"It’s exactly 30 years since Ari Vatanen won the UK stage of the World Rally Championship in the crazy days of Group B racing.
This November Ari will be back in the UK for the Wales Rally GB (13th-16th "
Finnish rally maestro Hannu Mikkola was one of the legendary flying Finns who powered their way into motorsport lore during the Group B era at the wheel of the monstrous Audi Quattro S1 Sport. But as World Champion in 1983 and with a total of 18 World Rally wins (and an obscure reference in punk culture) – the understated driver’s legacy bleeds out of WRC’s narrow confines.
How did your involvement in Audi’s Rally Team emerge?
The Head of Audi Sport at the time, Jürgen Stockmar, invited me to see the four-wheel drive Audi road car prototype (Ur-Quattro) in the autumn of 1979, and asked me to join their emerging rally team as the development and lead driver. I realized the potential of four-wheel drive in rallying, and we agreed to terms quite quickly. I started development work on the car in 1980, and we competed in our first rally in 1981, which was the Monte Carlo. I stayed with the team until 1987, when they stopped rallying activities.
"If someone hadn't invented Group B rally at the start of the eighties, the times would have defined the form and it would have happened anyway. All of a sudden, what had been a relatively worthy, moustached and tweeded form "
Few concepts are guaranteed to get us hot under the collar like the announcement that Audi are resurrecting the idea of the original Quattro. The motorshow at Paris is after all one of those events where legends "
"There are a number of racing machines that will forever be associated with Finland.
The best of them are – like the nation that loves them – unruly, unpredictable and quick.
For some the definitive Finnish machine might be Jarno Saarinen's Yamaha "
"We stumbled across this rare and rather killer footage of the fleeting moments of Mazda's RX7 Group B career on the highly entertaining Japanese Nostalgic Car blog.
Listen to the sound of the RX7's high-revving rotary engine, and enjoy "
"The cliché about Finnish people being good drivers seems to be true.
Look at the statistics. As a country of a mere 5.5 million people, we have produced many drivers who have won world class races and several world championship titles.
"Jean Todt, Peugeot's team principle, stood in front of the press at the start of the 1981 Rally season and announced that they were developing a new four wheel drive rally car.
He promised a prototype by 1983 and that the new "
"Does any name capture the romance of driving a classic GT car better than Portofino?
Not only is it a deliciously Italian word to pronounce – gliding down the tongue like a fresh scoop of gelato – but the title of Ferrari’"
"The prospect of loading up a motorcycle and heading off to explore the world is something every bike has thought about at some point.
Seeing the world on two wheels is an entirely different experience than doing so by car. "
"This time around we’re featuring helmets – and these safety devices are more than just practical, they’re art. More than that, for a professional race driver or rider they’re also their trademarks – their identities whilst their faces are "