Wait, what is that?
Well, there was a period in rallying known as Group B. You may have heard of it. It was four years of utter madness where fans, ambitions, politics and cars collided to provide one of the most unforgettable eras of motorsport ever.
Some call it ‘The Golden Years’. We simply like to call it the time when rallying was completely, utterly, awesomely mental.
During Group B, cars would catapult themselves into roads filled with seas of spectators – who’d only move when the front bumper of their favourite driver skimmed their shins. It was very fast, very dangerous, and very cool. It also imprinted evocative imagery onto a whole generation with wide-arched and wild Lancia Delta S4s, Peugeot 205 T16s, Audi Sport quattros, Ford RS200s and Austin Metro 6R4s all making noisy, sideways and very airborne appearances.
But did you know Mazda had a Group B car? No? Well, it’s that wide, lighty and stripy thing above. And don’t flagellate yourself for not knowing about it, as it came to the party late and was overshadowed by all those other crazy, more powerful and successful cars.
The saddest part of this story, is that very car above didn’t even get to race. Ever. The tragedies of Group B caught up with the unrestricted series causing it to be canned before this plucky Mazda could ever turn a wheel. And to this day, it’s still never turned a wheel in anger.
Words and Photography: Rowan Horncastle