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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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:)




 

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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.

Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.

Adrian
Hey Adrian, Give me a chance! The Stratos and all the other 'proper' Group 4 rally cars will be covered!!

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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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!
 

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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.
I always thought the 288GTO was really targeted for GpB track racing, which could potentially have been a serious GT championship rather than a place for a few M1s and 930s to play beside the GpC cars. It was certainly the logical progression of the 308 design and, IMO, the best looking of the family.

I like the photos - keep them coming. Do you have the shot of Andruet's 308 upside-down in a ditch?? ;)

Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the photos - keep them coming. Do you have the shot of Andruet's 308 upside-down in a ditch?? ;)

Adrian

Some photos from the 1981 Hunsruck Rally in Germany, Jean Claude Andruet at the wheel










Including the upside-down one as requested by Adrian...




Finally, to sign off on this particular car, one more of Andruet and the fabulous 308 as it should be remembered, on its way to victory during the 1981 Tour de France Auto, a result which Andruet and the Ferrari repeated in 1982

 

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Yes, amazing work from the Finns:cool:
Pure art in construction there. But the best part for me are seeing the completed cars in the background of the shots. I have always loved the Martini and especially the Alitalia liveries. So classic, simple and elegant. It just doesn't get any better.
 

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I wonder if the original GrB body was fiberglass or all steel? Street Ferraris after '77 or so were all steel.
Based on the FIA list at: http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/F1738402CD97FDC3C125739A0053B6F9/$FILE/HomologatedForms-SortedByMake&Model.pdf

(with the Historic Rally Championship regs)

it looks like the original Gr4 homologation was in 1976, and this car was re-homologated into GpB (so presumably the fibreglass body). It was then re-homologated twice more based on the same homologation. There are no details on the list, but I'd be surprised if one of those wasn't to allow the steel body (I expect there was also an extension to the Gr4 homologation allowing it). The Quattrovalvole was also homologated into GpB, and it would definitely have been the steel body.

The 288GTO was actually homologated into GpB

Adrian
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Next up, quite possibly the most iconic of all the Group 4 rally supercars, the Lancia Stratos.

The car first appeared in anger on the 1972 Tour de Corse, although the car was not homologated at this point, it was allowed to compete in the then prototype class.




Homologated in the latter half of 1974, the Stratos was of tubular frame construction and weighed comfortably under 1000kg, it had a tuned 270 bhp Ferrari V6 engine from the Ferrari Dino road car, it goes without saying that the Stratos was one of the best sounding rally cars of all time.

Munari took the car to victory on its maiden world championship event, the 1974 Sanremo Rally



A win for Munari on the '74 Rideau Lakes Rally in Canada meant back to back WRC wins for the Stratos.

The car also finished an impressive 3rd overall on the 1974 RAC Rally, again in the hands of Munari




Bjorn Waldegard on route to a home victory on the 1975 Swedish Rally.




A feature which was not seen again for 10 years when the Group B Peugeot 205 T16 was released, was the ability to remove the front and rear of the bodywork for servicing. Occasionally the same bodywork was known to detach itself, most famously on the 1975 RAC Rally with Bjorn Waldegard at the wheel.






Sandro Munari on his way to 2nd on the 1976 Sanremo, team mate Waldegard took the win, this was the heyday of the Stratos.




Sandro Munari on route to victory during the 1976 Tour de Corse, back then the Corsican round of the WRC was held in early November, just prior to the RAC Rally, hence this photo looks more like a scene from a spectator stage on the RAC rally!

 

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As a classic Ferrari fan, those shots of the 308 on gravel (particularly the rallysprint shots) are stunning. Thanks for posting! I didn't know it was used on gravel that much. I assumed it was a tarmac special.
 
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