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This Is One Reason Group B Rally Cars Were Banned

Posted in driving, FIA WRC, Racing, Videos by Kurt Ernst | October 22nd, 2010 | 2 Responses |

It’s also why they don’t hold WRC events on the Isle on Man anymore. Courses like the Manx Rally don’t allow for mistakes of any kind, and Group B rally cars generally didn’t, either. Ari Vatanen saved his Opel Manta 400 when the back end snapped around on this tarmac stage, but a lot of other Group B drivers weren’t so lucky. Introduced in 1982, Group B rally cars eliminated from competition after a 1986 crash killed Henri Toivonen and his co-driver. The cars were simply too fast to be driven safely.

This video, from the 1983 Manx Rally, was dug up by the folks at Bang Shift. It’s rare to see in car footage from the Group B era, and Ari Vatanen was one of the best drivers of the day. There aren’t many racers who could have saved that slide, and there are even fewer that could have done so without missing a beat. Terry Harryman, his co-driver, sums it up best at around 1:42: “Dear God”.

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2 Responses

  1. You know you’re really rally racing when your co-driver mutters “Oh dear God.”

  2. Dave says:

    Damn!!! That was scary even seeing ti on video! Navigator must have seriously thought they were goners. Amazing recovery.