Sports Cars That Aren’t Well Known Rally Competitors.


BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3

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Autoblog posted an entry today linking a video from Evo Magazine with rally driver Francois Delecour flinging a Porsche 911 GT3 RS around the roads of France. Delecour wanted to enter the Monte Carlo Rally in a GT3, but was rejected.

It may sound silly to everyone but the most devoted rally enthusiast, but there are sports cars out there that were entered into rally events. Cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX STI sedans or the coupes like the Lancia Stratos or Renault Alpine A110 are known for their rally heritage. The cars listed below aren’t remembered much for their rally careers.

Porsche 959 –This Car, along with the Ferrari F40, were the first of the modern “hyper” supercars. It’s well known for its sub-4 second 0 to 60 mph time and 200mph top speed.  The 959 was originally built to be a Group B rally car. Group B at the start of the eighties was introducing new technology (like Audi’s Quattro) and increasing speeds. The 959 was driven in the 1985 and 1986 (as modified 911s) in the Paris-Dakar Rally; it finished in 1-2 positions for the 1986 race. Here's some video of the Paris-Dakar featuring the 959.

Ferrari 308 GTB-4—More known as the car from Magnum PI than as a rally car, the 308 was actually pretty competitive in Group B. The cars were setup by Michelotto, who also created the Group-4 road racing 308s. Due to limitations, the cars did not differ much from the road going 308s, and by the time the cars were outfitted, the cars ended up being 60 pounds heavier that stock. The cars won multiple rally races like the Targa Florio and Sicilian Rally Championship during the 1983-84 seasons. This video shows how well a Ferrari can handle dirt.

BMW M3 (1986-92)—The first BMW M3 series was not only a good touring race car, but a competent rally car as well. The cars were modified by famous tuning firms like Prodrive for Group A competition. It was seriously out gunned by the all-wheel-drive cars emerging during this time in more dirt and gravel rally stages by the all-wheel-drive cars emerging during this time, but the BMWs were blisteringly fast on tarmac and were quite competitive there. Here's a video of one in action.

 
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