(The page you’ve tried to access may have been redirected here for an appeal to your generosity)
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE OWNER
Greetings Group B fans,
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the planned closure of the Rally Group B Shrine website at the end of the year if we don’t receive the necessary assistance. This amazing 190+ page encyclopedia of Group B history we worked so hard on will be gone!
I’ll be blunt: the organisation has never received the proper financial support from Group B fans and related rally communities since its beginnings in 2014. In fact, we haven’t had more than one or two yearly donations in the past 4 years, not to mention that every fundraiser failed miserably and, besides reactivating cookie-based ads, we are far short of paying the annual website hosting fees.
We’re also not counting other expenses related to supporting Group B events on the ground and helping other projects such as restorations and media productions – most of which we volunteered to do because we are passionate about Group B history and didn’t feel like a paycheck should be attached to it.
As such, I never had a choice but to plunder my personal funds to keep the operations going and, quite contrary to what some of you may think, I am FAR from being rich. In fact, all of my life savings are now sunk and I sadly cannot continue without risking losing my personal assets. All of this despite working on many jobs and the Shrine for a combined 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the last 20 years without a single day’s vacation… yet I’m still almost 4 years behind on updating and improving the website plus other related projects such as my solo efforts in North America (the rest of the team is in Europe). The breaking point has been reached financially, emotionally and physically (we’re not getting younger).
I believe that most of the problem lies within the sense of entitlement that 99.9% of people have about the information that they find online, without thinking for a second that what they are reading AND enjoying on their screens has come from years of hard work and sacrifice. Yes, that’s probably you, but most won’t have read this far.
The organisation has many times also been victims of poachers that have stolen our content and claimed it for their own – endless battles that monopolised the entirety of our time for a long while. This means that the quality product that the Rally Group B Shrine represented is now very much diluted. Furthermore, events and media projects also take a lot of effort; these things don’t simply sprout out of the ground for you to sit back and enjoy. Yes, I’m still talking about YOU, the reader.
The Rally Group B Shrine organisation itself will most likely soldier on behind the scenes but we’ll be looking into setting up a premium service for the website in the next year or two. Although on a personal note I am very saddened to attach a price to history and knowledge… but you have left us with little choice!
That being said, I must thank our little team of passionate people that, besides the strife that life puts us through on a daily basis, have given time and effort to the Rally Group B Shrine’s cause this past decade. With luck, we can look to greener pastures ahead.
YOU can still show your appreciation of the immense efforts we have put in by donating with the link below… but you won’t if the past is any indication – prove me wrong!
We do however wish to thank the handful of kind souls that have supported us throughout the years.
–Jay Auger Rally Group B Shrine owner, chief editor and main author
Supporting the Eifel Rallye Festival has always been a priority at the Rally Group B Shrine. Here’s a partial list and short description of the Group B cars, Group S and related prototypes that are registered to take part in this year’s festivities;
Renault Maxi 5 Turbo – 1986, Gr. B – Neil Brighton/Peter Fidalgo
This Renault was built already in 1996 with many original parts and new fabrication where necessary at a time when it was not popular to copy group B cars. Arguably the earliest and most accurate recreation of a Maxi Turbo.
Audi quattro A2 – 1984, Gr. B – Thomas Aigner/Andreas Zeidler
This Audi quattro was converted from a production car into a copy of the 1984 factory car by the Reichert company in 2006 and drove in HB livery at slowly sideways for a few years. In 2010, it was sold to Greece where it was driven by Vasileios Velanis before returning to Walter Münch in Germany in 2014.
Opel Kadett 400 – 1984, Gr. Prototyp – Steven Kaiser/Volker Hess
Apart from Group B rallying, Henk van der Linde had always been a fan of the Opel 400-series (Ascona and Manta). When he heard at the beginning of the new century that there had also been a “Kadett 400” project, Van der Linde wanted to know more and started tracing these vehicles but unfortunately did not find much information.
Renault 5 Turbo – 1984, Gr. B – Markus Trapp/Sebastian Trapp
This Renault came as a Turbo 2 in 2003 from France to Germany and was modified to Tour de Corse spec which meant different front suspension and coil spring and damper units instead of the torsion bar suspension.
Nissan 240RS – 1983, Gr. B – Achim Loth/Paulo de Moura
This car (chassis 006) is one of three Nissan 240RS that, in 2008, were brought from Kenya to Germany for participation in Slowly Sideways events. Unfortunately, the restoration process was not quite as easy as had been hoped because there are hardly any spare parts to find anywhere in the world, all 240RS parts seem to have vanished.
Audi quattro A2 – 1983, Gr. B – Rainer Lohr/Jacqueline Franz
Rainer Lohr owns this quattro since the year 2000 and began in 2005 to rebuild it into a copy of the Audi quattro that Hannu Mikkola drove in Corsica in 1983.
Renault 5 Turbo – 1984, Gr. B – Christian Klein/Eric Marnette
Christian Klein bought this R5 Turbo in 2013 when it was still in the French Rally Group F configuration, but had not been raced for years and was not in good condition.
Opel Ascona 400 – 1983, Gr. B – Andreas Hoppe/Ramona Hoppe
This is the third Ascona 400 that came back from East Africa in 2009 to Germany where it was restored during one year to perfect original condition by Andreas Hoppe and his friends.
Opel Manta 400 – 1985, Gr. B – Frank Höhner/Michael Stoffel
In 2022, Frank Höhner took over this Manta 400, which was built from a road car by the Wolf family. With regard to the paintwork, this Opel represents the car that Guy Frequelin drove in the French championship in 1985.
John Wheeler is the spiritual father of the RS200 and through 1984 to 1986 as Chief Engineer for Ford Motorsport was responsible for the design and development of the RS200 for both road and rally applications.
Audi quattro A2 – 1984, Gr. B – Jürgen Reeb/Christopher Hick
It took Jürgen Reeb two years (2011 to 2013) to build this Audi quattro A2 rally car. After the restoration, it was displayed on several events in Europe and also used on the 2013 edition of the Deutschland Classic.
Opel Manta 400 – 1986, Gr. B – Sascha Kaiser/Joshua Hess
The Kaiser family tried to find the original Hero Manta 400, but unfortunately remained unsuccessful. Finally, in 2015, a normal standard Manta was completely disassembled and faithfully recreated as Manfred Hero’s car. Many parts came from the warehouse of the Kaiser family’s Opel collection.
Toyota Celica Twincam Turbo – 1986, Gr. B – Gerd Dicks/Dani Portela
As for many years he ran the engine workshop at TEE and later at TMG in Cologne, it is only logical that quite early on Gerd Dicks secured himself one of the cars they built and so this Celica TCT has been in the Dicks family for more than twenty years.
Lancia Delta S4 – 1985, Gr. B – Rolf Wyss/Oswald Backes
Rolf Wyss found this Lancia Delta S4 in Italy as a rolling chassis without engine and gearbox. The chassis number 151 did not indicate that it had pursued a motorsport career since usually numbers smaller than 200 were used for the road-going S4s with numbers over 200 reserved for the Group B competition cars.
Lancia Rallye 037 – 1984, Gr. B – Robert Whitehouse/Yvonne Mehta
This Lancia 037 came to the UK in 1995 and was restored by Gareth Williams of Sweep Motorsport including its original Olio-Fiat livery. It is owned and driven by Rob Whitehouse, a New Zealander who lives in London.
Audi Sport quattro – 1984, Gr. B – Dermott Simpson/David Johnston
Several years ago, Dermott Simpson bought the original Sport quattro (chassis RS02) which was driven by Michèle Mouton on the RAC Rally of 1984. Then came the problem: What to do when you try to conserve the works car as good as possible and at the same time like to drive it on special stages. But Dermott came up with a solution.
Audi Sport quattro S1 – 1984, Gr. B – Claude Millet/Theo Millet
Claude Millet drove for three years in the Peugeot 205 Rallyecrosscup and thus is used to motorsport. As he could not find an original Sport quattro, he built this car out of a long quattro himself. It took him ten years to find all the parts needed or to remake the ones missing and about 1500 hours of labour went into this project.
Renault 5 Turbo – 1984, Gr. B – Frank Hachmann/Sven Flöter
This Renault 5 Turbo is owned by Frank Hachmann since 1992 and was completely rebuilt between 2003 and 2005. The engine has 1397cc and with an engine kit from Renault Sport and a Devil exhaust delivers 200bhp.
MG Metro 6R4 – 1986, Gr. B – Patrick Berghaus/Karin John
Father and son Berghaus upgraded their 6R4 from a near standard Clubman spec car to this reliable 350 bhp strong Clarion-Metro and copied the 6R4 as used on the Hunsrück Rally in 1986.
Audi quattro A1 – 1983, Gr. B – Michael Brechmann/Andreas Hachmann
This Audi came from Dubai in pretty poor condition with two other quattros and was restored to competition standard by Kessel and the engine by Lehmann. In 2016 and 2017 it was still rallying with Michael Hinderer in the Mitropa Cup in Germany before Michael Brechmann took it over.
Peugeot 205T16 – 1985, Gr. B – Ludwig Biewen/Robert Bornträger
This Peugeot 205 T16 remained with Peugeot Germany in Saarbrücken for many years after 1985 and later in Cologne when the company moved and merged with Citroen. It was often exhibited in public. However, Peugeot was not in a position to prepare it ready to drive and finally sold it to Ludwig Biewen.
Lancia Rallye 037 – 1983, Gr. B – John Saunders/
The car was found in a museum in Las Vegas having sat on display for nearly 25 years following its sale from the factory. Although non-running, the car was superbly untouched and original and has just completed a comprehensive but carefully sympathetic two-year restoration.
Porsche 911 SCRS – 1984, Gr. B – Wolfgang Inhester/Rita Inhester
The former German Rally Champion Codriver Wolfgang H. Inhester took a Porsche 911 SC 3.0 from 1983 to transform it as close as possible to a copy of the SC/RS that Henri Toivonen drove to victory on the Costa Smeralda Rally in 1984.
Audi Sport quattro S1E2 – 1985, Gr. B – Klaus Herchenbach/Felix Herchenbach
Since there are only very few original Sport quattro E2, Klaus Herchenbach had no choice but to consider a copy. With Dirk Schauf in Thuringia a specialist was finally found who could realize that project. The body was built from the front end of an Audi 80, the floor of the Urquattro and the rear section of the quattro Coupé.
Lancia Rallye 037 – 1985, Gr. B – Pat Horan/Noelle Horan
This Lancia 037 chassis 131 was first prepared by Beppe Volta to Evo 1 specifications and registered already in 1982. It was than used by Sergio Barbero in 1983 in the Italian Championship. In 1984 it was active by Beppe Volta as a test car for Cunico and Vudafieri and than upgraded to Evo 2 spec.
Audi Sport quattro Pikes Peak – 1987, Gr. Prototyp – Coen Donkers/
In the Dutch town of Veghel, Coen Donkers runs his own Audi workshop and apart from repairing road cars he specialized in the replication of famous rally cars. His favourite cars have always been the Sport quattro, the winged Sport quattro E2 and also the Pikes Peak version of the E2 driven by Walter Röhrl in 1987.
Once more the Rally Group B Shrine proudly supports the Eifel Rallye Festival!
This year’s ADAC Eifel Rally Festival (July 27th/29th, 2023) will be marked by many anniversaries from the history of rallying. The entry list of the largest rolling rally museum can accept a maximum of one hundred and fifty cars. This list has long been fully booked and illustrates these anniversaries as well as the great rally classics.
Around Daun in the Vulkaneifel there will be ‘moving’ memories of Alpine Renault and their title victory in the first World Rally Championship in 1973. Jean Rédélé from Dieppe started in 1953 with his Alpine light-weight cars based on chassis from Renault.
Renault joined the privateer in 1966, and the new Alpine-Renault produced 150 hp at the rear axle with an engine of 1,600 cc. Following Jean-Claude Andruet’s title in the 1970 European Championship, the Alpine A110 was further developed and in 1973 produced a whopping 180 hp from its 1,800 cc engine. Renault also took a majority stake in the company, but continued to rely on Rédélé’s management. In its traditional dark-blue metallic livery, the A110 won in Monte Carlo and Portugal, while cars in the new blue-red-white livery won in Morocco, Greece, Sanremo and Corsica.
The Eifel Rally Festival commemorates the very first WRC title in rally history with four original vehicles. Two 1,300cc versions from 1971, the 1,800 version from late 1973 and the 1974 car with larger wheel arches for the Tour de Corse.
Ten years later, exactly forty years ago, Lancia won the manufacturer title in the WRC. The Lancia Rally 037 had been homologated in April 1982 as one of the first cars under Group B regulations. After its apprenticeship and development year, the 037 was ready for the 1983 season in which, right from the start, the Audi Quattro was one of the favourites. With Lancia’s perfect organisation, reliability and cleverness, the 037 won the Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, Acropolis, New Zealand and Sanremo rallies, and was rewarded with the manufacturer World Championship title. It was the last victory of a lightweight rear-wheel drive car with a supercharged engine against the newly developed cars with four-wheel drive and turbocharging. Four of these rare 037s will be on display at the Eifel Rally Festival, each in the colours of their then sponsors, namely, Martini Racing, Totip, Würth and Olio Fiat.
A puzzle to find enough pitches in the service park
“It’s a problem, but one we are very happy to have to face,” says organisation manager Otmar Anschütz from the organising MSC Daun. Together with Reinhard Klein, who is responsible for putting together the field of participants, they are sounding out every possible parking space for service areas in and around the Rally Mile and fighting for every centimetre to allow as many entrants as possible to start. “We have already informed the participants that they can only use the space provided and no more. Working together, we may just manage to be able to create a service and parking space for some of those on the waiting list,” Klein explains.
The Neuville brothers in a trio
Last year, WRC star Thierry Neuville thrilled the fans with his private Peugeot 306 Maxi and won the ‘screamer’ classification. Due to the preparations for the WRC round in Finland, Neuville cannot be at the start this time but says that: “After the testing, I will come back from Finland so at least I can be there as a spectator in Daun”. His eyes will certainly be on his two younger brothers, who will be driving cars from his private collection. Yannick Neuville will drive an original Citroën DS3 WRC, but it is not yet finalised which car Tom Heindrichs, the youngest of the Neuville brothers, will bring to the start.
The list of well-known participants in this class reunion of historic rallying is getting bigger and bigger. Former World Champion Stig Blomqvist will bring one of the rarities from the Audi Tradition collection to the Eifel, as will Harald Demuth. Nikolaus ‘Niki’ Schelle will be back at the start in the Suzuki Ignis Super 1600 with which he had an audible comparison with Neuville for the ‘screamer’ classification last year.
The anniversary of Alpine-Renault has also attracted Jean-Pierre Nicolas to Daun. The long-time works driver for the ‘Blues’ contributed to the brand’s 1973 World Championship title with his victory in Corsica. In 1972, he won the Olympia Rally between Kiel and Munich in an A110. After his active career, the Frenchman was team boss at the Peugeot works team, where he celebrated World Championship titles in 2000 and 2002 with driver Marcus Grönholm.
Eifel Rally Festival 2011-2022 – The definitive book
The official book about the first ten editions of the Eifel Rally Festival is not just a simple chronicle. With the stars of the scene from the past and present and with the most beautiful original cars and replicas from rally history, it is, so to speak, a Who’s Who of the sport. Within its pages are the highlights from ten years of the Festival with cars that are normally never seen outside museums, such as the Group S Audi, the rebuilt Safari Stratos and exotics ranging from the Jidé to the Clan Crusader.
There is a unique cross-section of rally history with the older classics from Mini and Volvo PV544 to Group 4 legends like the Stratos and the Ascona 400, not forgetting the amazing Group B monsters, the stars of Group A from Lancia to Subaru as well as the spectacular World Rally Cars. The bilingual texts (German and English) and the many photos in the 300-page work are completed by numerous tables and lists of starters and cars from the ten years. The foreword is written by long-time patron Walter Röhrl in which he recalls his own impressions of the Festival.
Welcome Evening in the Rally Mile, Open-air rally cinema with cult filmmaker Helmut Deimel
Friday, July 28th, 2023
From 08:00 hrs
Vehicle scrutineering, Rally Mile in Daun
11:00 – 12:00
Autograph session with many stars
Hochkelberg Two, by night
Saturday, July 29th, 2023
08:30 – 16:00
Asphalt stages in the Volcano Eifel
In between the stages
Rally Mile Daun with many attractions
Rally party with honours and prize giving
Advance sale of programme booklets and tickets has started
In order to optimise the distribution and to extend the offer, the sale of the programme booklet and the tickets will be organised via the RallyWebShop this year. This makes it possible for the first time to offer day tickets in advance as well as weekend tickets. In addition, the RallyWebShop offers a variety of payment options such as PayPal or credit card. Here is the link to the different ordering options in the RallyWebShop:
The film will focus on the last three rallies of the 1986 season and subsequently the end of the Group B era. With brand new interviews, the documentary’s centre of attention will be on the fierce competition between Juha Kankkunen and Markku Alén, to determine the World Drivers Championship and how that championship was overturned ten days later in France. We will also reveal the stories behind the scenes from co-drivers Juha Piironen and Ilkka Kivimaki, and Lancia-Martini Team Boss, Cesare Fiorio, and Peugeot Talbot Sport Director and former FIA President Jean Todt. The documentary will also feature historic rally footage as well as never before seen photographs. Currently, the running time is planned to be between 60 and 90 minutes – depending on the final budget.
There is a sense of urgency for projects such as this, because nobody is getting younger and securing the extraordinary stories from the people that made the era we all cherish is paramount. After these persons are gone, so will their untold stories and anecdotes. That is why documentaries like this are of prime importance and are in need of everyone’s support!
Please enjoy this 3-minute trailer:
The crowdfunding campaign is set-up so you can choose between donation “perks” ideal for collectors and die-hard fans of these legendary drivers, Group B and rallying, such as access to live-streaming, autographed copies of memorabilia and more! Donations of any amount, big or small, are also accepted. This is YOUR chance to be a part of, and own a piece of Group B history!
THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN HAS ENDED BUT YOU CAN STILL LEND A HAND IN THIS PROJECT: CONTACT US
The Rally Group B Shrine proudly supports the ADAC Eifel Rallye Festival 2022: 10th anniversary of the Eifel Rallye Festival from July 21 – 23, celebrating 50 years of the World Rally Championship.
“All good things come in threes und now the anniversary will finally be celebrated! Following the two cancelations in 2020 and 2021 due to Corona, the celebration of the 10th anniversary will now take place from 21 to 23 July 2022. Like at the nine previous events, around 160 automobile witnesses from 50 years of rally history will let fans delve into this fascinating sport on the festival weekend. Participants and fans are already shuffling their feet, the city of Daun and the surrounding Vulkaneifel are looking forward to the ‘class reunion of the international rally sport’!
Another anniversary will be part of the festival weekend: The World Rally Championship will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022. “During the forced break, we worked hard and had many discussions about this special occasion. As always, we only publish things when they are fixed, but fans can look forward to a lot of great surprises”, promises Reinhard Klein (Cologne), who is responsible for the composition of the starting field. International interest in the festival seems to have increased once again. Slowly Sideways Teams from the Iberian Peninsula “want to travel to the Eifel with at least one car transporter full of original or true to original replicas of classic rally cars”.
Already announced twice, here are the news on the anniversary starting with a new Shakedown near Bodenbach and a completely new stage on Friday to an additional highlight on Saturday, the anniversary festival will offer many new perspectives to fans and participants. The cornerstones of the event will remain: “We like to hold on to the tried and tested but add additional attractions for participants and fans”, says head of organization, Otmar Anschütz (Daun). Excitement prior to the festival year is increasing among drivers, fans, and the entire classic car community.
The official WRC celebrations will take place in May during the WRC round in Portugal where the Eifel Rallye Festival will be represented by a delegation of selected cars from the Slowly Sideways circle, which will thrill the fans with their demonstration drives on the WRC stages. Subsequent to that, the ‘full programme’ of WRC history will be on offer in the Vulkaneifel in July. “Together with our field of participants and the fans, we will bring the history and stories of fifty years of the World Rally Championship back to life,” promises Reinhard Klein, who as the man in charge of Slowly Sideways, is responsible for putting together the starting lists for both dates.
A video clip is in preparation as an appetiser and to get in the mood for both anniversaries at the Eifel Rallye Festival, the Zeroundersteer team has put together a video trailer that is really worth watching. The moving pictures come largely from the previous editions of the Festival and are complemented by historical motifs by cult filmmaker Helmut Deimel.
The Rally Group B Shrine proudly supports the Colin McRae Rally Challenge set for July 2022 return to Knockhill Racing Circuit at the Knockhill Racing Circuit in Scotland.
Organisers of the McRae Rally Challenge are delighted to announce that this unique celebratory rally festival event will return to Knockhill, Fife in Scotland on the weekend of July 2nd & 3rd 2022. Initially planned for 2020 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Colin McRae winning his momentous World Rally Championship in 1995, the pandemic delayed event will celebrate the rallying successes of the three generations of the McRae family, with Grandfather Jimmy, fathers Colin & Alister and Grandson Max’s rally exploits and achievements all being marked.
Jimmy McRae, 5 times British Rally Champion said “We had hoped to run the event in 2020 and Max would have been a Junior rally driver then, but one benefit of the delay is that Max will have just turned 18 and Alister, Max and myself will be competing head to head in the same rally. I don’t know if three generations have ever done that before, but I am hoping that I can show both Max, and his Dad, that Grandfather is still pretty handy behind the wheel! Whatever happens, I know it will be a great event with loads of action on and off track and loads of great rallying pals having fun”.
Stuart Gray, Knockhill Director of Events said “The inaugural event in 2015 was huge success and we are all looking forward to the 2nd running of the event which will feature an invitational single venue rally with many rally stars reunited with their original rally cars from the 70’s and 80’s; Group 4, Group A and Group B, current rally contenders as well as special guests. We had a collection of display rally cars, the like of which had never been seen in Scotland, including 23 of Colin’s rally cars on display and paraded on track and this is expected to be bigger next year. The format is so welcoming for all rally fans, so the only option was to delay until this special event could run for all the drivers, fans and special rally car owners”.
Mr. Gray would like to extend his invitation to all of owners of original Group B cars, either road (homologation) or rally versions, with promise of display and/or track time should they wish to attend. Interested parties can directly reach out to Stuart Gray or to the Shrine with the contact form at the end of this article.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE RALLY GROUP B SHRINE OWNER
Season’s Greetings to all! Approaching the New Year, the tradition has been for me to write a retrospective on the year’s events of significance for the Shrine plus taking a look at which articles were popular and which were not, the latter becoming a bit redundant since tendencies soon emerged and remained mostly constant. This time will be different and am making a plea to all Group B fans.
Although many efforts were put in year after year, financing the website as to keep it online has never met parity – and this doesn’t even account the Shrine’s small team of people that have to do ALL of their work on a voluntary basis. This is of course mainly caused by the curveballs life always throws at us… time is always short, family and career taking the lead of our daily concerns.
The Shrine, although it does do other work, is currently mostly just an online encyclopaedia of everything Group B but is in fact a tiny fraction of what it could be! As such, I invite all of you join the Shrine’s team and its mission in whichever capacity that may be suitable notwithstanding of your available free time; article writer, article translation in other languages, event reporter and/or photographer, social media presence, or anything else you may feel like doing! A few people have already done so these past years, join us! Please, keep on reading to learn how you can help.
But first, let’s take care of the usual business. The Rally Group B Shrine encounters the very same challenges, albeit on a smaller scale, as those facing Wikipedia – of which you have surely seen their quite direct pleas for donations every year. 99.9% of people do feel entitled to the vast information they find online, like if it sprouted out of thin air just for them, without regard to the immense amount of work a few dedicated persons put in for them to view it. That being said, I do wish to thank the few faithful Group B fans that have given their support since the website’s inception, some in different ways than others, but every bit DID and continues help! The link to donate can be found by CLICKING HERE!
More importantly, time has come to brainstorm new ideas and take the Shrine’s mission to a new level. This is where YOU, hardcore Group B fans, come in. I say hardcore because 99.7% of people have stopped reading by now, another 0.2% might reach the end of this letter but won’t help, and the last 0.1% might give it a go. Thus, I’m open to any suggestions that you may have!
Let’s review what has already been done and/or can be expanded upon;
BESPOKE ADVERTISING. The Shrine has focused on helping to promote Group B-related products such as books and DVDs via a commissions system. The income from this has been rather low since Group B is a small niche market within another tiny niche area of interest: the motorsport of Rally. It is thusly not something to get any substantial revenue out of! Do note that the advertisement of Group B-related public events, such as the Eifel Rallye Festival, is a service that the Shrine will always give free of charge.
COOKIE-BASED ADVERTISING. With the amount of traffic the Shrine has, these ads once helped to cover about half of the yearly fees facing the website. These, added with the few donations and bespoke ads, almost made the site reach parity that particular year. However, I’m not fond of these kinds of ads and in my opinion they give any website a “click-bait” vibe – which can result in distrust of the otherwise valid information it carries.
ARTICLE WRITING & SALES. These have been far in between but continue to be an important way for the Shrine to spread its mission. I always reinvested my own article sales in the website and hardly ever kept something for myself. However, this can be different for any up-and-coming author that may wish to write articles for the Shrine. A friendly agreement as to give you a substantial piece of that pie can surely be met! There are many car articles yet to be written in the website and in other areas of interest like stories about a particular driver or event… the possibilities are endless!
ARTICLE TRANSLATIONS. These also have been far in between but have helped the Shrine reach out to a few more fans who like to read articles in their native language without use of automated translation functions that can often include errors. It may also give the translator the opportunity to get aboard the article sales train if such an article is ever sold in that particular language.`
Lastly, SOCIAL MEDIA is an area that I admittedly have quite failed to exploit, this aspect has never being my forte, but it is quite inexcusable in our internet age. If you have some experience in running a social media outlet such as a discussion group, fan club, forum, or Facebook page, etc., then the Shrine can urgently use your assistance. The main goal would be to help spread the word about the Shrine to Group B and rally fans around the world, keep the conversation going, talk about and promote Group B-related events, replica or restoration projects, keep tabs on our Group B driver and codriver heroes and, since they are not getting younger, of their passing by writing memorials, tributes, stories, and whatever strikes your fancy.
Everyone interested in helping out, no matter the means, or in joining the Rally Group B Shrine’s team should reach out directly to me with this CONTACT FORM!
I reckon that you can also contact me via private messaging on Facebook although it may take longer for you to get a response.
Notwithstanding, everyone will get a reply and your help shall be considered on a case-to-case basis… it’s one thing to have ideas but remember that I can’t do everything alone! Like you, work never stops; I’ve got many things to do and am working on a myriad of projects all the while caring for my career and family.
It is a delight for me to announce that fifteen52, a performance and off-road wheel brand that needs no introduction, has joined the Shrine’s mission of helping to spread the knowledge of the most exciting era in rallysport, may it be never forgotten! For years, fifteen52 has produced some of the finest wheels inspired by rally designs of the past, including from Group B, for the old and new generations of car enthusiasts to enjoy.
Please stay tuned for more details as preparations continue for the Shrine’s own rally vehicle to appear in rally events across North America as a zero (opening) car. Meanwhile, you can peruse fifteen52‘s wheels, accessories and gear on their website: fifteen52.com
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 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
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)
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)
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:
Greetings to all Group B rally fans! Some of you might have noticed that there were no website news posted between today and last year’s retrospective. This unfortunately meant that the Shrine’s small team of volunteers and I were very entangled in other commitments, such as career and family, to make any substantial additions to the website. Small changes made in the year however incorporate a new condensed main menu with related drop-down options for a cleaner and quicker look through the website’s vast content. It is with hope that 2020 will bring better fortunes to expand the encyclopedia.
It is however of note to mention that 2019 saw the publication of the amazing book Traction For Sale: The Story of Ferguson Formula Four-Wheel Drive, by Bill Munro – a friend and fellow author. Bill and I exchanged much information which led to uncovering more on the history of one of the company’s little known prototype contracts: the Opel Manta B 400 4×4. The car and information taken directly from the Shrine is featured in Part Three, Chapter 15 – Group B: a Revolution in Rallying. It is with much pride to having contributed to such an amazing book – thanks Bill, and all the best to your success!
I would also like to extend my best wishes to all Group B fans and anyone that is 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
Yet again the main event of 2019 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. A fascinating story that was fully brought to light by the arduous research of Jay Auger, the Shrine’s owner, with a string of back-and-forth interviews with the main Lotus engineers involved in the project. For the full history that was also published in the June 2018 of Motor Sport Magazine – CLICK HERE.
In April of 2019, a representative for the Hadjopulos Collection, whom purchased the Lotus systems car at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January 2018, contacted the Shrine to get more information on its provenance – ignoring most of the car’s Lotus background! The Shrine’s published story then quickly changed the Pug’s fate as a simple “quick flip” to a project of restoring all of its active systems to working glory.
The Shrine’s owner thus immediately went hard at work by contacting the former Lotus engineers involved in the project back in the 1980’s; all were keen to the idea of a restoration. However, untimely delays made for a difficult time-table to set things up between all of the parties. The subsequent loss of the initial excitement unfortunately made Mr. Hadjopulos backtrack and the restoration project abandoned. The unique Peugeot is once again being scheduled to be put up at auction in January 2020 on Bring-A-Trailer. We do invite everyone to watch this auction as it becomes online.
Rest assured that the Rally Group B Shrine will remain vigilant and will make certain that potential buyers get the correct facts and know of the open opportunity to get the car’s special systems restored by their former Lotus creators. It is, after all, the Shrine’s mission to correctly help preserve Group B’s history – this car being one of its best hidden treasures. Stay tuned!
Do not forget that the Shrine needs your support! If you enjoy the website then please consider making a monetary donation or support it through other means. To find out more about the 2020 Fundraiser – please CLICK HERE!
2019 FUN WEBSITE STATS
The year saw an increase in the Rally Group B Shrine’s online popularity by 9.3% – reaching the 750,000 “spectator” milestone near year’s end. Per the yearly tradition, here’s some stats on the least and most popular Group B-era driver and car based on visitor analytics!
LEAST POPULAR DRIVER (260 views)
For the fourth year in a row, Bruno Saby is the least popular driver of the Group B era, even though the 1986 Tour de Corse winner saw once more a small increase in page views. The gap however tightens with only 55 views separating Saby from least popular runner-up and compatriot, Jean Ragnotti.
MOST POPULAR DRIVER (2,424 views)
The first lady of rallying wins the crown for the fourth year in a row by a very large margin. Women all over the world should be proud of Michèle Mouton‘s exploits, the latter proving that gender knows no limitations. Group B’s legendary status remains strongly tied with the fastest woman in rally history.
LEAST POPULAR CAR (798 views)
There’s yet again no appreciation for the unassuming Polonez 2000 Rally from the former Eastern Block, losing out three years in a row. In an alternate version of the universe, you might not have found the same result if FSO would have built a more vicious Group B car in the lines of the Stratopolonez. What a spectacle it could have been sliding around rally stages along the likes of the Talbot Horizon and similar bastardised mid-engine and rear-wheel drive prototypes that never made it to homologation.
MOST POPULAR CAR (8,293 views)
The immortal poster-child of Group B, the Audi Sport quattro S1 / E2, overpowered the competition to clinch the title for the second year in a row – far outgunning the ever fascinating and former popularity winners Audi and ToyotaGroup S prototypes. It must be mentioned that the Opel Manta B 400 takes the fourth spot, albeit it was a traditional and somewhat mundane Group B car, however remaining a mainstay of today’s historic rallies.
MOST POPULAR WALLPAPER (461 downloads)
Scoring a hat-trick, the Audi Sport quattro E2 remains king of the wallpapers – this exact image retaining the top spot albeit a loss of about a third in downloads. However, a stunning newcomer to the podium, the Lancia Rallye 037, takes the silver medal of all wallpapers!
COUNTRY WITH THE MOST VISITORS (45,472 views)
The United Kingdom retakes its crown from the Americans, this time by a substantial amount in page views. Great Britain has always been a stronghold of rally fandom – from the sport’s inception to today!
Once more it must be noted that the stats indicate analytic patterns that seem to be settling in for the long run, somewhat making these yearly recaps a bit less entertaining. Will 2020 confirm this without a doubt? Do come back in a year to find out!
WELCOME TO THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GOLDEN ERA OF RALLYING