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Golden Days of Rally Motorsport - Hobby Letter #5/21


Hello friends this is Heikki from EuroRC! Hoping that everyone is fine and healthy and looking forward on their lives for brighter future! Today we are about to talk about Rally and especially about legenday rally cars that are popular among the RC crowd and collectors. Rally Motorsport is the name of the game and especially the golden days of Group B rally is something we need to talk about today!

Rise and Fall of Group B.

For those who do not know it may sound like it is "Class-B", secondary or something that is not so serious. It is ok, nothing in the name reveals that the Group B Championship Rally driven in 1980-1986 was and stays the most powerful and wildest and unregulated class in many ways ever in history of motorsport. To get a Group B licence the car manufacturers had to make only 200 pieces of the said car. This meant that teams had basically free hands to do what they wanted when it came to designing a more faster yet more powerful beasts in their drive to catch a world championship. Year after year the cars got more aggressive and in many ways too fast for the rally - motorsport that is driven in loose gravel or sand and often in very hazardous real life environments. No matter what the speed loving rally crowd loved these flame spitting roaring dust devils and Group B got very popular.

These cars were true savages and regulating rules were very loose. How does it sound to have peaking 600hp in turbocharged but glass fiber bodied Audi Quattro back in the year 1985? Or could you handle little Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 that hit 1-100kmh in about 3 seconds - with off-road tires under! Group B cars resembled much their civilian counterparts but basically they had nothing in common except the looks. Later this type of "silhouette car" has become a standard in motorsports, best modern example being maybe Funny Cars or Nascar polycarbonate shelled trucks that look more like RC than their real-life relatives.

I remember when it happened - the end of the Group B rally. It was all in the news. First came the horrible accident of Joaquim Santos at Portugal where thirty-one spectators injured and three died as the car landed to the full crowd and started to roll in crowd after Santos was avoiding to hit other spectators on the road. The final end was sudden and it happened in the tragic form of deadly crash of Henri Toivonen - one of the Flying Finns - with his co-driver Sergio Cresto in Corsica 1986. Later it is easy to see that it was just waiting to happen as Group B was just too unregulated, too dangerous and too demanding for pilots. After all this sorrow the organizers were forced to regulate the Group B and it basically killed all the fun but probably saved many lives of both drivers and spectators.

Legends Never Die

Famous racers of Group B are now immortal icons of motorsport and are often considered as The Rally Cars in the very meaning of the name but of course there can be found other legendary rally cars from the pages of history. As you are subscribing our Hobby Letter, you probably love RC and if you love RC you probably love (or at least like!) miniature models of cars. I would love to test a real rally car and would probably enjoy the ride but to own one.. That I can have in the form of RC car building kit!

Tamiya has been making work of divinity by releasing some of the most legendary Rally Cars in various forms of RC. Latest add was Hannu Mikkolas Ford Escort MK II released just this passing week! Let's see what's available on the market!

The last rear wheel driven world championship winning car, Lancia 037 is a true Group B legend! Designed by Abarth it could be seen as a kind of bridge between the historical racers and newer generation of rally cars. Even though it was not the most capable next to four wheel driven opponents it is maybe one of the most cool and tempting looking rally cars ever! Now you can build it as a functional replica in the size of 1/10 thanks to Tamiya!

Icon of the all icons, VW Beetle was also very popular rally car in the historical era. They were light and had a excellent center of gravity and no matter where you were there was always spares available! These are still popular in Folkrace -type of derby class. Good news for RC fans is that Tamiya has it's famous beetle also in the rally outfit with offroad tires and all the era-accurate stickers available.

Originally introduced for Group-B series, Lancia Delta dominated the World Rally Championship during the late 1980s and early 1990s. For many this is still the one and only real rally car. Tamiyas popular 1/10 scale Lancia Delta Integrale Kit captures this pinnacle of rally cross in its championship winning 1992 outfit.

Ford Escort is important for us here in Finland. Legendary in the very meaning of the word as this was once very popular car in everyday use here. Tamiya created even a little buzz among the rally crowd releasing this Ford Escort MK II Rally version just few weeks back. This model is popular at the moment and rapid actions are recommended here if you want to build this beautiful kit!

In this weeks Members Rides Highlight we stay on the theme of racing cars and present you this absolute beauty, designed, 3D printed and scratch built Ferrari F1 from the 1960's handmade by our customer Tomi Aho. This stunning work of RC art deserves more than just one picture. Thank you Tomi and keep up the great scratch building work!

We love your RC builds so please keep sending your pictures! Everything is saved and maybe I will pick it to next week Members Rides! Simply reply to this email directly or send them to [email protected] or share them in our social medias Facebook or Instagram!

Yours truly and see you next week, Heikki from EuroRC

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