The heyday came late in the 1980s, benefiting from Group B cars.
Grids were swamped with RS200S, Audi quattros and Peugeot 205 T16s with even more power than they originally had in rallying.
While the cars changed, the names at the top largely remained the same; Alamaki, Schanche and Arnesson all continuing to do battle at the front, but it was Seppo Niittymaki who claimed the title in 1987 in a 205 T16. His Finnish compatriot, Alamaki, claimed the next three, and Schanche earned his penultimate crown in 1991, in an RS200.
The Rallycross Grand Prix remained a major event, with over 30,000 people filling the Brands Hatch grandstands in murky December conditions. Gollop, Schanche and Pat Doran largely shared the spoils until Kenneth Hansen, who had moved to Supercar in 1993 with Citroen support, went on a three-year winning run at the event to close out the decade. Group B cars were banished from international rallycross (as they had been from rallying) at the end of 1992, but not before Gollop had claimed the European crown in a bi-turbo 6R4. Fellow Englishman Richard Hutton won the Group N title in an Escort Cosworth in 1994, but Gollop’s success in the sport’s top category is still yet to be bettered by a British driver.
The 1993 campaign brought a new era of technical regulations, based on Group A but with considerable freedom in a range of areas, including the use of flat, composite floors. Frenchman Jean-luc Pailler and graduating Group N champion Hansen both secured Citroen backing for ’93, for their own individual projects, with the only requirement being that one of them win the title. It was Pailler who lifted the crown in an unlikely Citroen BX. Hansen won his first Supercar championship in ’94, the same year as his now-wife Susann Bergvall claimed the ERA 1400 Cup support category. Aside from Hutton’s title in ’94, Eivind Opland claimed the remaining Group N category titles in the sport’s third decade, using various incarnations of Mitsubishi Evos.
Pailler took the 1993 crown with Citroen deal Matti Alamaki enjoyed the Group B golden era