Those Crazy Rally Spectators
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Thread: Those Crazy Rally Spectators

  1. #1

    Default Those Crazy Rally Spectators

    During the 1970s we only had three TV channels in the UK, so motorsport on our screens was like gold dust, as a young boy of 7 or 8 years old I picked up on a sport called rallying, it was becoming a major spectator sport in many countries, as rallying made its way into the 1980s, it started to become almost out of control in certain parts of the world.

    Here follows a photographic tribute to rally spectators around the world, I guess this could become one of my seemingly endless threads, hopefully it will capture the spirit and magic that only rallying can offer to motorsport fans.

    Back in 1960, the RAC Rally became a closed road / special stage event, prior to this it had been a series of time trials around Britain.

    The winner of that 1960 RAC Rally was Swedish driver Erik Carlsson in a SAAB, looking at this photo, it is hard to believe it, but this was the start of something big! Note the lack of spectators, but word was spreading...

    ...Fast forward 25 years, some might say this was the monster that had been created, Ari Vatanen drives flat out through a sea of spectators on the 1985 Rally of Portugal

    Miki Biasion - 1986 Sanremo Rally, last appearance of the Group B cars in front of the Italian fans

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  3. #2


    I guess that most motorsport fans have had favourite drivers over the years, for me there are three drivers that really stand out in rallying, when you stood at a corner, you just knew that these guys were the most likely to try something different, they became the spectators favourites, legends in their chosen sport.

    Ari Vatanen - 1979 Rally of Portugal

    Henri Toivonen - 1983 Sanremo Rally

    Colin McRae - 1995 Rally of Portugal (Anybody who says that the crowds died off when Group B was banned, well take a look at this!

  4. #3


    Holy cow is their a road their in front of Colin???

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  6. #4


    Local heroes, all countries have them.

    Soundtrack - Alfa Romeo V6, Surface - Tarmac roads with hairpin bends in the South of France. The 1985 Garrigues Rally.

    Corsica 1984, local BMW importer Patrick Bernardini was known for his giant killing drives on the Tour de Corse, twice winning Group N on the WRC event. 323i - Another 6 cylinder RWD rally car, always popular with the crowds

    Portuguese driver Jose Miguel Faria flying high on the 1985 Rally of Portugal, he came home 6th overall, one of the very last results for a MkII Escort at top level

  7. #5
    100 K right 4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Michigan USA

    ex-SCCA ProRally Open Class

  8. #6
    150 K Right 4 Into Truck Dust BajaBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Malibu, California


    Looks like the Baja 1000, 2009 with the sea of spectators.

    Bill Holmes
    Truck #44

  9. #7
    straight at T
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.


    Quote Originally Posted by autohabit View Post
    Local heroes, all countries have them.

    Portuguese driver Jose Miguel Faria flying high on the 1985 Rally of Portugal, he came home 6th overall, one of the very last results for a MkII Escort at top level

    This is the picture that so epitomizes the problems of Group B. Everyone trying to get their photo of air under the car before moving out of the way...


  10. #8


    Not until 1991 did Spain host a round of the World Rally Championship, here are a few photos taken in the 1980s on the Spanish National Rally Championship, Spanish spectators were (and still are) equally as enthusiastic as the Portuguese fans!

    Salvador ServiÓ on the 1984 Costa Brava Rally, ServiÓ went on to win the Spanish title in 1985 & '86

    The 1985 Girona-Guillerias Rally, based in the province of Girona in north-eastern Spain. At the wheel of the Renault 5 Turbo is a then unknown driver by the name of Carlos Sainz, he would go on to greater things!

    Antonio Zanini on the same event, exploring the same piece of road Zanini was an eight time Spanish Rally Champion, he also won the European Rally Championship in 1980

  11. #9
    50 caution yump phlat65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Edmonds, WA, USA


    Wow!!! great thread!
    1986 Group5 Merkur XR4Ti
    Sean and Jenne Medcroft

  12. #10
    KB-AG in WRC? Awesome! WRXedUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Football country, Nebraska


    This is awesome.
    ........just a fan.

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