Your daily affirmation of "Because Race Car"

America's lack of rally history also means we miss out on glories such as the one caught here, the 2011 Rally Legend, a reunion held last weekend in San Marino where Group B Lancia Stratos can run cowl-to-jowl with modern Escorts, Quattros and old-line Opel Mantas.

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Luca Pedersoli and Dino Maggioni won the WRC side of the race in a 1999 Peugeot 206, holding off Marcus Gronholm who suffered mechanical troubles. The classics side trophy was claimed by Juha Kankkunen, paired with Matti Janhunen, in a 1993 Toyota Celica ST 185.

DISCUSSION

I do have to say that after the demise of Group B, rallying has recovered nicely (not as much in America, of course...but hey, we've got Group N, which is better than nothing).

In any case, I know that modern WRC cars are far down on power (regulated 300 HP max, versus the unregulated max of Group B). I'm wondering how much faster the Group B cars really were. I'm not talking about in a straight line so much...I'm thinking more about the segment times at "maximum attack". Despite being way down on power, modern rally cars have significantly faster shifting transmissions, better differentials (those have been cheapened a bit by fairly recent regulations), and benefit from advances in tire technology. Taking these things into account, aside from lower maximum speeds, I wonder how much slower modern cars really are. Anyone have some insight?