Friday, 2 July 2010

Group B history returns to Rally Isle of Man

Rally Isle of Man fans will have the chance to re-live one of the golden era’s of rallying on this years’ event, as some of the most famous cars in the sports history take to the islands unique stages one more time.

The organisers are delighted to announce that the awe-inspiring Group B cars of the 1980’s will bring their own jaw-dropping sights and sounds back to the event, with each of the 12 cars part of the folklore of rallying.

And it won’t simply be a static display; the cars will be driven on each of the 21 closed roads stages of the rally immediately before the present day stars of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship head into high speed action, a package that should be a huge draw for spectators.

Among them are an original works 1986 Peugeot 205 T16 Evo, the model that provided Finnish great Juha Kankkunen with the first of his four world crowns and swept the marque to the Manufacturers title too.

Also from 1986 comes a Rothmans Austin Rover Metro 6R4 as used at British Championship level by Jimmy McRae, and a Marlboro Nissan 240 RS from the world series.

Other vehicles include works specification Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and Ford Escort MkII’s from the famous Andrews Heat for Hire team synonymous with British rallying legend Russell Brookes, a Repsol Lancia Delta Intergrale Evo and a works Ford RS200.

It’s a stunning line-up assembled by the Rallying with Group B Club, and that list is only part of the visiting team!

Group B took rallying to a whole new level between 1982 and 1986, opening up the ease for manufacturers to join the sport. It had few restrictions on technology and design, leading to some of the quickest, most powerful and sophisticated rally cars ever built. Indeed the leading cars could out-perform Formula One cars of the time!

The genre’s biggest success on Rally Isle of Man came in 1986, when Tony Pond swept to his fourth victory with Rob Arthur in the Computervision Austin Rover Metro 6R4. Shortly afterwards the cars were banned following a series of accidents.

So make sure you find the time to catch the cars in action - as the group themselves say, once seen, never forgotten!