Category Archives: Website News

News about the website, its features, or major events are found here.

– All Group B Homologation Papers Now Available!

I am pleased to announce that the FIA has released most homologation papers for public review thanks to the recent popularity of the historic classes and its introduction of the 2017 “Appendix K” regulations.

You can easily find those related to Group B in the HOMOLOGATION LIST of the shrine or in each vehicle’s spec sheet. Simply click on the homologation # to view the PDF file or be redirected to related page in the FIA Historical Database.

This should greatly help those in need of more technical information about the cars!

– ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2017 presents: Six Decades of Rallying

ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival (July 20-22 2017)
Press release 04

ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2017 presents: Six Decades of Rallying

The organisers of the Eifel Rallye Festival, a unique demonstration event for historic rally cars that will be held between July 20th & 22nd, have announced the theme of their 2017 edition. It will celebrate ‘Six Decades of Rallying’ with cars and drivers representing all decades from the 1960s right up until today. This journey in time will begin with a Mercedes 300 SE fintail (Acropolis 1963), a Ford Falcon (Monte Carlo 1964) and a Wartburg 312 (Acropolis 1966) and, passing through the intervening decades, will end with a modern Hyundai i20 WRC driven by Thierry Neuville. Of course, the Festival will, in completing the journey, also feature cars from all the other categories such as Group 4, Group B, Group A and early two-litre WRC cars.

Apart from the cars coming from six decades, the Festival will also welcome their crews. Gunnar Palm, who has just turned eighty already won the 1963 Monte Carlo as co-driver to Erik Carlsson, and will represent the 1960s while he could also have a hand in the 1970s when he won the London-Mexico and East African Safari with Hannu Mikkola. Mikkola himself might lay claim to the 1980s as he was World Rally Champion with Audi in 1983, but he made his name in the 1970s by winning events as diverse as the London-Mexico, the East African Safari, the 1000 Lakes and the RAC Rally. While Mikkola represents the 1970s, it was the 1980s when Kalle Grundel became German Rally Champion in 1985 in a Peugeot 205 T16 and then a WRC works driver with Ford in an RS200. The 1990s were the heyday of Armin Schwarz’s career who drove for Toyota winning the WRC Catalunya Rally in 1991 and being crowned European Rally Champion in 1996. The first decade of the twenty-first century is represented by Matthias Kahle who won five of his seven German Championship titles in this time-frame driving for Skoda most of the time. And today’s rally scene is, of course, represented by current vice World Champion Thierry Neuville.

Apart from those six drivers, the Eifel Rallye Festival will also have one very special person present who won rallies in all of those six decades. Stig Blomqvist started his amazing winning streak in the 1960s in local rallies in Sweden. He then won the Swedish Rally seven times between 1971 and 1984, the same year that he was crowned World Rally Champion, and was victorious most recently on the 2015 East African Safari Classic Rally.

“The ‘Six Decades of Rallying’ will not only come alive on the rally stages since it will also be the theme for the ‘Welcome Evening’ on Thursday night”, says Chief Organiser, Otmar Anschütz. “Our VIP drivers representing the six decades will share their stories from their time in rallying.” All this will be illustrated with short video clips made by well-known Austrian film-maker Helmut Deimel. The Rally Mile in Daun will certainly be bustling with drivers and spectators on Thursday night especially since the entry list is nearly full already. “We have already received more than 120 entries of our maximum of 140 and when you look at the entries, you can see that the Eifel Rallye Festival is becoming more and more international”, says Reinhard Klein the man in charge of the Slowly Sideways group.

This large field of historic cars will be led round by Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai i20 WRC zero-car. This will not be his first visit to Daun for the 28-year-old Belgian who was born in St. Vith – just an hour’s drive away from Daun. “I have visited the Festival a couple of times especially when my friends were driving there. It has a great atmosphere, nice stages and good spectator areas.” To see the precious historic cars and their drivers in action makes Neuville smile: “Probably not all the drivers are the best in the world but this gives you more time to see the cars in action.” The current vice World Champion is especially fond of the Group B cars. “I would like to try them once to see how the handling is compared to our WRC cars of today.”

For his first outing as a driver in the Eifel Rallye Festival, Neuville promises that: “I am coming to make a good show.” The Belgian will host some guest co-drivers during the Shakedown on Thursday and try to make his Hyundai i20 WRC fly on the Hyundai Super Stage on Friday afternoon. His last stage will be the Prowin Spectator Stage on Friday night before Neuville will have to leave the event thanks to other commitments.

Order now: pre-sale for tickets and programmes has started
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 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.

Eifel Rallye Festival – Time Table

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

Friday, 21.07.2017
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

More information on: www.eifel-rallye-festival.de

Visit us: http://www.facebook.com/EifelRallyeFestival2017

Use our hashtag: #EifelRallyeFestival

– New Partnerships and Collaborations (including TV!)

MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR

Some of you may think that this website is nothing but another mere Group B fan site but if browsing the 200 pages is not enough then maybe the following will convince you otherwise!

Besides the heavy personal time consuming investment I have made so far in building the website, writing the articles, improving them with intensive research, and making acquaintances along the way, I am proud to announce recent partnerships and collaborations with various parties!

Of course, I had already mentioned that the Shrine’s Ford Escort RS1700T article was proudly featured in the February 2017 issue of Pacenotes Rally Magazine.

I had also mentioned that I personally have been helping UK author Bill Munro with research for his upcoming book about the Ferguson Formula 4WD system (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.

My small scrape with the Klein family 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. All very nice people!

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. I merely host the material on the website but my recent relationships meant that I was able to put the producers into contact with the needed parties. Free of charge, needless to say, but if Karma wishes for me to get some form of recompense then I wouldn’t refuse it, obviously.

Anyhow, I am happy to report that I have helped a well known American TV car show and its producer acquire the desired material about Group B. That particular show will soon feature a Group B car along with a snippet of historical footage. I will be disclosing the name of the show in question after the episode becomes available.

I have also been busy searching for opportunities to help finance the hosting fees of the website. So far, all “advertisements” shown are a free courtesy to the related parties since I am more interested in making friends at this point. However, upon the advice of one of my new acquaintances, I have signed up the website to be part of various Affiliates programs to help promote Group B literature and other related items.

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 will help support the Shrine and my unending work. However, I expect revenue from these ventures to be rather humble but I am more interested in the educational value since history is best preserved through knowledge and education.

That being said, any self-respecting Group B fan should at minimum own this book by John Davenport and Reinhard Klein:

 Group B – The rise and fall of rallying’s wildest cars

It has helped me, among other publications, to perfect the knowledge I already possessed about the amazing era that Group B was!

Otherwise, there is the “CollectiblesAmazon Associates stores, which after painful hours of using the search button for Group B related material, also includes the same books but also other items such as DVDs, calendars, model cars, and miscellaneous stuff. I don’t expect much from these at all but I guess I could be surprised. By the way, the stores are in no way an endorsement from myself to these products or to the people who make them.

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“. Again, this is mostly in an academic nature for me simply to please those too lazy to read a book, but not forgetting the obvious entertainment value of watching Group B cars tear up the countryside.

In all, even with recent donations, I am still far short of financing the annual website hosting fees. It’s at about 15% covered right now but the way things are going I am looking ahead with confidence.

So, after all of this, is the Shrine a simple fan site? I’d dare to be proud to say that it’s one heck of a niche site built by passion and sacrifice (sorry honey for monopolizing the computer so often). Oh and no, it’s not finished. Far from it! It seems like everything is just starting to take shape. Maybe I should quit my day job…

Jay Auger
Rally Group B Shrine owner & author

– Limitations to the Shrine’s Visual Library

AUTHOR’S MESSAGE

Some of you are maybe asking yourselves why isn’t there more period correct pictures on this website? The reason is very simple: copyright… and my willingness to respect it.

When starting the Rally Group B Shrine project 3 years ago (the first two years were on my personal blog), I, as are most of you, felt placidly entitled to everything that was publicly accessible from the internet. As such, I used a lot of pictures (from image searches) that I fully ignored had been already stolen and unlawfully copied from the copyright owner. One such amazing visual database is the property of the McKlein Publishing company, made famous by the amazing work of Reinhard Klein.

I recently came into contact with the Klein family after purchasing more Group B related books from their publishing house. I was proud to share the work I had done on this website by proposing some sort of cooperation. However this was soon thwarted since I had been unknowingly featuring some of their copyrighted pictures in the website. I already fully respected claims to copyright (and willingly shared sources for attribution as fully explained in the website’s disclaimer) so I offered many options to “make it right”. Even if the Kleins were not happy of the situation I was told that they didn’t plan retribution against fan sites (such as this one) and to “forget it”.

However, this caused a conflict in my own personal ethics as I too do not like when I stumble upon my work elsewhere on the internet (which is mostly always blatantly lacking proper attribution). Furthermore, the Shrine is becoming VERY popular hence making the chance that the McKlein library be unlawfully spread on the internet an exponential problem. As such, I have undertaken 100% voluntarily the time consuming task of hunting down every picture from the McKlein Publishing house that was featured in the website, even if that meant losing much of the period correct pictures and vastly diminishing the quality of the Shrine’s visual library. It took much concentration and hours of research but the work is done!

However, all is well since I received good word from the Kleins that I will be allowed to display their Eifel Rallye Festival image database that features modern high resolution pictures of Group B & S cars. Look for these images to be implemented in the website as I continue the 2017’s full article revamps! Again, I wish to extend my apologies and thanks to the Klein family.

That being said, please be conscious and respect other people’s work: do not copy or redistribute any kind of information or media without first asking permission! P.S.: No watermark or copyright sign on a picture or text doesn’t mean it is not copyrighted!

– 2016 Shrine Retrospective

A WORD FROM THE WEBSITE OWNER

(fun website stats after)

In early 2016, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when transferring the Rally Group B Shrine from my personal blog to this dedicated website. After all, I wasn’t able to find another Group B specific website as complete than my creation, which is the fruit of hundreds of hours of personal research, so I had no way to compare. In February, after the transfer was complete, the search engine crawls of the newly launched website were very slow. I did my best to help the shrine appear higher in search engines in hopes to one day appear in the first page of Group B searches. Progress was slow but yet promising since the shrine was gaining an additional 500 visitors per subsequent month. Then it settled a bit… Would the shrine be stuck in the mud below lesser incomplete websites about Group B?

Unexpectedly, the 2016 edition of the Eifel Rally Festival, which was also a special event to honor the 30th year of the ultimate Group B year (1986), happened to feature a surprise car that most people had never seen or heard of before:

2016 Eifel Rallye Festival copyright: McKleincopyright free for media use
Audi Sport quattro “Gruppe S”

The Audi Sport’s Gruppe S Prototype. Thankfully, I had heard of it before that event, and the car already had a full page dedicated to it, thus making people who were searching to learn more about this car eventually land on the shrine. The website’s progression hasn’t stopped since: now attracting about 4000 visitors per month and still growing. While that number may seem low to some people, it must be noted that the shrine is not promoted anywhere else on social media. Furthermore, Group B only targets a specific audience of nostalgic rally fans or new ones simply curious about the era.

When I consider how much work as already been done to the shrine, I often wonder how I was able to find the time to do it! Currently, this is totally pro bono for me as well, which is rarer these days as everyone wants to get something out of everything. That being said, I wish to thank the few information contributors that I’ve had the pleasure to learn more from over the past year. Also, I wish to thank the 3 people (out of the 23,403 visitors) that found in their heart to contribute a single dollar (to which PayPal took 34% in fees) to help me continue my efforts!

As you know, the shrine is only at a fraction of the vision I have for it. I am close to finding decent partners to further help me down that road. You can expect the shrine to keep expanding and improving in 2017! Hopefully, it will gain respect as a valid source of information about Group B, which for me is all the reward I’d ever want.

Thank you for your trust!

Jay Auger

Website owner & author


2016 / Rally Group B Shrine Fun Facts!

Here’s the least and most popular drivers and cars on the website for this past year based on visitor analytics!

LEAST POPULAR DRIVER (41 views):

How can the 1986 Tour de Corse winner and 1981 French Rally champion be the least popular? Who knows! You can change that for 2017 by learning more about his Group B career HERE!

MOST POPULAR DRIVER (282 views):

Was Group B really only “For Men”? Juha, I’m looking at you! In any case, this fast and furious lady almost won Group B’s inaugural drivers championship (1982), being only edged out by Walter Röhrl himself. In any case, Michèle, you’re the shrine’s 2016 winner!

LEAST POPULAR CAR (RX cars excluded / 256 views):

talbot-sunbeam-lotus

Ironic that the very car which gave Talbot the last Group 4 WRC manufacturer championship in 1981 would be the least popular. Although admittedly the car was simply a carryover in Group B and was soon forgotten…

MOST POPULAR CAR (3,239 views):

audi-gruppe-s-prototype-quarter-front

This result is most likely directly linked with its first public appearance ever at the 2016 Eifel Rally Festival. Hopefully, Audi will let it out again in the future.

In its history, this car had everything going against it from the very start but at the same time it would have been the most fearsome contender to lay siege to the original draft of Group S, if it had ever happened.

Since this shrine is first and foremost a Group B website, it wouldn’t feel right to at least acknowledge the most popular actual Group B car of 2016 (2,124 views / 147 wallpaper downloads):

Jubilaeumsmagazin Motorsport

Is it really surprising that it is also the car with the most downloaded pictures? For most people, the S1 E2 is THE car that is synonymous with Group B. It is quite the achievement if you consider that it only participated in 6 WRC rallies before Audi pulled out after the incidents at the 1986 Portugal rally. While the car turned out not to be the most successful, that matters little compared to how it was able to strike at and stimulate the imagination of the fans; its wild aerodynamic aids was the stuff of dreams, its high flights and twitchy handling the stuff of nightmares, and…. did I forget something? Ah yes, its unmistakable sound the maestro of symphonies which has never seen an equal since.

People remember it for being the most spectacular fire-spitting Group B car to watch and hear; its engine was the most powerful and the driving style needed to make fast times was always on the edge. All of which can’t be much debated no matter if the S1 E2 is your favorite rally car or not! I highly doubt that the Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 will ever be dethroned from its quintessential Group B car pedestal…

COUNTRY WITH THE MOST VISITORS (8,650 views):

  • United Kingdom

I was a bit surprised but then again not when you consider that them jolly good blokes are the most fanatic fans of just about everything, including Group B. Hopefully, you lads don’t mind me using American English when writing in my website! However, I promise to be using both styles in my page revisions. Prepare to see more bonnets on top of hoods and more wings on the fenders instead of on the spoilers!

That being said, I wish a happy 2017 to every Group B fans out there, and don’t forget to attend retro/legend rally events!

– Eifel Rallye Festival 2016 Honors the 30th Anniversary of Group B’s Ultimate Year

2016 marks the 30th of the ultimate and last competition year of Group B (1986). As such, the Eifel Rallye Festival in Germany will host more than 60 Group B and S cars over the event that debuted today and continues throughout the 23rd. Many past champions will be in attendance such as Walter Röhrl, Miki Biasion, Stig Blomqvist, and more!

Eifel Rallye Festival 2016

Especially for the event, Audi has dusted off and completed their Sport quattro RS 002 Group S prototype. They will be joined by other Group S machines; Ford with the RS200S, Toyota with a pair of 222Ds, and Opel/Vauxhall with the Astra 4S.

This will be by far THE event to attend for any and all Group B & S fans!

If you will be in attendance and wish to write an article and/or post pictures of the event, feel free to contact me to let me know!

2016 Eifel Rallye Festival

– Is it Spelled Quattro or quattro? The Definitive Answer!

It is no secret that the correct way to spell Audi’s legendary four wheel drive rally car has been the subject to much interpretation and debate since the invention of the internet: is it “Quattro” or “quattro”?

Upon my own research when launching this informative website, I could not find a definitive answer myself as many other websites and articles that looked professionally written often had discrepancies too. Hence, I could only rely on some kind of logic of and deduce that the car was the “Quattro” and the four/all wheel drive system the “quattro”. I went forth and wrote all my articles under that principle.

Not long ago, one of my articles about Audi’s rally car was linked on Facebook where it caught the eye of a particular person. It turns out to be that this person took the way that the name of the car was written at heart. I received an email via this website’s contribution page that felt very spirited to say the least. Upon resolving a slight “fender-bender” with that person, I sent out to find the definitive answer in hopes to close the matter and preserve history in a correct fashion.

For full disclosure, here’s the email that I have sent to Audi Corporate Archives in Germany:

Hello,

I am the creator of a website dedicated to the Group B era of rallying: https://rallygroupbshrine.org/ and as you are surely aware Audi played a huge role in the history of that era.

I am contacting you today because of discrepancies in how the name of the Audi Quattro (the first car model from 1980 to 1991, sometimes referred to as "urQuattro") is spelled throughout the internet. If you would be so kind to forward this email to anyone in department that is familiar with the history of the Q/quattro and could provide me with all the correct answers.

Some sources say that "Quattro" with a capital "Q" refers to the car model while "quattro" with a small "q" refers to the four wheel drive system. However, some say that the car itself is spelled "Audi quattro" with a small "q"?

The problem thickens when it comes to the Audi Sport Quattro (1983 special homologation model). Some say that it should be written "Audi sport quattro" with a small "s" and a small "q". Furthermore, when it comes to the rally (evolution) model, some sources say that it shouldn't be written "Audi Sport Quattro S1" but should simply be written "Audi Quattro S1". Lastly, for the second evolution model, there is yet another discrepancy with the moniker "S1 E2" or "S1/E2"?

It is important to me that the names are correctly written in my website as it is for historical preservation purposes.

Best regards,

--Jay Auger

Here’s the official reply from Audi:

Dear Mr. Auger,

Thank you for your inquiry which was forwarded to the Audi Corporate Archives.

The official spelling is always quattro with a small “q” referring to the car model (= Audi quattro, although there have been some press releases in the early 1980s containing Quattro with a capital “Q”) as well as to the four wheel drive system in general.

Correspondingly, it’s also Audi Sport quattro referring to the series version and Audi Sport quattro S1 referring to the rally version. Concerning the evolution model of this car with the big spoilers (as it has been used in the 1985 Rallye Sanremo by Walter Röhrl, for example), there is no official spelling. It can be Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 as well as Audi Sport quattro S1/E2 or Audi Sport quattro S1 (E2).

We hope we have been able to help you with this information.


Kind regards

Audi Tradition / Corporate Archives

(contact data removed at the request of sender)

So here’s the quick rundown;

  • The car is the “Audi quattro
  • The four/all wheel drive system is the “quattro” or “Audi’s quattro system” (if used in a sentence)
  • The special Group B short wheelbase homologation / series model is the “Audi Sport quattro
  • The rally car version of the latter is the “Audi Sport quattro S1
  • There is no official spelling format for the “E2” version

I hope this makes it clearer for everyone! All of the website has since been updated to respect the spelling.

Special thanks to Erwin A. Brouwer for contacting me about this topic and to Audi Tradition / Corporate Archives for taking the time to reply to my queries.