the Group S and Group B prototypes are losing interest compared to the early years of the website. This means that the Group B heroes that bedazzled millions of fans in the eighties are regaining their laurels as the undisputed kings of all things rallying.

MOST POPULAR WALLPAPER (359 downloads)

Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2

The Audi Sport quattro E2 remains on the throne of the wallpapers – this period action shot taking it all. The enduring line of the E2 puts all potential successors from other models to the guillotine!

COUNTRY WITH THE MOST VISITORS (50,446 views)

The United Kingdom narrowly keeps its crown from the Americans. Great Britain has always housed the castle of rally fandom. It must be noted that France comes in third for the first time, probably thanks to the French version of the website having more content translated during the past year.

This feels monotonous? Do you have any fun ideas that you’d wish be added to the yearly recaps? Please make your suggestions by filling out this form: