MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR
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 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 website’s articles 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, Jonathan, for trusting my work and the website to promote your amazing motorsport publication!
Soon afterwards I 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 one of my articles about the very little known Opel Manta B 400 4WD prototype. You can expect some of my 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 proudly 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 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.
On a sadder note, in June, I found out that some bloggers, one in particular, had been plagiarising my work and getting high praise for my articles on a very popular car culture website. The problem was dealt with but still left a sour taste. Full story HERE.
At my personal 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
I am happy to announce that the Shrine’s popularity has tripled compared to 2016! Here’s once again some fun 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 prototype. This was most likely due to the greater exposure of the car on other car culture websites. 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 from its fan base in Europe.
In the last year, I have been busy searching for opportunities to help finance the yearly hosting fees of the website. Unlike what you may think, most “advertisements” shown in the website’s right sidebar (on PC) are free courtesies to the related parties since my main goal is to spread knowledge about the Group B era and nothing else. However, the unfortunate plagiarism of my website’s articles have led to the implementation of copy protection features which have sadly tripled the yearly hosting fees.
I never intended for the Shrine to run cookie-based ads but I found myself with little choice than to run them to help cover part of the new fees (about 25%). I apologise if they are an annoyance but I feel like I shouldn’t be paying out of my own pocket to bring my knowledge of Group B to the world. After all, I am just a regular person with my own family to take care of.
Earlier in the year, I signed up the website to be part of the Book Depository.com Affiliates programs to gain commissions on the books that I am promoting. You can find the Shrine’s “Group B book store” in the main menu. Clicking on an item redirects to the appropriate Affiliates website. Any purchases you make with these links will help support the Shrine and my unending work.
I am also proud to announce a partnership with Duke Marketing Ltd by providing an extensive list of their Group B related DVDs in the “Duke Video Store“, albeit I I do not earn commissions from these sales. However, supporting the partners helps the Shrine in itself.
That being said, I wish to thank every person that purchased books while first coming through my website. Most sales may have been unrelated to Group B but the commissions have helped fund about 25% of the yearly hosting fees!
I also wish to thank the very few people who gave basic $1 donations in the past year. It has not been much but the gesture was greatly appreciated nonetheless!
I know that 99% of you feel entitled to information on the internet but if you really enjoy this website then I encourage you to make a small personal donation. Current advertisement and commission revenue only covers about 50% of the yearly hosting fees. The rest is up to good Samaritans, like you. Donations will greatly help show your support for my work! (PayPal links below)
Rally Group B Shrine owner & author
Please use the appropriate links below to donate in the currency of your choosing:
Europe (€ / Euro)
United Kingdom (£ / GBP)
USA ($ / USD)
P.S.: You can change the number shown besides the currency in your browser’s address bar to donate an amount of your choosing instead. You can also change the 3-letter denomination to any currency of your choosing.