The Mother of all Rallies
On 01/21/1911, the history of the car rally started in Monte Carlo. 20 participants came to Monaco to take part in the inaugural race from places such as Berlin, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Brussels, Geneva, Paris and Vienna. There were no set routes or special stages, and the participants treated it as an orientation and pleasure trip.
Rally sport becomes quicker and more international
The 1960s. The rally developed into the extremely quick motorsport discipline we know today. Now, each team starts one after the other on the same route and is subject to the same challenges. As well as the European Rally Championships for drivers, the FIA organized a second championship for brands. In 1970 the competition went international: with the Safari rally, which is still one of the toughest tests even today, drivers had to prove themselves on non-European terrain. Additional international races such as the Rally Morocco followed.
First official World Rally Championships
1973. The first official World Rally Championships took place. "Rally is comin' home": the first run was in Monte Carlo.
Group B years - the era of the four-wheel monsters
1982. Spectacular benchmark data and the first permitted Group B cars: four-wheel drive, turbochargers, 440-550 hp. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2.6 seconds. They might have drawn spectators in the thousands, but they were also fire hazards! The FIA ended the arms race that the World Rally Championships had become for safety reasons in 1986.
Group A years - start of the "matchbox" cars
1987. Less powerful racing cars based on mass-produced cars fought for the world championship title until the end of the 1990s. From then on, the focus was on efficiency and technical innovation in developing high-performance engines.
WRC - French dominance and new competition
1998. Peugeot and Citroën dominated the World Rally Championships and produced an icon of rally sport: Sébastien Loeb. By 2012, he had stood on the top spot of the podium at the end of a rally season 9 times. This year, excitement is coming back! Loeb is not in the running for the title, and Volkswagen is entering into the World Rally Championship with Polo R WRC. We're excited to see what the next chapter of the story will be.