Why Group B had to be THAT reckless, senseless and careless, why? Those cars were too wonderful, too exceptional, too out of this world to be allowed to just vanish like that. They tested the crews to their limits, but the price was simply too high because cars were also death traps. Combined with virtually no spectator control on stages, group B was a good idea that got out of control. What happened to many group B drivers when they lost control over their car is what, basically, happened to group B in general. Taking it down a notch, I don’t think would have helped much. We will never really know what could have been, the cars that could have followed the group B legends such as Peugeot 205 T16, Ford RS200, Lancia Delta S4.
Watching the video below, I was once again reminded of the fact that group B, had it (or rather its crews) survived the recklesness of the mid 80s rallying, could have been followed by cars radically different to rather tame group A machines. Several manufacturers had their sights set on World Rally Championship, prototypes were built, cars which promised unbelievable speed and power. That is, until you hear engineers pause and then add the mandatory “but”, usually followed by “those cars were almost undriveable”. Perhaps group A had to happen in order to keep rallying real, relevant and realistic vs. 600+ HP monsters which could take your breath away but with which you could not really identify. At least not on a level we can today, even though we painfully lack homologation road cars.
In this video, Toyota Motorsport GmbH legend John Day talks about TMG’s past, present and future. From Ove Andersson’s first events to modern times and the ongoing WRC project – it’s all there. Mr Day is radiating confidence, which I hope is what the rest of the team can adopt and build upon. He says Toyota would like to repeat their many WRC successes. With a confidence like that and such a rich tradition, can they even fail.
Make sure to watch the entire video – the details about Toyota’s group B – group S car that never was are very interesting.