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Old 1 Feb 2011, 09:41 (Ref:2823748)   #1
chunterer
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Quickest rally drivers on tarmac/asphalt?

I caught some old 80's footage of event like The Manx, San Remo and Ypres recently and marvelled at the names that were taking part as well as some of the equipment.

When 'i were a lad' I was quite into the Group 4 and Group B's but lost interest in the 90's.

I always recall that some drivers were more at home on ashphalt and some on the loose, but who were the real tarmac rally aces?

The late Tony Pond springs to mind, he seemed to be able to make anything go well but I always understood that Rohrl, Toivonen, McRae Senior and Brookes were aces as well?

What about the French and Belgian drivers who did most of their major events on the black stuff like Auriol, Frequelin, Ragnotti and Duez, Sniyers and Droogmans?

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Old 1 Feb 2011, 09:47 (Ref:2823750)   #2
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Ari Vatanen was alway a great hero of mine in the MkII Escort Days, he was so committed (or close to a big accident) on Tarmac.
I think it was at the start of the TV coverage of the Manx Rally one year when his Black Escort suddenly lunged into view, totally sideways with huge slick tyres totally filling the wheelarches of the car.
As you say, Tony Pond was another one, and also now departed, Pentti Arikkala (especially in the Chevette HSR) was another good one.
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 11:53 (Ref:2823816)   #3
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Ari Vatanen was alway a great hero of mine in the MkII Escort Days, he was so committed (or close to a big accident) on Tarmac.
I think it was at the start of the TV coverage of the Manx Rally one year when his Black Escort suddenly lunged into view, totally sideways with huge slick tyres totally filling the wheelarches of the car.
As you say, Tony Pond was another one, and also now departed, Pentti Arikkala (especially in the Chevette HSR) was another good one.
I've had the privilege to sit with Ari at speed in a rally car and can confirm he was / is like that everywhere. The experience was in Finland and usually at night during practice (as it was then!) for 1000 Lakes.

Patrick Snijers and Mark Duez always impressed me on tarmac. Certainly Auriol was quick as well, and Tony Pond best 'home grown' challenger.
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 13:31 (Ref:2823914)   #4
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I've had the privilege to sit with Ari at speed in a rally car and can confirm he was / is like that everywhere. The experience was in Finland and usually at night during practice (as it was then!) for 1000 Lakes.

Patrick Snijers and Mark Duez always impressed me on tarmac. Certainly Auriol was quick as well, and Tony Pond best 'home grown' challenger.
Respect Mike, respect! I bet that was an awesome experience...
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 14:25 (Ref:2823950)   #5
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In addition to others mentioned previously, Walter Rohrl was quick on tarmac - and he was used by Lancia to drive both their rally and race cars. In his day Vic Elford was a winner for Porsche in rallying and sports car racing and I believe he drove in F1 and Canam and NASCAR. For good measure he won the first ever Rallycross event at Lydden!
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 14:25 (Ref:2823951)   #6
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Patrick Snijers and Mark Duez always impressed me on tarmac. .
Snijers in the Prodrive/Bastos BMW M3 on the '88 Manx...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkYx3mHSR5Y
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 16:59 (Ref:2824030)   #7
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In addition to others mentioned previously, Walter Rohrl was quick on tarmac - and he was used by Lancia to drive both their rally and race cars. In his day Vic Elford was a winner for Porsche in rallying and sports car racing and I believe he drove in F1 and Canam and NASCAR. For good measure he won the first ever Rallycross event at Lydden!
Vic Elford is probably the best 'allrounder' motorsport has produced. Very, very quick in all disciplines (though I've not seen any results for him in Drag Racing or Trials!!).
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 17:03 (Ref:2824034)   #8
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Snijers in the Prodrive/Bastos BMW M3 on the '88 Manx...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkYx3mHSR5Y
Yes, that was the drive that really stood out. Think I have it on a Video somewhere- must have a look! Having done a couple of tarmac rallies in Belgium I can understand why the Belgians were so quick.

Agree about Rhorl & Elford being other worthy tarmac drivers. but still rate Snijers / M3 / Manx top performance.


Viva, I could tell more but nor really on topic!
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 18:02 (Ref:2824084)   #9
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Jean Ragnotti went well in both circuit racing and rallying, getting to a good F3 drive in 1973 and later pedalling a Renault 5 Turbo with success. Ragnotti was good on most surfaces - I remember watching him with a little Renault 5 GT on the RAC one year [1977?] getting the car to improbable speeds. Not quite in Elford's league but a pretty good all-rounder.

Bernard Beguin, in the late 70s and 80s a Porsche driver of considerable skill in French and international tarmac rallies, also drove one of the Ecurie Volants Shell works entered Martini MK12s in 1973 F3.
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 14:29 (Ref:2824580)   #10
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Yeah I think Beguin drove one of the Rothmans cars on and off along with the likes of Billy Coleman (he was a handy tarmac man), Toivonen, Jim McRae and one or two others. The Rothmans cars come to think of it were a bit like celebrity driver entries!!!

The were also a few handy Italians going back in time as well weren't there?

Bettega is one off the top of my head?
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 14:50 (Ref:2824593)   #11
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The late Tony Pond springs to mind, he seemed to be able to make anything go well
Sure could Chunty..... here is a clip which shows it was in ANYTHING.

Tony had a mission to lap the TT circuit on the IoM at an average speed in excess of 100mph. In a standard Rover 827. (with a roll cage and decent rubber) He did it with no notes or navigator in order to save weight!

On-board Footage of that TT Challenge
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Old 3 Feb 2011, 09:25 (Ref:2824969)   #12
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Yeah I think Beguin drove one of the Rothmans cars on and off along with the likes of Billy Coleman (he was a handy tarmac man), Toivonen, Jim McRae and one or two others. The Rothmans cars come to think of it were a bit like celebrity driver entries!!!

The were also a few handy Italians going back in time as well weren't there?

Bettega is one off the top of my head?
Dont forget Bertie Fisher and Austin McHale and the GpB Opel Manta 400.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFGAn...eature=related
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Old 3 Feb 2011, 10:58 (Ref:2825011)   #13
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Ireland has produced some very quick tarmac drivers! Obvious really but countries that produce the best are those that allow public roads to be closed for tarmac rallies. I remember a few years ago being in a little town in N Italy on holiday. Sunday morning was woken by sounds of rally cars assembling in the square for a local tarmac event. Lucky, *******s, I thought! Such a shame that we can't do the same in UK.
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Old 3 Feb 2011, 11:08 (Ref:2825023)   #14
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Sure could Chunty..... here is a clip which shows it was in ANYTHING.

Tony had a mission to lap the TT circuit on the IoM at an average speed in excess of 100mph. In a standard Rover 827. (with a roll cage and decent rubber) He did it with no notes or navigator in order to save weight!

On-board Footage of that TT Challenge
For me TP was a one-off. No one else like him before or since. There's also a clip of him starting a stage on the COI (i think?) in a Vitesse and quickly getting up to something like top whack in thick fog. The narrator says 'this is where the driver and co-driver must have complete trust in one another.'

NOT HALF!!!!!

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Dont forget Bertie Fisher and Austin McHale and the GpB Opel Manta 400.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFGAn...eature=related
Oh yes, handly drivers both! Did both of them also drive M3's at some stage or other as well?

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Ireland has produced some very quick tarmac drivers! Obvious really but countries that produce the best are those that allow public roads to be closed for tarmac rallies. I remember a few years ago being in a little town in N Italy on holiday. Sunday morning was woken by sounds of rally cars assembling in the square for a local tarmac event. Lucky, *******s, I thought! Such a shame that we can't do the same in UK.
Ha ha must've been a great holiday to wake up and hear that!!

I used to live near West Mid's Safari Park, where as you know the RAC visited on occassion in the 80's. Long after that stopped happening there were sometimes local club stage events going on and it was possible to hear the various cars being thrashed about across the valley where I lived, that and the Lion's being fed.......

Another couple of ace tarmac exponents that I remember were Francois Chatriot and Gregiore de Mevius. Both rallied M3's at one point did a bit of racing in similar cars as well IIRC?
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Old 3 Feb 2011, 13:24 (Ref:2825141)   #15
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Love that Snijers vid. That M3 looks really nicely set up.

Bruno Saby and Miki Biason were always quick on tarmac. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERBn4...eature=related

In the more modern era Puras, Panizzi and Delecour were all v good on tarmac. Now I gues Leob is...

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