It’s hard to really lay out just how good Group A touring car racing was. Everyone and everything ran Group A.
Every year, Jalopnik’s most Chosen members – well, just me this year – have brought you the very best of Group C and GT1 racing from the 1980s and 1990s. We even did a Group B rally theme once. But for some reason we’ve never covered arguable the most successful racing formula of all. It’s the awkwardly-titled Group A-smas, worthy of celebration.
We celebrate the Group A touring cars of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s more than enough, but the early ‘80s Group A touring cars were fantastic. Look at the 1983 roster at the European Touring Car Championship, catalogued on TouringCarRacing.net. Alfas, Audis, V12 Jaguars, BMWs, even a Chevy Camaro Z28, 450 horsepower and all.
But can we really say that this diversity is any better than what was seen on rally stages right into the middle of the 1990s? Touring car racing had variety, but rallying had enduring legends. The WRX, the Evo, how many of these equal one E24 BMW 635CSi or Volvo 242 Turbo?
I certainly couldn’t bring myself to come down on either side of the argument, lest I start wasting all my time reciting full rosters of various Manx Rallies that Tony Pond competed in. Where do you stand? Rally or touring car racing? Which had more hits, and which was greater?