The Group B pioneer that transformed rallying forever
From Hannu Mikkola and Michele Mouton to Stig Blomqvist and Walter Rohrl, this is the story of a secret four-wheel-drive project from Bavaria that would transform the world of rallying and epitomise the bombast excess of its greatest era
There were many strong candidates for the title of greatest rally car to have been built during Autosport's 70-year history. Strong not only in terms of sheet metal and statistics, but also in how much they've shaped the character of the sport. In the end it had to be the Audi Quattro, because without it Group B would never have been so mind-boggling, and its fundamental architecture remains at the heart of the sport. But let's not forget that otherworldly sound, those epic rallies, that incredible human drama. The period in which the Quattro reigned supreme still gives the back of your neck a little tingle.
Its story goes back to the earliest days of the European Union, when it was decided that a military equivalent to the American Jeep and Britain's Land Rover was required. French, Italian and German manufacturers were organised into tri-national teams tasked with creating the ideal vehicle. The results were uniformly calamitous and eventually the German government gave up entirely, tasking Volkswagen with the job.
Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment
Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history
The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet
With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road
Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate
This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence
Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most
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