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!
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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—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 featured a Group B snippet made of historical footage as to show the dangers of Group B and its cult status amongst fans. This was made possible by the Shrine’s contacts. You’re welcome, mr Jaglin!
On a sadder note, in June, I found out that some bloggers, one in particular from Singapore, had been plagiarising the Shrine’s work and getting high praise for our 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.
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 “RS-B 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.
The Shrine is proud to announce that, months after a request from this website’s owner (yours truly), Audi Tradition has graciously taken measurements and released the official specifications for their 1986 quattro Grüppe S Prototype.
Once again, the car is getting much attention after being displayed at the 2016 Eifel Rallye Festival and more recently at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This release brings an end to major speculations about the car. Audi officially tells that two prototypes were made, which corroborates the previous statement of Roland Gumpert, albeit “IN-YV 71” seems to be the only one remaining. The 2.1L 20v turbocharged 5 cylinder is officially rated at 700 BHP (515 kW). Most amazingly, the top speed is estimated at 300 kmh (186 mph). All of which are befitting of the car’s Group C-esque appearance.
To review the car’s complete story and specifications: CLICK HERE!
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 20-22 2017) Press release 06
ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2017 – Ford Twins, Rare Species & World Debuts
In 2016, Audi Tradition was responsible for a true world premiere at the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival held in Daun and the surrounding Vulkaneifel region. Thirty years after it was built, Audi’s Group S prototype was driven publicly for the very first time and at its wheel was none other than Walter Röhrl. It took part in the so-called “Festival Parade” that tackles only two of the total of eight stages of the demonstration event.
Festival Parade: Toyota debut & Ford twins
Now, Toyota is following suit with a double debut. Firstly, one of the Toyota Group S prototypes based on the MR-2 and called the 222D will take part in this year’s Festival Parade. For chassis 8, owned by Ernst Kopp, it will be the very first rally participation. So far, the mid-engined “Black Beast” was only tested privately by Björn Waldegård in 1986 and later seen on static display.
It will be joined by a completely unknown Toyota that has not even been seen in public. In the 1990s, Toyota Team Europe built two prototypes called “Ideal Successor” or “IS” to follow in the footsteps of the Group A Celicas. The IS-1 was based on the Celica ST185 and will be on static display in the Rally Mile. But IS-2, that was based on the Corolla, will make its maiden trip in front of the public with its owner John Day at the wheel.
It does not stop there as the Festival Parade has even more highlights to offer. Stig Blomqvist and Kalle Grundel will both be reunited with their original Ford RS200 “twins” from the 1986 RAC Rally. Safari Rally legend Mike Kirkland will, like in 2015, take the wheel of “his” Nissan 240RS from the 1983 Safari. Matthieu Tak will bring an Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA which is a hybrid between a race and a rally car from the 1989 Giro d’Italia. And Brian Betteridge will take part in his Ford Escort RS1700T to show how Group B might have looked like if Ford had homologated this prototype.
It is exactly this kind of machinery for which the Festival Parade was created in 2015. It is the home for cars which are either too fragile or too valuable for a full weekend of rallying over more than 100 kms of stages – or perhaps they cannot get approval to be driven on the open road. Thanks to the Parade, they can tackle two stages, the SS “ProWin Hilgerath” on Friday night and the “Kelberger Land” on Saturday.
“As you can see, we will have a great and extremely varied entry in this year’s Eifel Rallye Festival which will get even more diverse thanks to our theme ‘Six Decades of Rallying’. I am sure that everyone will find his favourite rally car in Daun”, says chief organiser Otmar Anschütz. The full entry list of the demonstration event will be revealed on July 1st, 2017.
Festival Exhibition: Safari winners, Pikes Peak monsters and more
In 1972, Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm became the first rally crew from outside East Africa to win the Safari Rally. Their car, a Ford Escort RS1600, has been conserved in such a genuine condition that it was recently granted a Concours d’Elegance prize at the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Even the engine seal from the 1972 Safari scrutineering is still intact. Considering this level of originality, it is a great honour that owner Claude Nahum will be sending this car to Daun and only logical that it does not tackle the demonstration stages. While the Safari-winning car can rest on its laurels, its former crew will take the wheel of another Escort RS1600 works car – the one that was driven by the late Timo Mäkinen at the 1972 RAC Rally that is also from Nahum’s collection.
But the Safari-winning Escort is not the only precious exhibit in Daun. Christoph Schild will put on display the original twin-engined VW Golf from the 1986 Race to the Clouds at Pikes Peak. Two further exhibits coming from Hyundai are a Hyundai Accent WRC and a Coupé Kit Car, the car which was vice-champion in the F2 World Rally Championship of 1999.
Ride of a lifetime: Win a co-drive with Hyundai drivers Neuville and Schwarz
Rally fans visiting the Eifel Rallye Festival have no less than two chances to win a “Ride of their Lifetime” on the shakedown stage during Thursday, July 20th. In cooperation with Hyundai, the organisers will offer one co-drive with Thierry Neuville in the Hyundai i20 WRC and one with Armin Schwarz in a 2003 Hyundai Accent WRC.
“We wanted to give the ordinary rally fan a fair chance to win the co-drive, thus we decided to raffle both rides” says Festival Manager Tim Becker. “For only €5.0, everyone has the chance to win the co-drive alongside Thierry Neuville. Of course, anyone can buy more than one ticket to increase his or her chances.” The amount raised by the raffle will be donated to a local organisation aimed at helping young people in the region and called “Verein zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit im Landkreis Vulkaneifel. e.V.” All details of the raffle can be found here: www.mitfahrt.eifel-rallye-festival.de
The chance for a co-drive with Armin Schwarz is completely free of charge. The ride with the 1996 European Rally Champion in his original Hyundai Accent from the 2003 Monte Carlo Rally will be raffled on the event’s official Facebook page www.facebook.com/EifelRallyeFestival2017. Both raffles will end on June 30th at 23:59 hrs.
Order now: pre-sale for tickets and programmes still running
Up until July 7th, spectators who are keen to visit the Eifel Rallye Festival can obtain their tickets and programmes from the official online shop no matter in what European country they are living. While visiting the ‘Rally Mile’ in the heart of Daun is free of charge, there are various admission tickets needed for those who would like to see the action on the special stages. The range offered goes from one-day tickets right up to full weekend tickets.
The pre-sale of tickets and programmes is open until July 07, 2017 from http://www.eifel-rallye-festival.de/en/rallye-shop.html.
Thursday, 20.07.2017 15:00 – 19:00 hrs Shakedown at the ‘Mantaloch’ in Brück
from 20:30 hrs Welcome Evening in the Rally Mile, Open Air Cinema with film-maker Helmut Deimel
From 08:00 hrs Scrutineering in the Rally Mile 11:00 – 12:00 hrs Autograph Session with the VIP drivers
From 14:20 hrs Hyundai Super Stage with jump, water splash and gravel action
From 19.30 hrs prowin Spectator Stage in Sarmersbach at night Including the ‘Festival Parade’
Saturday, 22.07.2017 08:30 – 17:00 hrs Tarmac Stages in the Vulkaneifel region, inbetween Rally Mile in Daun with various attractions
From 19:00 hrs Rally Party & Prize Giving