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10 Crashes That Changed Motor Sports Forever


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The Death of Group B Rally Cars
Henri Toivonen and Sergio Crestos were driving a Lancia Delta S4 like the one pictured when they crashed at the 1986 Tour de Corse. © 2011 Donna Rutherford/CC BY-ND 2.0
Henri Toivonen and Sergio Crestos were driving a Lancia Delta S4 like the one pictured when they crashed at the 1986 Tour de Corse. © 2011 Donna Rutherford/CC BY-ND 2.0

If you've ever been to a rally race, you know they're exciting. Run on real roads (closed to non-race traffic, of course) with few barriers between the cars and the fans, rally racing makes for some of the most exciting motor sports you can watch. It was even more exciting from 1982 to 1986, with its inclusion of the incredibly fast and agile Group B rally cars — which were perhaps too fast, as it turns out.

At the 1986 Tour de Corse rally race, Finnish driver Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Crestos were killed in their Lancia Delta S4. What makes the accident puzzling is that no one really knows what happened. Due to the nature of rally racing, no fans or race marshals were in the area. Eventually the blame landed on the Group B cars. Toivonen's car had over 500 brake horsepower and could shoot from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in two seconds [source: Top Gear]. Other Group B cars had similar capabilities. Because it was impossible to race these cars safely, after just four years, the entire Group B class was banned.


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