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    • What happens when you build cars with absolutely no restrictions and put only the bravest drivers behind the wheel of them to take the cars through the tight corners of hillsides and rocky terrain? This is what the golden era of rally was all about when Group B was first introduced, an era of racing that still remains in the hearts of many fans and is considered the pinnacle of the World Rally Championship. This era brought out the most insane looking cars with over the top aerodynamics and innovative turbocharging technologies, manufacturers used Group B as a way of getting into racing and pushing the boundaries of what was possible when it came to race cars, completely ditching focus on health and safety and going all out on the power and performance. You know a car is fast enough when you wake up in the morning and look it, scared to even unlock it, these were the cars.    (WildRide Magazine's Obey Omnis, Images via WildRide Magazine)   The '80s were a good time for rally racing and to keep the ball rolling, the FIA decided to completely overhaul the group systems in order to attract more manufacturers, ditching the old Group 1-6 layout, replacing them with Groups N, A, B and S. Groups N and A were focused mainly on production cars where they could rarely differ from the road going variants and were restricted on power. Group B however was where the main action was happening due to the fact there were no restrictions and the manufacturers could go as wild as they wanted with their new race chassis, not having to worry about any power limits or restrictions on the body. (They were also required to make 200 homologation units in order to keep the costs down compared to the 5000 units required in Groups N & A). With manufacturers not being held back by restrictions, not only were they making advancements in the world of motorsports, they were also making advancements when it came to normal commercial vehicles, giving us technology such as the advanced all wheel drive systems, semi-automatic gearboxes and clever ways of modifying the turbochargers.   Obey would enter the Omnis into Group B which would later become the poster child of the golden age. This car would end up revolutionizing rally racing and it was the very first rally car which had a reliable and effective all wheel drive system, making it a benchmark for all future cars fitted with a similar drivetrain, the car would also go through a few changes throughout the years building on it's shortcomings such as the relatively large weight but 1984 would be the debut of the Omnis we all know and love, one of the most innovative cars which completely changed the whole playing field. The Obey Omnis featured a unique inline-5 engine with a clever turbocharging system which allowed it to produce anywhere from 450 brake horsepower to 540 brake horsepower. The genius engineers fitted a small valve which would keep the turbo spooled even when it was off throttle, resulting in little to zero turbo lag which would allow the Omnis to be quick out of the tight twisty corners.   (WildRide Magazine's Obey Omnis, Images via WildRide Magazine)   One of the most noticeable aspects of the car is the very aggressive aero kit which featured a massive front splitter and an even larger rear wing, this was one of the first examples of sophisticated use of aerodynamics and the drivers of the Omnis stated that all this was beneficial, making the car extremely stable at high speeds which is a must when you're driving across loose surfaces. The aerodynamics paired with the semi-automatic gearbox and all wheel drive system put the car at a massive advantage as prior to this, manufacturers were sticking to rear wheel drive layouts as they didn't see any benefits to it, especially when taking the additional weight added to the car because of it into consideration. There's no denying that the Obey Omnis is a very heavy car and the suspension setup on it put you in a position where you'd sit up a lot higher than you normally would in any other rally car so did this big weight disadvantage prevent it from performing well on rally stages? Absolutely not.   (WildRide Magazine's Obey Omnis, Images via WildRide Magazine)    Despite the weight disadvantage and comprise of dynamics, it all worked. Obey had more power under the hood than the rest of the manufacturers but they were also able to utilize it a lot more efficiently, being able to apply more power on surfaces such as dirt, gravel and even ice, carrying it all the way out through the corners. After the chassis won it's first race, there really wasn't anything stopping it, drivers started shaving off seconds and even minutes on some rally stages, it was clear that the all wheel drive system was a game changer to the sport of rally. All of the engineering behind it paired with an All-Star line up of drivers lead the chassis to winning the 1984 world championship title and paved the way for the drivers to reaching their legendary status.    (WildRide Magazine's Obey Omnis, Images via WildRide Magazine)    One of the most notable drivers out of this line-up was a French female driver, Michèle Mouton, who started off her career as a rally co-driver before getting behind the wheel herself, leading to her gaining accolades such as French Champion and European Ladies Champion. She'd also compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, forming her own all female team where they'd end up winning the whole race in their class, this sky-rocketed her name up on the list of driver's to watch and caught the attention of multiple teams such as Brioso where she'd have moderate success until she'd sign with Obey at the start of the '80s. As to be expected, this signing was met with criticism and seeing the comments thrown about, it makes you dislike people more and more. She managed to prove everyone wrong in Portugal where she won seven stages and managed to finish fourth overall, continuing to perform well in both the Greek and Finnish rally stages until Sanremo, Italy, where she'd get her breakthrough, getting first place. This put comments such as "Never can, nor will I lose to a woman" to rest. Mouton would shut up all the critics, going up against legends in the rally scene, making her presence felt as she'd put down fastest times on stages such as Monte Carlo and even finish in the top five in Sweden, all whilst dealing with an injured knee. By the time it got to the Portugal stage, she put all theories that she was unable to compete in the big leagues, to rest. 1982 would be the year where she would be battling for the lead of the Championship, racking up wins. She'd also enter a race in Côte d'Ivoire as part of her father's final wish before passing away from cancer, this was a race where a lot of cars struggled to compete due to the extremely high temperatures and the cabin where the driver and co-driver were, would reach 150°F (65.6°C), Obey originally didn't have any plans to compete or even enter in this rally but due to Mouton's father's final wish and the fact she was close to winning the championship, they went through with it.  She sadly wouldn't finish the race due to the car overheating. Although Mouton didn't end up winning the World Championship title, she would give Obey their very first Manufacturer's world title and walk away with the International Rally Driver of The Year award, even other drivers would say that she deserved the Championship title, only losing it by sheer luck of her opponent. She'd end up leaving the sport of rally in '86 to focus on her family and would end up being made Knight of the Legion of Honour, the highest French merit and would also have her name put into the Rally Hall of Fame. Motorsport legends from all disciplines such as Nikki Lauda would commend her as being one of the best, even gaining titles such as the Superwoman. This woman is to thank for inspiring an entirely brand new generation of female drivers, showing them that it's possible to go up against the big leagues and that those spots aren't reserved solely for male drivers, she took massive strides in disproving all the criticism that was thrown at her due to being a female driver and making it a better environment for female drivers of today, showing them that they do have a place in Motorsports.   (Michèle Mouton)   Vapid were already present in the world of Rally but with the introduction of Group B, they set out to develop a brand new chassis, one which would be rear wheel drive but it was fueled with problems and Vapid would eventually end up scrapping the project all together out of frustration. Due to already having invested a lot of money developing a chassis solely for the purpose of Group B, they decided they'd give it another shot, using the lessons learnt from the failure of the first attempt. This time they'd focus on making it a purpose built rally car, ditching the original rear wheel drive layout plans for an all wheel drive layout in hopes of having a chance to compete against cars such as the Obey Omnis.   (WildRide Magazine's Vapid GB200, Images via WildRide Magazine)    The chassis they would end up producing had a unique design, it featured a composite body made from fiberglass and would be a mid-engine, all wheel drive layout. Trying to prevent the additional weight from putting them at a disadvantage, they started focusing on improving the weight distribution and placed the transmission at the very front of the car, meaning the power from the engine would go all the way to the front wheels before making it's way to the rear, a really complex system but the weight distribution and double wishbone suspension would aid handling and stability, this also lead to the Vapid GB200 being the most balanced platform when compared to all its competitors. To cut down on costs and development time, the Vapid parts bin was raided and parts from old commercial vehicles were used to dress the whole GB200 up such as the windshield, front headlights, doors (Which were cut down to be made smaller) and dash gauges being taken off older Vapid models.   (WildRide Magazine's Vapid GB200, Images via WildRide Magazine)    The engine that sat above the rear axles of the GB200 was a 1.8 liter turbocharged unit which had an output of 250 brake horsepower in road going trim but had as much as 350 to 400 brake horsepower in race trim. Although the GB200 had the balance which was necessary to be competitive in the field, the power to weight ratio was really poor and was letting it down with the engine being infamous for the lag it would produce in low RPMs, making it extremely difficult to drive on the rally stages, gaining it's best ever finish in Group B when it got third overall in Sweden, 1986. One event later, in the rally of Portugal, a GB200 would be involved in a crash, taking the lives of three spectators and injuring multiple others. Another GB200 would be involved in a crash in the rally of Germany where it crashed right into a tree, sadly killing the co-driver instantly.       The crash at the rally of Portugal would end up making the GB200 completely obsolete, only seeing one full season of rally. Vapid were even planning on making a more powerful variant of the GB200 for competition, one which would have improved brakes and suspension. The engine would also be more powerful, now producing anywhere from 500 brake horsepower, all the way up to 800, although most made around 570. The most impressive thing however was that this new variant which did get released, was able to do 0-60 in just 2 seconds, this was completely insane for a car in the '80s. This new variant wouldn't compete in Group B and would instead compete in the FIA European Championship from 1986 till 1992, winning an entire season in 1991. The GB200 was a purpose built supercar for rally that was built from the ground up and the 200 homologated units that were released to the public were only there to show off Vapid's technology and what was possible when a car is made by a group of people, all having extensive roots in Motorsports. The new variants of the GB200 performed more like a race car, offering smooth power delivery unlike the very first models seen in Group B. Vapid's marketing team wanted to garner some publicity when they gave a GB200 to the Essex Police Force in the United Kingdom, going on to recreate the same image 30 years later with the Vapid Flash GT.     (Essex Police Force's Vapid GB200, United Kingdom)    Group B was absolutely mental to put it simply and it was spectacular watching these world class drivers control these insane looking cars at high speeds through tight and twisty roads whilst also threading the needle when it came to the sea of spectators present on the road. All the rally stages were held on public roads which meant that anyone was able to come and watch the races, also allowing the spectators to get extremely close to the cars. Spectators would get hit during these races but it was all part of the challenge for the drivers, keeping the throttle pinned and hoping that fans would clear the road in time. This would put bigger car and longer cars such as the Obey Omnis and GB200 at a disadvantage with manufacturers later developing smaller hatchbacks with boxy shapes, making it easier to navigate the cars through the tight roads and avoid the spectators.   (Moses Parting The Red Sea, Obey Omnis)   Group B was everything Motorsports and racing should be, incredibly fast and innovative cars with the bravest drivers behind the wheel, challenging themselves on some of the roughest roads and terrains at high speeds, pushing what was possible to the limit with there being a new Champion each year (Cough, looking at you Formula 1). All the cars would look different, all featuring their respective manufacturer's innovations and leaps of advancement in terms of technology but there's no denying that this sport was extremely dangerous. With no restrictions, these cars were too powerful, too fast to race, they were extremely difficult and the spectators were constantly at risk of danger, same with the drivers. The cars could weight as little as 890kg, this lead to manufacturers doing everything they could to shed as much weight as possible to be competitive, at the cost of safety, leading to the cars in the end of the era being extremely fragile and hopeless when it came to protecting the drivers and co-drivers from any crashes. A lot of drivers spoke out about this saying that if a restriction was put on weight, more focus could be put on the safety to better protect the occupants of the vehicle. There were several crashes that happened throughout Group B, the aforementioned crash in Rally Portugal saw the driver lose control of the GB200 over a crest, going straight into a crowd of spectators, injuring a total of 31 and killing 3. After this horrific crash, the Rally Portugal would be cancelled on the same day with all the teams pulling out and refusing to race out of respect for the lives lost and those injured, along with the concern for safety. A few months later, the final nail on the coffin would be hit when the Championship favorite of 1986 who was leading in the Driver's Championship by a huge margin, would lose control late into a fast turn, not having time to correct the car or brake, sending the car flying off the road, down onto a steep hill which would result in the fuel tank being ruptured, spilling fuel all over the hot engine, sending the car up in flames, engulfing both the driver and co-driver. By the time medical staff were able to arrive at the scene to help, it had already been too late, the incident was over in a matter of minutes, what was recovered from the crash was barely even recognizable as a car anymore, with only the frame remaining. This would be the final straw and most manufacturers would pull out of Group B rally completely. After this crash which took the lives of two prominent figures in rally, it only took hours for the FIA to completely cancel and ban Group B as a whole.       Never again will we see anything remotely close to Group B in terms of the action it offered, constantly leaving you at the edge of your seat waiting to see which car will retire next or make it through to the end. It was all the danger, bare knuckled competition and raw human talent, piloting these incredible cars that now makes Group B the Golden Era of Rally. Since then, the cars have changed, the regulations have changed and the driver's have changed but one thing that hasn't changed is the spectators and their pursuit of getting the best seat in the house. There was great reason for the cancellation of Group B but a special era has ended and is long gone now, only remaining in the hearts and memory of rally fans and just like that, this article is in memory of those injured and those who lost their lives doing what they enjoyed, being involved in the world of racing, this one's for you, Rest Well.  
    • Please L&A this.  Though I was hoping to make this faction work I just don’t have enough time in the day to keep the idea going. 
    • @Conkers Damn, just noticed me being tagged here while going through emails. Been a long time since I last RPd in this community, but it was super fun, sad that all the fun stories and threads are gone now, but it was truly a fun time. I kinda owe my current career to the old MTA server, taught me so much about digital art!  Dude, you've been a great pal to RP with and mess around with all over the years, your business mindset developed a ton and seeing all those ideas be realized was super cool.  We would struggle and work a ton just to get a house for 4 people in some ghetto area at one point and fast forward a few years and we'd be trying to explore the limits of what was even possible on the server. Really fun times for sure! I've preserved it all in my memory and I've even put in a ton of easter eggs from the MTA server into my short film! Do wish you the best of luck in life and all your endeavors! You're a great lad and can't wait to see how far you'll get in life!
    • (( Temporary header until on PC. ))   25/FEB/2021   It's been 24 hours.    I know, I'm thinking the same thing. He could have just got busy. Maybe he accidentally broke his phone? He can be really clumsy with technology, I've found. He could have just lost it. Maybe he forgot to pay the phone bills? Maybe he just lost signal?   But that's not it. At least not according to my head. It isn't like it's just going straight through to voicemail. Every time I try texting him, I just get a text automatically back saying the number isn't in service. It's the same with calls. I just can't get through to him at all. I've tried texting Hana. She isn't replying. Is it an issue on my end?   Number not in service..   What the hell is that supposed to mean?    Did he just.. do it by himself?   Has he gone?    No.. look, he wouldn't, and you know that. How many times have you thought the exact same thing before and it's turned out to be perfectly fine?   But how long can such luck last? He's all by himself out there. How the hell am I supposed to know who's looking after him?    Maybe one of the people at his business meetngs has pissed him off, so he turned his phone off for a bit?   But if he really did do it on purpose, he could have let me know. He could have told me.    But he hasn't.    So that just leaves two options. That he either didn't want to let me know, or he couldn't. But surely even if he can't access his own phone, he could use a colleague's? Do places even have public phones anymore? Larkspur has public libraries with computers, right?    It doesn't have to be bad.. it doesn't have to be bad. You're just overreacting. It's only been a day. You don't know anything.    Just calm down.    I've gone to stand at the pier because I can't think. I've been home to let Loki out in the garden, but I just can't go in there right now not knowing. I've scratched these damn walls I'm by so hard to the point my knuckles are red. I didn't even realize I was doing it.    I didn't bring my car with me. It's been ages since I've walked properly outside of work. Both of my legs are starting to feel like they'd rather stop working, but it's almost like I don't have a choice, even if I know I do. It's that same sense of loss of control I'm starting to feel again. I don't think it's as bad as last time. I hope it doesn't get as bad as last time. I need to keep myself level somehow.   That girl who was talking about ducks at the barbecue the other day has shown up. Only this time, she's actually brought the duck with her. She's trying to talk to me, but right now I just can't bring myself to engage. I'm choosing to try though.   I need to try.    She even gives me some breadcrumbs to feed Elvis the duck. She's apparently taught him some tricks and gets him to bury himself in my hoodie. She's even taught him how to laugh. I didn't know ducks could laugh. The sad thing is I want to laugh. It's funny, isn't it? But I just.. can't. I don't have the energy to. All I can do is force a smile, and even then that isn't enough.   She tries to get me some ice cream as well, but I don't want to eat. I'm not hungry. I know she's just trying to cheer me up, but nothing is working, and that in itself makes me feel even more down. Part of me doesn't want to cheer up. What if something really has happened to him and I'm still stood here laughing without knowing?    I just want to know what's going on. Even if it's just a text to say he's okay. Even if it's a text to tell me he's decided he isn't coming back.    I'd give anything just to have any kind of answer right now. 
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