While rallycross is the fastest growing motorsport today, it was pretty big in the 80's and 90's as well. Legends like Kenneth Hansen, Martin Schanche, Matti Alamäki, Jean-Luc Pailler, Olle Arnesson, Per Eklund and several others developed the sport into the Group-B-inspired, 600hp AWD madness we still see today. Because it's still an awful long time until April, I figured that I'll look back to the legendary races of the 80's and 90's.The first race I'll take a look at is the division 1 A-final from Lyngås, Norway in 1997. It's probably the race I've watched the most times in my life, mostly because of one incident.
On the front row we find Ludvig Hunsbedt and Martin Schanche, two of the dominant drivers in 1997. Hunsbedt had the upper hand in the championship so far, but Schanche was still one of the fastest in the business despite being racing since the late 70's. Hunsbedt were also racing in Schanches old car, still working very well. In second row we find the Swedes Kenneth Hansen and Per Eklund, both very capable in their Citroën and Saab. On the third row we find Martin Iversen and Jean-Luc Pailler. So like in 2014, we find Fords, Citroëns and Saabs in rallycross.
Since both Hunsbedt and Schanche were some of the best starters in rallycross, they took the start. The rest of the race everything seemed to go into Hunsbedts favor, until his hoodlatches decided to let go. At this point, most drivers would have given up. But not Hunsbedt. Could he win the race, lacking this much vision? Watch the race to find out!
Hunsbedt ended up winning the European Rallycross Championship that year, the only championship he won in that division. He also won the Division I Championship (Division II was the big one back then) in 1993 in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Although he retired from rallycross in 2011, he entered at Höljes this year without reaching the semifinals.