Old ’80s WRC Footage Shows Why Group B Rally Cars Were Killers

Basically, if you wanted to sit on the outside of a corner, in the direct line of fire of a car that just lost control at 120 mph, you were more than welcome to do so. We’d say ’80s loyalists preferred to die like men, but that would be an insult to Michele Mouton, who had a bigger set of metaphorical testicles than the rest of the field combined.

The FIA pulled the plug on Group B after the untimely death of Toivonen and Cresto and three spectators. A total of 31 spectators were also seriously injured. As you can imagine, you don’t simply walk it off after getting hit by a purpose-built 500-hp racer. People often lost appendages.

The FIA should have focused more on crowd control but didn’t have the technology. Herding people into the inside of a corner is the most effective tactic, but you still get a few stragglers. These days, crowds are controlled by artificial intelligence. Helicopters, drones, and even the WRC cars are used to monitor spectators. You get handed over to the authorities if you don’t abide by the rules, and you face a lifetime from your favorite sport.

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