PLENTY OF GRUNT
As in F1, 1986 marked the peak of World Rally
Championship excess in the shape of Group
B. At year’s end, it was shelved following
several driver and spectator fatalities – the
latter largely down to poor crowd control.
Rutherford rates the M16 as one of the great Indy cars. Given the power it could handle, he’s surely right. (BELOW LEF T) Leading the ’ 73 field after earning pole with a four-lap average of 198.413mph.
Dre w Gibson/LAT
pavement that was supposed to be a big
no-no because you’re losing time. But if
you had 1,000hp and could lean on the
right-rear tire and spin it a little so the
engine wouldn’t bog down, you could
make drifting on pavement work for you.
If you had to crack the throttle just to
get the front end to bite, the weight
transfer was such that when you got back
on the gas, boy, it let you know how much
power you had under your right foot. On
restarts, too, you had to be careful; make
sure everything was pointing the right
way when the boost kicked in.
Two races later they put pop-off valves
on the engines to get power under control
and reduce speeds – but that didn’t make
the cars less demanding to drive, because
they also reduced the rear wing size.
Despite that great
pole lap in 1973,
Rutherford waited a
year for his first Indy
win (BELOW). There
was a near miss in
’ 75, but he doubled
up in ’ 76 and got
his third in ’ 80.
If you thought the GM/Chevrolet vs Ford
rivalry was a big deal in NASCAR, the
Australian GM/Holden vs Ford rivalry in V8
Supercars is on another level entirely.