I was just catching up on some of this years F1 and a clip of ‘Classic Grand Prix’ came on, showing some footage from the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donnington Park.
The race was sponsored by Sega, as was the then dominating Williams-Renault team with the soon to be 4 time world champion Alain Prost and future 1996 world champion Damon Hill.
The result was an absolute Sega and Sonic fest.
To be honest, I can’t really think of any gaming publisher or developer before or since so utterly dominate a major international sporting event.
The Subaru Impreza WRC 08 wasn’t the only thing to arrive today.
They’ve been on my wishlist for over a year, but finally got around to ordering a pair of white Alpinestars Tech 1 Race Gloves.
Not the cheapest things in the world, saying as they comply with FIA 8856-2000 specs, but they very light and comfortable.
A perfect match for my white Alpinestars Tech 1-K Karting boots.
Er, what do I need racing boots and gloves for?
Well, I don’t really need them, but let me tell you… when you have a home racing set-up with a high-spec Fanatec steering wheel (Very authentic Porsche GT2 replica) and pedals constructed from solid aluminium, they really help a lot.
The boots especially. The grippy sole of a racing boot extends up the heel, and there is a lot of padding around the heel and ankle area that makes all the difference in the world for comfort.
Likewise the gloves not only make things a little more authentic, but the fingers and palms are pre-curved to reduce fatigue from gripping the wheel while driving.
Over the top?
But why the hell not, its fun!
Plus, I can use them if I ever decide to put together a full replica Stig costume! :D
Oh yeah, and that’s a Tom’s Supra JGTC 95 in Castrol livery.
The second Group B Rally car to join my collection.
This is Henri Toivonen and Neil Wilson’s Lancia Delta S4 which competed in the 1985 RAC Rally of Great Britain.
Took a saw to the apple tree in the garden to provide a fallen tree trunk as part of the diorama. This is the first set of model shots I’ve actually taken outside, saying as we had some nice sun today.
Without doubt the most advanced car to ever take to the worlds rally stages, the Lancia Delta S4 was the pinnacle achievement of the short lived Group B class of the World Rally Championship.
With a mid-mounted engine that was both supercharged and turbocharged, the Lancia Delta S4 that competed in the WRC produced about 560bhp.
The car is stated to be capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in just a fraction over 2 seconds… and that was on loose gravel!
This supreme performance came with a heavy price, with the Lancia Delta S4 being an incredibly difficult car to drive.
It is said that only one driver came close to mastering this beast of a car. Henri Toivonen.
Unfortunately, it still killed him and his co-driver, Sergio Cresto, in the 1986 Tour de Corse Rally.
Their Lancia Delta S4 plunged into a ravine and the traditional fuel tanks, located directly under their seats, burst into flames.
The car and its occupants was completely incinerated.
Just about the only thing that remained was the tubular space frame.
The first Group B Rally car to join my collection, and probably the best all-rounder the series ever saw, winning both the drivers and constructors championships in 1985 and 86.
It may not have quite had the outright performance on the Lancia Delta S4, but it wasn’t as difficult to drive either.
Following Group B being banned for the 1987 season, Peugeot would run a modified 205 T16 in the infamous Paris-Dakar Rally, which it won.
The 205 T16 was also developed into the 405 T16, made famous by setting a new record time for the Pikes Peak hill climb even.
An award winning short film was made of this run, titled “Dance Climb”
Personally, this is my favourite iteration of the Martini Racing liveries applied to the Ford Focus WRC from 1999 until 2002.
This was the cover car of Colin McRae Rally 3 for the PS2 and Xbox, the first game in the series released for 6th generation consoles.
It was also one of the two games I bought with my original Xbox back in November 2002 (the other was, of course, Halo: Combat Evolved).
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Although it was only moderately successful in the WRC, having never won either the constructors or drivers championships, the Escort Cosworth has still attained a legendary status for its high performance and affordable speed.
Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear had one in the 90s and, famously, the insurance cost more than the car itself.
The Escort RS Cosworth competed in the WRC from 1993 until 1998, winning a total of eight events before being replaced by the rather more successful Ford Focus WRC.
The second of the classic Sega Rally trio. :)
One of the most successful cars to ever compete in the World Rally Championship, the Lancia Delta won the constructors championship six times in a row, from 1987 to 1992, a record that stands to this day.
It also won the drivers championship four times, in 87, 88, 89 and 91.
In Sega Rally, the Lancia Delta was slower than the Toyota Celica, but easier to handle.
The Green, Red and White Castrol livery is one of my favourite racing car liveries of all time, ever since I picked up a controller to play the Sega Rally demo for the Saturn.
The only other livery I like as much is the Martini Racing one.
Displayed on a picture frame that was adapted into a model base with a roll of turf intended for model train sets.
Originally meant for displaying Harriers and Helicopters, it works just fine for cars too.
Second addition to my new 1:43 car collection.
In my opinion, the Toyota Corolla WRC is the most under-appreciated Rally car of the last 20 years.
It only competed (as a Toyota works car) in the 1998 and 1999 seasons, but despite this it managed to take 2nd place in the 98 constructors championship and 1st place in the 1999 constructors championship.
It was the 3rd constructors championship won by Toyota Motorsport GmbH of Germany, and an excellent way for them to bow out of the World Rally Championship when the decision was made by Toyota management to shift focus from Rally to Formula One.
Ultimately, Toyota never came close to replicating their WRC success in F1, leaving the sport after the 2009 season having never scored a Grand Prix victory.
Their best F1 result was 2nd, despite them being one of the best funded teams in the sport.
Anyway, the Corolla WRC has, to the best of my knowledge, only featured in Sega Rally 2, the first Colin McRae Rally game and the Grand Turismo series (though it was not given the premium treatment in GT5).
From the July car pack in Forza Motorsport 4.
Found a little slip road on the Road America track that actually looks like part of a rally stage, so taking advantage of that.
Low aperture setting to keep the car mostly in focus, but a moderately low shutter speed to keep the background dynamic.
This here is a Toyota GT-Four RC ST185, 1992.
Although its the road going version of the ST-185, Turn 10 Studios were kind (and wise) enough to include a number of proper Rally parts in the aero portion of the turning shop.
This is the full out Safari look.
As ever, its also easy to find a decent replica livery from the Forza community.
Personally, I still prefer the ST205, but that’s because of Sega Rally.
Still, the ST185 was Toyota’s most successful rally car, and the first from a Japanese manufactor to win the WRC, claiming the drivers championship in 1992, the drivers and constructors championship in 1993 and 1994. Back to back double victories (The ST205 was introduced towards the end of 1993, but the ST185 still did most of the work)
Made from 23 8.3 megapixel screenshots, sharpened a touch and then scaled down to 1857x1080, so hopefully its a very clean pic.
This is the Porsche 956, one of the many radical cars to come from Group C Sports Car racing in the 1980s.
Although not as insane as the Group B Rally cars, this were still monsters from a time before the massive push to improve the safety of motorsport following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.
The Porsche 956 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its very first try.
To this day, it still holds the record for the fastest ever lap of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife, completing the 14km circuit in a staggering 6 minutes and 11 seconds.
That’s an average speed of 129mph on a circuit with 154 turns.
The epic Audi Quattro S1 and Ford RS200 Group B Rally Cars.
Group B Rally had very few technical restrictions and low homologation numbers (only 200) which saw cars that were, quite frankly, insane in their performance.
The discipline lasted a mere four years before being banned by the FIA after a string of serious accidents, some fatal, that were blamed on the outright speed of these cars that produced about 500hp.
Although very short lived, Group B absolutely exploded the popularity of Rally, and the sport has never regained that same level fame, despite the efforts of Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Travis Pastrana or Ken Block.
Should probably finish off by putting this on here as well.
I’ve been shamelessly self-promoting it all over twitter. =p
My first video using any Forza Motorsport game.
Alistair Griffin provides the soundtrack with his single “Just Drive”.
I combined both the original single with the newly arranged version he made for the Sky F1 opening sequence.
This one is dedicated to Anthony Davidson, Martin Brundle and his son, Alex Brundle.
You’re all great blokes and I’m cheering all three of you on.
Best of luck!
Thanks also to Alistair himself for the kind words about the video, and not threatening to sue!
Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)
Audi R18 TDI, Le Mans Prototype.
I’m really behind the curve here. This is from the Forza 4 February American Le Mans Pack, yet its follow up, the March Pirelli Pack, is due out today.
Winner of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race, the Audi R18 is set to dominate Sports Car racing for the entirety of 2012, in no small part because their only serious competitor, Peugeot, have withdrawn from the sport.
Toyota are re-entering the world of LMP Sports Cars this year, but it would seem unlikely that they would be competitive right from the start.
I’m probably the last person on Earth to see this, but I still love it.