In the early 1980s two things happened that led Audi to dominate rally racing competitions for the better part of the decade. First, FIA restrictions governing the types of cars that can enter rally competitions were loosened significantly for a new class of cars called Group B. The other game changer was Audi’s introduction of the Sport Quattro S1 to the World Rally Championship. In the late Seventies rear wheel drive cars were the norm in rally racing, but when Audi introduced its Quattro all-wheel-drive rally racing was forever changed. The cars were so fast and so powerful that a series of fatal accidents led to Group B’s downfall after only four years.
These highlight videos from the early 1980s show the amazing capabilities and power of the Quattro S1. Many rally racing fans regard Group B as the most spectacular era of rally competition. Nothing has ever been seen like it — before or since. If you watch the video directly below you will notice the insane crowds nearly avoiding death by a speeding race car. Eventually the manufacturers forced the FIA to better deal with the crowds, but back then it was like the wild west. Truly amazing motorsports.