The Original Rally Supercars
Ever wondered what came before Group B? Well, it was Group 4. Homologation rally cars were required to be built in quantities of 400 road going versions to compete at international level.
Starting with one of the most amazing rally cars ever to compete on the World Rally Championship - The Ferrari 308 GTB
Jean Claude Andruet finished 2nd overall on the 1982 Tour of Corsica, the cars best WRC result. Andruet had also finished 2nd in the 1981 European Rally Championship at the wheel of a 308.
Jean-Claude Andruet and 'Biche' on the 1981 Tour Auto
Also known as the Tour de France Automobile, the Tour Auto was a rally that ran for one week, with cars travelling from French capital of Paris to Biarritz, near the Spanish border, I don't know how many stage miles the rally was run over, but Andruet won with a time of 8 hours 50 minutes, beating second place Bernard Darniche in a Lancia Stratos by nearly 5 minutes!!
It must have been quite something to see Andruet on that Tour Auto in 1981
Andruet on his way to second on the 1982 Tour de Corse
The cars pulled a crowd whenever they showed up around the major rallies in Europe.
Every schoolboys dream, a Ferrari rally car, then they grow up and buy a Porsche instead
You kind of missed the whole generation of supercars before that, headed by the Lancia Stratos, and including the Gp4 versions of a bunch of other cars (some of which were 'super' only in performance). The Ferrari 308GTB was a street car that was homologated. while cars like the Stratos were rally cars for which street versions were built.
This isn't putting down J-C Andruet (who is one of my favorites), or the 308GTB (ditto), but I'm sure it helped that a) the French championship was all tarmac, and b) that one of his biggest supporters was the French Ferrari importer.
A DeTomaso Pantera was run at San Remo (when it was a mixed gravel/tarmac event), and then there were the Gp5 sportscars that were eligible for things like the Tour Auto and the Giro d'Italia.
Last edited by Adrian Wintle; 04-19-2010 at 04:33 AM.
Hey Adrian, Give me a chance! The Stratos and all the other 'proper' Group 4 rally cars will be covered!!
Originally Posted by Adrian Wintle
The car was also entered for the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally, although this photo shows the car at full chat on snow, the '82 Monte was a fairly snow free affair which was eventually won by Walter Rohrl in an Opel Ascona 400.
Sadly it all ended in tears with Andruet hitting a bridge and retiring the car, the 308 rally weighed approximately 1000kg and put out a then healthy 310bhp, perhaps if Rohrl had been let loose with one of these cars in '82 the record books might have read somewhat different....
Flying high, same sponsor but new colour scheme, apparently the French importer of Pioneer Japanese Hi Fi equipment was a motorsport enthusiast and saw the potential media attention and public reaction a good enough reason to put some sponsorship the way of Ferrari-France.
Andruet on the 1982 Targa Florio, by now the event was a rally, the great road race itself had been banned
Andruet again, this time at a French rallysprint in 1982
Jean-Claude Andruet on the 1982 Cevennes Rally in the south of France
Antonio Tognana - 1982 Sanremo, Tognana actually won the 1982 Italian Rally Championship (which was not held entirely on tarmac. Despite what many people think, the 308 was competitive on gravel, remember that the Quattro was the only 4WD rally back in '82) driving this Ferrari 308, he never competed outside of Italy
Bjorn Waldegard drove a privately entered 308 on the Sanremo Rally in 1983, he retired with engine failure.
Waldegard on the '83 Sanremo
In 1983 one the cars was sold to French comic book artist Albert Uderzo, who was famed for the Asterix cartoons, he used it in club events and eventually sold it in 1998, the car is now back in it's original condition and resides in the suburbs of Paris.
Due to the development of cars such as the Quattro and the 205 T16, Ferrari decided to pull the plug on their rally dream, they had planned to use the Ferrari 288 GTO as their Group B rally car, Enzo Ferrari himself was fully behind the project, the 288 GTO was built in sufficient numbers to homologate it into rallying, but they just ended up as collectors items for the wealthy.
Much thanks to autohabit. These images are so cool! The one with the 308 in the snow in the Monte is sweet! It's also cool to know that one has been restored.
I had never seen a 288 GTO so I looked it up.
^It kinda looks like 037 does it not?^
Thanks again autohabit!
I've been watching the progress on a 308 here.....
there are some neat cars there
Thanks. I hadn't seen that angle...
Originally Posted by autohabit