ARI’S TRIB­UTE TO RAL­LY­ING’S ‘MAD ERA’

World rally champ brings to­gether six cars to mark 30 years since Group B’s demise

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Event Report -

One of the show’s big­gest hits was a dis­play of six leg­endary Group B cars to mark 30 years since a num­ber of fa­tal ac­ci­dents led to their ban from in­ter­na­tional ral­ly­ing.

The Pin­na­cle of Ral­ly­ing group­ing, brought to­gether an MG Metro 6R4, Lan­cia Delta S4 and 037, Peu­geot 205 T16, Audi Quat­tro S1 E2 and Ford’s RS200.

Show guest and 1981 World Rally Cham­pion Ari Vata­nen says that cur­rent in­ter­est in Group B cars is ‘phe­nom­e­nal’, so the dis­play helped to re­mind peo­ple of the thrills and dan­gers of the cars. ‘Not a day goes by with­out some­one by ask­ing me about that pe­riod of mad, slightly crazy era of ral­ly­ing,’ he ad­mits. ‘Group B was prob­a­bly be­yond the limit, but I think you have to go be­yond that to find where that limit lies. Be­cause that pe­riod not only in­volved the ul­ti­mate thrills, but also hav­ing to go to sev­eral of my friends’ fu­ner­als, it was a time when I grew up a lot as a per­son.’

Juha Kankkunen used this 205 T16 to win the 1986 Acrop­o­lis Rally. It later be­come the test mule to de­velop the 405 T16’s four-wheel steer sys­tem.

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