John Barnard is a race car designer and is working with Terence Woodgate designing high specification carbon fibre furniture. In 1968 Barnard was recruited by Lola Cars in Huntingdon as a designer and began working on many of the chassis manufacturers projects, including Formula Vee racers. While at Lola, Barnard was introduced to Patrick Head, who helped Frank Williams found the Williams Formula One team, the two engineers became good friends and Head was best man at Barnards wedding in the early 1970s. By 1975 Barnard had been hired by Parnelli Jones to work with Maurice Philippe designing the teams Formula One racer which campaigned from 1974 to 1976, the cars best finish was 4th by Mario Andretti at the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix. After Philippe left Vels Parnelli Jones Racing, Barnard modified the design for the Indycar circuit, further Indycar designs followed and in 1980 the Barnard-designed Chaparral 2K chassis took Johnny Rutherford to the prestigious Indianapolis 500 and the CART drivers title.
At the 1981 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the strength of the MP4/1 was given a public test when John Watson suffered a massive crash in his MP4/1 coming out of the second Lesmo turn. Many feared the worst for the Irishman as crashes like that in Formula One often led to the death of the driver. However, the strength of the Carbon Fibre monocoque saw Watson survive unhurt to the surprise and delight of many, not the least being Watson himself, within months the design had been copied by many of McLarens rivals. In 1983, Barnard pioneered the coke-bottle shape of sidepods still visible to this day, the 1984 season saw McLaren drivers Lauda and Prost win an amazing 12 of 16 races with the TAG-Porsche powered McLaren MP4/2. By the time Barnard left McLaren for Ferrari at the end of 1986 his cars had won 31 Grands Prix for the team. The 80° V6 TAG engine had been financed by Mansour Ojjeh of Techniques dAvant Garde and was built by Porsche to Barnards specification for the MP4/1E, by 1986, the working relationship between Barnard and McLaren boss Ron Dennis had deteriorated.
This led to speculation that Barnard would leave the team and it came as no surprise when it was announced before the 1986 German Grand Prix that he would be joining Ferrari in 1987. The Scuderia had not won a Grand Prix since Michele Alboreto had won the 1985 German Grand Prix, Ferrari finished 4th in the Constructors Championship in 1987 and 2nd in 1988. While at Ferrari, Barnard ruffled a few feathers with his way of doing things and he put a ban on the teams long-standing tradition of having wine at the mechanics lunch table during testing, something that proved unpopular with the teams mostly Italian mechanics. In 1989 Barnard pioneered the electronic gear shift mechanism – now known as a semi-automatic gearbox – which was operated via two paddles on the steering wheel and this revolutionary system had proved fragile in testing since early in 1988 and many in F1 were expecting it to fail. However, new team recruit Nigel Mansell took the new V12 powered Ferrari 640 to victory first time out at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, Barnard had instigated his second technical revolution, and by 1995 every team was running a copy of the Ferrari gearbox.
However, by the time the got to France the problems had been solved, One such advantage of the new system was put to good use by Gerhard Berger after he suffered a fiery crash at the high speed crash at the San Marino Grand Prix. The car had hit the wall at the Tamburello curve at close to 180 mph and with an almost full fuel load had burst into flames, following Mansells second place in France and the cars new found reliability, results improved dramatically
Sports car racing
Sports car racing is a form of circuit auto racing with sports cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels. They may be purpose-built or related to road-going models, a type of hybrid between the purism of open-wheelers and the familiarity of touring car racing, this style is often associated with the annual Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. First run in 1923, Le Mans is one of the oldest motor races still in existence, other classic but now defunct sports car races include the Italian classics, the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia, and the Mexican Carrera Panamericana. Most top class sports car races emphasize endurance and strategy, longer races usually involve complex pit strategy and regular driver changes. These makers top road cars have often very similar both in engineering and styling to those raced. This close association with the nature of the cars serves as a useful distinction between sports car racing and touring cars. The 12 Hours of Sebring,24 Hours of Daytona, and 24 Hours of Le Mans were once considered the trifecta of sports car racing.
In the 1920s, the used in endurance racing and Grand Prix were still basically identical, with fenders. Cars such as the Bugatti Type 35 were almost equally at home in Grands Prix and endurance events, but specialisation gradually started to differentiate the sports-racer from the Grand Prix car. As mainly Italian cars and races defined the genre, the category was called Gran Turismo, as long distances had to be travelled and some basic comfort were necessary in order to endure the task. After the Second World War, sports car racing emerged as a form of racing with its own classic races. Top Grand Prix drivers competed regularly in sports car racing, from 1962 sports cars temporarily took a back seat to GT cars with the FIA replacing the World Championship for Sports Cars with the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. The US scene tended to feature small MG and Porsche cars in the smaller classes, the combination of mostly British chassis and American V8 engines gave rise to the popular and spectacular Can-Am series in the 1960s and 1970s.
Clubmans provided much entertainment at club-racing level from the 1960s into the 1990s, after a relative period of decline in the 1980s a British GT Championship emerged in the mid-90s. Road races such as the Mille Miglia included everything from stock touring cars to World Championship contenders, the Mille Miglia was the largest sporting event in Italy until a fatal accident caused its demise in 1957. The Targa Florio, another road race, remained part of the world championship until the 1970s. Between the late 1960s and late 1970s, Matra and Renault made significant, the competition at Le Mans even made it to the movie screens, with Steve McQueens film Le Mans. This era was seen by many as the highpoint of sports car racing, with the technology, a peculiarly American form of sports car racing was the Can-Am series, in which virtually unlimited sports prototypes competed in relatively short races
Alessandria listen is a city and comune in Piedmont and the capital of the Province of Alessandria. The city is sited on the plain between the Tanaro and the Bormida rivers, about 90 kilometres southeast of Turin. Alessandria is a railway hub. Alessandria stood in the territories of the marchese of Montferrat, an ally of the Emperor, with a name assumed in 1168 to honor the Emperors opponent. In 1174–75 the fortress was tested by Imperial siege and stood fast. A legend says it was saved by a peasant, Gagliaudo, he fed his cow with the last grain remaining within the city. Here he was captured, and his cow cut open to be cooked and he answered that he was forced to feed his cow with grain because there was such a lot of it, and no room to place it within the city. The Emperor, fearing that the siege would last too long, a statue of Gagliaudo can be found on the left corner of the city cathedral. Alessandria entered into conflicts with the older communes of the region. The new domination was evidenced by the construction of a new big Cittadella on the side of the river Tanaro.
With Napoleons success at the Battle of Marengo, Alessandria fell to France, during this period another substantial fort was built to the north of the city containing impressive and substantial barracks which are still used as a military headquarters and stores. The remains of a fort to the south of the city have been sliced in two by a railway, a third one still remains in the middle of the same quarter. From 1814 Alessandria was Savoyard territory once more, part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, during the years of the Risorgimento, Alessandria was an active center of the liberals. In a suburb, Spinetta Marengo, the Battle of Marengo is reenacted annually, Alessandria was the first capital of an Italian province to be governed by a Socialist, the clockmaker Paolo Sacco was elected mayor on July 25,1899. On end of month the city was liberated from the German occupation by the partisan resistance. On November 6,1994 the Tanaro flooded a part of the city, causing major damage. The first known Jews in Alessandria, named Abraham opened a bank in or about 1490.
Of the 230 Jews living in the city in 1684,170 were members of the Vitale family, the Jewish Ghetto was established in 1724
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is an Italian businessman, former Chairman of Ferrari, and formerly Chairman of Fiat S. p. A. and President of Confindustria and FIEG. He comes from a family from the region of Piedmont in Italy. First he graduated in law from La Sapienza University in 1971, afterward, he studied for a masters in International commercial law at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is one of the founders and former president of NTV, in 2009, Montezemolo founded Future Italy, a free market think tank that joined Civic Choice in the 2013 parliamentary election. His uncle, Admiral Giorgio Cordero dei Marchesi di Montezemolo was a commander in the Regia Marina in World War II and his grandfather and great-grandfather Carlo were both Generals in the Italian Army. His surname is actually Cordero di Montezemolo and the usage is either the full surname or just Montezemolo. Montezemolos sporting career began at the wheel of a Giannini Fiat 500 which he raced together with his friend Cristiano Rattazzi, Montezemolo briefly drove for the famous privately owned Lancia rally team known as HF Squadra Corse.
During his involvement with the team, Ferrari won the Formula One World Championship with Niki Lauda in 1975 and 1977, in 1976 Montezemolo was promoted to become head of all FIAT racing activities, and in 1977 he advanced to become a senior manager of FIAT. Throughout the 1980s, Montezemolo occupied a number of positions in the FIAT empire, including managing director of the drinks company Cinzano, in 1982, he managed Americas Cup challenge of Team Azzurra, the first Italian yacht club to enter the event. In 1985, he became manager of the Organizing Committee for 1990 World Cup Italia, in November 1991, FIAT Chairman Gianni Agnelli appointed Montezemolo president of Ferrari, which had been struggling since Enzo Ferraris death. Montezemolo made it his goal to win the Formula One World Constructors Championship once again. Montezemolo quickly made changes at the Italian team, signing up Niki Lauda as consultant, during the 1990s he resurrected the Ferrari road car business from heavy debts into solid profit.
He took on the presidency of Maserati when Ferrari acquired it in 1997, under Montezemolo and executive director Jean Todt, the Ferrari Formula One team won the World Drivers Championship in 2000, the first time since 1979. The previous year,1999, they had won the Constructors Championship for the first time since 1983, on 27 May 2004, Montezemolo became president of Italian business lobby Confindustria. Days later, following the death of Umberto Agnelli on 28 May, since 20 December 2004, he has been president of the LUISS, the Free International University for Social Studies Guido Carli in Rome. Montezemolo has often reported to have aspirations of a career in Italian politics, most recently the office of Prime Minister. On 29 July 2008, Montezemolo founded the Formula One Teams Association which he presided over from 2008 to 2010, the Committee used to meet on a regular basis to discuss improvements to Formula One. FOTA was formally dissolved in 2014, in April 2010, John Elkann replaced Montezemolo as Chairman of Fiat S. p. A
Fiat Automobiles S. p. A. is the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy, a subsidiary of FCA Italy S. p. A. which is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat Automobiles S. p. A. was formed in January 2007 when Fiat reorganized its automobile business, Fiats main market is Europe, mainly focused in Italy. Historically successful in citycars and supermini sector, currently Fiat has a range of models focused on two segments. Fiat does not currently offer any large family car, nor an executive car - these market segments have, to some extent been covered by the Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, which Fiat owns. Fiats share of the European market shrank from 9.4 per cent in 2000 to 5.8 per cent in the summer of 2004, at this point Sergio Marchionne was appointed as Fiats chief executive. By March 2009 their market share had expanded to 9.1 per cent, Fiats built their five-story Lingotto plant in 1915 through 1918, at the time it was Europes largest car manufacturing plant. Later the Mirafiori plant was built, in Turin, to prepare for production of the all-new Fiat 128, Fiat opened their Rivalta plant in October 1968.
Until the 128 entered production, the plant was used to build versions of the 850 and 124 as well as parts for the Fiat Dino. Fiats 2014 range of car engines comprised eleven units, eight petrols. The second generation Punto was a seller in the UK after its October 1999 launch. The original Fiat 500 had been one of the few competitors for the iconic Mini during its 1960s heyday. Fiat has invested for a time in South America, mainly in Brazil. They built their first Brazilian car plant in the Greater Belo Horizonte city of Betim in 1973, recently a brand new model developed in Brazil has been launched, the Fiat Uno. Other European models are imported to Brazil, Fiat 500. Some others are still in production, Idea, Fiat has a long history in the United States. In 1908, the Fiat Automobile Co. was established in the country and a plant in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. began producing Fiats a year later, like the Fiat 60 HP and the Fiat 16-20 HP. These luxury cars were produced long before Chrysler Corp. was formed in 1925 from older manufacturers that were acquired by Walter P.
Chrysler, the New Jersey factory was closed when the U. S. entered World War I in 1917. Fiat returned to North America in the 1950s, selling the original 500, Fiat 600 Multipla, Fiat 1100, Fiat 1200, for example the Fiat 124 Sport Spider and the Fiat X1/9
Scuderia Ferrari S. p. A. competing as Scuderia Ferrari is the official name of the racing division of luxury Italian auto manufacturer and competes in Formula One racing. It is the oldest surviving and most successful Formula One team, the team was founded by Enzo Ferrari, initially to race cars produced by Alfa Romeo, though by 1947 Ferrari had begun building its own cars. As a constructor, Ferrari has a record 16 Constructors Championships, Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen have won a record 15 Drivers Championships for the team. Since Räikkönens title in 2007 the team narrowly lost out on the 2008 drivers title with Felipe Massa, Schumacher is the teams most successful driver. Joining the team in 1996 and departing in 2006 he won five titles and 72 Grands Prix for the team. His titles came consecutively between 2000 and 2004, including the constructors title of 1999 consecutively being won until the end of 2004, this was the teams most successful period.
Currently, World Champions Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel are the two race drivers. The team is known for its passionate support base known as the tifosi. The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is regarded as the home race. The Scuderia Ferrari team was founded by Enzo Ferrari on 16 November 1929 and became the team of Alfa Romeo. In 1938, Alfa Romeo management made the decision to enter racing under its own name, establishing the Alfa Corse organisation, Enzo Ferrari disagreed with this change in policy and was finally dismissed by Alfa in 1939. The terms of his leaving forbade him from motorsport under his own name, in 1939 Ferrari started work on a racecar of his own, the Tipo 815. The 815s, designed by Alberto Massimino, were thus the first Ferrari cars, World War II put a temporary end to racing, and Ferrari concentrated on an alternative use for his factory during the war years, doing machine tool work. After the war, Ferrari recruited several of his former Alfa colleagues and established a new Scuderia Ferrari, the team owns and operates a test track on the same site, the Fiorano Circuit built in 1972, which is used for testing road and race cars.
The team is named after its founder, Enzo Ferrari, Scuderia is Italian for a stable reserved for racing horses and is commonly applied to Italian motor racing teams. In 1947 Ferrari constructed the 12-cylinder,1.5 L Tipo 125, a Formula One version of the Tipo 125, the Ferrari 125 F1 was developed in 1948 and entered in several Grand Prix, at the time a World Championship had not yet been established. In 1950, the Formula One World Championship was established, and it is the only team to have competed in every season of the World Championship, from its inception to the current day. The company switched to the large-displacement naturally aspirated formula for the 275,340, after the 1951 Formula One season the Alfa team withdrew from F1, causing the authorities to adopt the Formula Two regulations due to the lack of suitable F1 cars
International Standard Book Number
The International Standard Book Number is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation of a book, for example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, the method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country. The initial ISBN configuration of recognition was generated in 1967 based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering created in 1966, the 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO2108. Occasionally, a book may appear without a printed ISBN if it is printed privately or the author does not follow the usual ISBN procedure, this can be rectified later. Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number, identifies periodical publications such as magazines, the ISBN configuration of recognition was generated in 1967 in the United Kingdom by David Whitaker and in 1968 in the US by Emery Koltay.
The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO2108, the United Kingdom continued to use the 9-digit SBN code until 1974. The ISO on-line facility only refers back to 1978, an SBN may be converted to an ISBN by prefixing the digit 0. For example, the edition of Mr. J. G. Reeder Returns, published by Hodder in 1965, has SBN340013818 -340 indicating the publisher,01381 their serial number. This can be converted to ISBN 0-340-01381-8, the check digit does not need to be re-calculated, since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have contained 13 digits, a format that is compatible with Bookland European Article Number EAN-13s. An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation of a book, for example, an ebook, a paperback, and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, a 13-digit ISBN can be separated into its parts, and when this is done it is customary to separate the parts with hyphens or spaces.
Separating the parts of a 10-digit ISBN is done with either hyphens or spaces, figuring out how to correctly separate a given ISBN number is complicated, because most of the parts do not use a fixed number of digits. ISBN issuance is country-specific, in that ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency that is responsible for country or territory regardless of the publication language. Some ISBN registration agencies are based in national libraries or within ministries of culture, in other cases, the ISBN registration service is provided by organisations such as bibliographic data providers that are not government funded. In Canada, ISBNs are issued at no cost with the purpose of encouraging Canadian culture. In the United Kingdom, United States, and some countries, where the service is provided by non-government-funded organisations. Australia, ISBNs are issued by the library services agency Thorpe-Bowker
Formula One is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950. The formula, designated in the name, refers to a set of rules, the F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads. The results of each race are evaluated using a system to determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers, one for constructors. The racing drivers are required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the races are required to be held on tracks graded 1, the highest grade a track can receive by the FIA. Most events are held in locations on purpose-built tracks, but there are several events in city centres throughout the world. Formula One cars are the fastest road racing cars in the world. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h with engines currently limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 RPM, the cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of five g in corners.
The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamics, the formula has radically evolved and changed through the history of the sport. F1 had a global television audience of 425 million people during the course of the 2014 season. Grand Prix racing began in 1906 and became the most popular internationally in the second half of the twentieth century. The Formula One Group is the holder of the commercial rights. Its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, since 2000 the sports spiraling expenditures and the distribution of prize money favoring established top teams have forced complaints from smaller teams and led several teams to bankruptcy. On 23 January 2017 it was confirmed that Liberty Media had completed its $8 billion acquisition of Delta Topco, the Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1920s and 1930s.
The formula is a set of rules that all cars must meet. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, the first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958, national championships existed in South Africa and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for years, but due to the increasing cost of competition
Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder & Stoughton is a British publishing house, now an imprint of Hachette. The firm has its origins in the 1840s, with Matthew Hodders employment, aged fourteen, with Messrs Jackson and Walford, the official publisher for the Congregational Union. In 1861 the firm became Jackson and Hodder, but in 1868 Jackson and Walford retired, Hodder & Stoughton published both religious and secular works, and its religious list contained some progressive titles. These included George Adam Smiths Isaiah for its Expositor’s Bible series, there was a sympathetic Life of St Francis by Paul Sabatier, a French Protestant pastor. Matthew Hodder made frequent visits to North America, meeting with the Moody Press and making links with Scribners, the secular list only gradually accepted fiction, and it was still subject to moral censorship in the early part of the twentieth century. Matthew Hodder was doubtful about the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and the company refused Michael Arlens The Green Hat, a novel published by Collins in 1924.
In 1922 Hodder and Stoughton published an edition of Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in Wonderland, in 1928, the company became the exclusive British hardback publisher of Leslie Charteriss adventure novel series, The Saint, publishing all 50 UK first editions of the series until 1983. In this decade they took over ownership of the medical journal. Hodder & Stoughton were the originators of the Teach Yourself line of self-instruction books, as the company expanded at home and overseas, Hodder & Stoughtons list swelled to include the real life adventures in Pearys North Pole and several works by Winston Churchill. During the war, Ralph Hodder Williams set up the Brockhampton Book Co. to sell off overstocks of theological works. The manager, Ernest Roker, had an interest in books and managed to persuade author Enid Blyton to write a series of books for them about four children. In 1942, the Famous Five series was born with Five on a Treasure Island, in 1962, Brockhampton took over the childrens writer Elinor Lyon, whose novels the parent company had introduced in 1948.
Hodder & Stoughton published the Biggles books by Captain W. E. Johns, Hodder & Stoughton published their first original Biggles book in 1942 with Biggles Sweeps the Desert around Sept/Oct of that year and the Brockhampton Press published Johns Gimlet books from 1947. Hodder & Stoughton published some of Johns Worrals books, Hodder & Stoughton eventually published 35 Biggles first editions and Brockhampton Press published a further 29 Biggles first editions. In 1953 they published Sir John Hunts successful The Ascent of Everest, in the 1970s, they brought the Knight and Coronet imprints into common use. The latter is memorable for David Nivens much-celebrated autobiography The Moons a Balloon. The non-fiction publishing included Anthony Sampsons era-defining The Anatomy of Britain in 1962, another notable title in the childrens sphere was the 1969 Brockhampton Press publication of Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Uderzo. In 1974, John le Carré’s Tinker, Soldier, Spy was published to critical acclaim
Lancia is an Italian automobile manufacturer founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia as Lancia & C. It became part of the Fiat Group in 1969, the current company, the company has a strong rally heritage and is noted for using letters of the Greek alphabet for its model names. Lancia vehicles are no longer sold outside of Italy, and comprise only the Ypsilon supermini range, fabbrica Automobili was founded on 29 November 1906 in Turin by Fiat racing drivers, Vincenzo Lancia and his friend, Claudio Fogolin. The first car manufactured by Lancia was the Tipo 51 or 12 HP and it had a small four-cylinder engine with a power output of 28 hp. In 1910 Lancia components were exported to the United States where they were assembled, in 1915, Lancia manufactured its first truck, the Jota that continued as a dedicated series. In 1937, Vincenzo died of an attack and both his wife, Adele Miglietti Lancia, and his son, Gianni Lancia, took over control of the company. They persuaded Vittorio Jano to join as an engineer, Jano had already made a name for himself by designing various Alfa Romeo models, including some of its most successful race cars ever such as the 6C, P2 and P3.
Lancia is renowned in the world for introducing cars with numerous innovations. These include the Theta of 1913, which was the first European production car to feature a complete system as standard equipment. 1948 saw the first 5 speed gearbox to be fitted to a production car, Lancia premiered the first full-production V6 engine, in the 1950 Aurelia, after earlier industry-leading experiments with V8 and V12 engine configurations. It was the first manufacturer to produce a V4 engine, other innovations involved the use of independent suspension in production cars and rear transaxles, which were first fitted to the Aurelia and Flaminia range. This drive for innovation, constant quest for excellence, fixation of quality, complex construction processes, with little commonality between the various models, the cost of production continued to increase extensively, while demand did not eventually affecting Lancias viability. Gianni Lancia, an engineer was president of Lancia from 1947 to 1955. In 1956 the Pesenti family took control of Lancia with Carlo Pesenti in charge.
Fiat launched a bid in October 1969 which was accepted by Lancia as the company was losing significant sums of money. During the 1970s and 1980s, Lancia had great success in rallying, winning many World Rally Championships, during the 1980s, the company cooperated with Saab Automobile, with the Lancia Delta being sold as the Saab 600 in Sweden. The 1985 Lancia Thema shared a platform with the Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, during the 1990s, all models were closely related to other Fiat models. Starting from 1 February 2007, Fiats automotive operations were reorganised, Fiat Auto became Fiat Group Automobiles S. p. A
World Rally Championship
The World Rally Championship is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver and manufacturer. The drivers world championship and manufacturers championship are separate championships. The series currently consists of 13 three-day events driven on surfaces ranging from gravel and tarmac to snow, each rally is split into 15–25 special stages which are run against the clock on closed roads. The World Rally Car is the current car specification in the series and it evolved from Group A cars which replaced the banned Group B supercars. World Rally Cars are built on production 1, the production car, super 2000 and junior entrants race through the stages after the WRC drivers. The 1973 World Rally Championship was the season of the WRC. The first drivers championship was not awarded until 1979, although 1977 and 1978 seasons included an FIA Cup for Drivers, won by Italys Sandro Munari. Swedens Björn Waldegård became the first official champion, edging out Finlands Hannu Mikkola by one point.
Fiat took the title with the Fiat 131 Abarth in 1977,1978 and 1980, Ford with its Escort RS1800 in 1979. Waldegård was followed by German Walter Röhrl and Finn Ari Vatanen as drivers world champions, the 1980s saw the rear-wheel-drive Group 2 and the more popular Group 4 cars be replaced by more powerful four-wheel-drive Group B cars. FISA legalized all-wheel-drive in 1979, but most manufacturers believed it was too complex to be successful, after Audi started entering Mikkola and the new four-wheel-drive Quattro in rallies for testing purposes with immediate success, other manufacturers started their all-wheel-drive projects. Group B regulations were introduced in the 1982, and with only a few restrictions allowed almost unlimited power, Audi took the constructors title in 1982 and 1984 and drivers title in 1983 and 1984. Audis French female driver Michèle Mouton came close to winning the title in 1982,1985 title seemed set to go to Vatanen and his Peugeot 205 T16 but a bad accident at the Rally Argentina left him to watch compatriot and team-mate Timo Salonen take the title instead.
Italian Attilio Bettega had even a severe crash with his Lancia 037 at the Tour de Corse. However, the season took a dramatic turn. At the Rally Portugal, three spectators were killed and over 30 injured after Joaquim Santos lost control of his Ford RS200, at the Tour de Corse, championship favourite Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto died in a fireball accident after plunging down a cliff. Only hours after the crash, Jean-Marie Balestre and the FISA decided to freeze the development of the Group B cars, more controversy followed when Peugeots Juha Kankkunen won the title after FIA annulled the results of the San Remo Rally, taking the title from fellow Finn Markku Alén. As the planned Group S was cancelled, Group A regulations became the standard in the WRC until 1997, a separate Group A championship had been organized as part of the WRC already in 1986, with Swedens Kenneth Eriksson taking the title with a Volkswagen Golf GTI 16V