It is my joy to announce the return of the website to its former ad-free state. It was never the intent to run these nasty cookie-based ads but they had seemed necessary at a point in time when the site’s hosting fees rose dramatically. However, even though the Shrine’s other revenue sources such as donations have been very poor, I have decided to take the fees of the website on my limb once more.
Similarly to Wikipedia, it is very challenging for a knowledge website such as the Rally Group B Shrine to find good-hearted people willing to donate a tiny sum in return for their enjoyment of the site and the countless hours of hard work that was put in by everyone at the Team. As such, I once again urge fans of Group B and of this Shrine to donate.
Please use THIS LINK for donation options and please accept our sincerest thanks!
The website’s article about the Stillborn Group B Circuit Racing (abridged / edited) is proudly featured in the May 2018 issue of Octane Magazine as part of their Lamborghini Countach Downdraft Versus Ferrari 288 GTO special – The Group B Showdown that Never happened. Be sure to grab your copy!
The Shrine has recently expanded and, due to time and scheduling constraints, is looking at acquiring the aid of a passionate, honest, and well-connected person who is fluent in English to keep us informed of any Group B-related news or events, plus taking charge of forum and Facebook moderation, and possible future social media expansion. The position is currently on a volunteering basis and can be done in your free time.
Badly written or incomplete applications will be ignored. Your acceptance is not guaranteed and will be pending a review / discussion process amongst consideration of other applicants. Please allow up to 72 hours for a reply.
The Rally Group B Shrine is proud to announce the creation of a built-in FORUM to allow fans of rallying’s Golden Era to discuss topics and share opinions or stories. Feel free to create your own Group B topic!
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 19-21 2018) Press release 03
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2018 –
Celebrating the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
As is traditional, the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival held in Daun/Germany from July 19-21 2018 runs each year with a different theme. In the past, the famous demonstration event has already celebrated the ‘Safari Rally’, ’30 Years of Group B’ and ‘Six Decades of Rallying’. For 2018, it has been decided to dedicate the event to the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the US. At the ‘Race to the Clouds’, held in the Rocky Mountains, the competitors have to tackle 19.99 km and 156 corners before they reach the summit of Pikes Peak at an altitude of 4,301 m.
Back in the 1980s, the mountain road was entirely gravel and it played a very special role for rallying. “Pikes Peak became the new home for some of the Group B cars that were banned from the WRC”, recollects Reinhard Klein. He is the head of Slowly Sideways,the group of rally car collectors that makes up most of the one hundred and fifty cars entered in the Festival, and he has visited the ‘Race to the Clouds’ as a photographer. “At Pikes Peak, the Group B cars from Audi, Peugeot, Ford, Lancia and Austin Rover were run in their most extreme form and that is exactly how we will see them in the Eifel. Of course, for the Pikes Peak cars entered in the Festival, the same strict rules apply in terms of originality as for all other vehicles taking part in our event.” At the Eifel Rallye Festival, the hill-climb racers will make up a special ‘Pikes Peak Parade’ and will tackle two different stages. On Friday evening, they will drive the ‘proWIN Hilgerath’ stage. On Saturday, they will have a go at the second pass through the ‘Risselberg’ stage which itself is a former hill-climb track.
While entries for the ‘normal’ Eifel Rallye Festival only open today, many of the cars taking part in the Pikes Peak Parade are already confirmed. Audi Tradition will open its museum and bring two original works cars to Daun.These are the1985-winning Audi Sport Quattro and the 1987-winning Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 ‘Pikes Peak’. While Harald Demuth will take the wheel of the Sport Quattro, the 600 bhp supercar from 1987 will, according to what is known at present, be driven by the man himself, Walter Röhrl. A third winning Audi will join the fray. This will be entered by private collector Wolf-Dieter Ihle and it will also be piloted by its original driver, in this case, John Buffum, who won Pikes Peak twice.
Audi has a unique record at the Race to the Clouds winning the event six times in a row from 1982 to 1987 with three different types of cars: Audi Quattro A2, Audi Sport Quattro and Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 ‘Pikes Peak’. All these unique cars will be re-united at the 2018 Eifel Rallye Festival.
One of Audi’s main rivals in Colorado from those days will do its first kilometres since the 1986 Pikes Peak hill-climb. Wolf-Dieter Ihle has recently purchased the twin-engined VW Golf which entered the race in 1985 and 1986. This very special car will shake off the Colorado dust, some of which can still be found inside, and it will also be driven by its original driver, former European Rally Champion Jochi Kleint.
While these cars are still in their original specification, the three Peugeot 205 T16s that were used at Pikes Peak in 1987 have changed their shape radically over the years. Two of them were converted to 405 T16s, while the third one has been used in Rallycross. But now, after thirty years, this gap will be filled by Austrian Peugeot collector Erich Müller who is just completing a replica of the ‘missing’ 1987 Pikes Peak Peugeot 205 T16.
Another Group B car will make its way from the UK to Daun. Mark Rennison, who tackled the US hill-climb in a modified Ford RS200 right up until 2014, will bring this car to Daun. The whole project was initiated by John Wheeler, the ‘father’ of the RS200 and a regular participant himself in the Eifel Rallye Festival.
“We are really impressed by and proud of the Pikes Peak entries we have received so far. But we are still in talks with further teams and there is a good chance that we can welcome some more precious cars that competed there”, says Otmar Anschütz, Chief Organiser of the Eifel Rallye Festival and President of the MSC Daun.
Double World Champion Walter Röhrl, who was the first driver ever to reach the summit in less than eleven minutes, sees two reasons for his 1987 success at Pikes Peak. “The Audi engineers had understood quickly that with a four-wheel drive car, downforce, i.e. wings, are necessary even on gravel.” After seeing the times of the ‘winged’ Quattro in practice, Peugeot hastily added new wings to its 205 T16 but still they could not beat Audi and Röhrl that year. A fact, which was also down to Röhrl’s meticulous preparation. “Together with my wife Monika, I drove up the mountain eight times and made my own pace notes. Then I gave each of the 156 corners a specific name and learnt all of them by heart. In contrast to some of my rivals, I knew where I was all the time.” Röhrl is especially delighted that his 1987 winning car is still running today. “It is great to see that Audi takes this unique Audi out of its museum and shows it in action to the audience.”
The Shrine is NOT a commercial operation hence it must rely on advertising and personal donations to help pay the yearly website hosting fees and its operations. If you enjoy the website then I invite you to donate so that it can remain online, free to all. No amount will be too small. Your help will fund the Shrine’s interminable work; past, present, and future, plus giving the people who were behind Group B’s history a proper legacy.
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Sharing the Shrine’s existence through social media or word of mouth will increase all of the above! As always, please do not steal any material from the website, and do support your local historical rally organisations!
I wish to thank every person that supported the Shrine since its beginning, whatever the means. You can expect the work to continue on with the same level of dedication!
—Jay Auger Rally Group B Shrine owner, editor, author
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It was quite surprising to see that two Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Group B homologation road cars were put up at the January 2018 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. What was even more surprising is that these cars were owned and consigned by General Motors. The second car was subsequently relisted in the March 2018 Motostalgia Amelia Island Auction.
This of course warranted some further investigation by the Rally Group B Shrine! The story behind those cars is quite amazing and interesting. A very brief summary is that they were special research and development cars given to Lotus to aid in GM’s development of active systems (including suspension) in the mid-1980’s. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg: PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE SHRINE’S SPECIAL FEATURE!
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.
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!
After receiving a few requests asking me to promote the website on social media, I had a Facebook page (click) created for such a purpose. Truth be told, I am not a social media aficionado but if it can help make the Shrine’s mission better known then all the better. However, I may need your support to “spread the word”. I am certain that you (younger) fellows will know what to do better than I! Please note that no articles will ever be published directly on that Facebook page. For now, its monitoring will be delegated so please keep any contact request in this website. In the future, I might have more time to spend on that venture and may have the website news or other site functions linked over there.
WELCOME TO THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GOLDEN ERA OF RALLYING