Group 4 (racing)

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A Ford GT40 contesting the Group 4 Sports Car category at the 1969 1000 km Nürburgring

The Group 4 racing class referred to regulations for cars in sportscar racing, GT racing and rallying, as regulated by the FIA. The Group 4 class was replaced by Group B for the 1983 season.

Production requirements[edit]

Prior to 1966, the FIA’s Group 4 classification applied to Sports Cars which were in compliance with FIA Appendix C regulations. It also included recognised Series Touring Cars, Improved Touring Cars and Grand Touring Cars which had been modified beyond the respective Group 1, Group 2 or Group 3 regulations under which they had been homologated.[1][2] In 1966, an overhaul of FIA categories saw Group 4 Sports Cars redefined such that they were now subject to a minimum production requirement of 50 units in 12 consecutive months and had to be fitted with all equipment necessary for use on public roads. A 5000cc engine capacity limit was applied for 1968 and the minimum production requirement was reduced to 25 units for the 1969 season.[3]

For 1969, Appendix J of the FIA International Sporting Code defined groups for Touring cars, Grand Touring cars and Sports cars as follows: (numbers between brackets are required minimum production in 12 consecutive months).[4]

  • Group 1: series-production touring cars (5,000)
  • Group 2: special touring cars (1,000)
  • Group 3: grand touring cars (500)
  • Group 4: sports cars (25)
  • Group 5: special touring cars
  • Group 6: prototype-sports cars

For 1970, the limited production sports car category was renamed from Group 4 to Group 5 [5] and, in the same year,[6] Group 4 became the class for special grand touring cars with minimum production of 500 in 12 consecutive months [7]

For 1971, the relevant FIA classifications were as follows:[7]

  • Group 1: series-production touring cars (5,000)
  • Group 2: touring cars (1,000)
  • Group 3: series-production grand touring cars (1,000)
  • Group 4: special grand touring cars (500)
  • Group 5: sports cars (25)
  • Group 6: prototype-sports cars

In 1976, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months.[8]

Sports car racing[edit]

A Porsche 911 competing in the Group 4 Special Grand Touring Car category at the 1970 1000 km Nürburgring

In 1966 and 1967 the Group 4 Sports Cars played a supporting role to the Group 6 prototypes. While prototypes like the 7.0L Ford GT40 Mk II & Mk IV raced for outright victories, the 4.7L GT40 Mk I entries were competing for Group 4 class wins.[9] Indeed, competitors in the two categories were competing for two different championships, the Group 6 cars for the International Championship for Sports-Prototypes and the Group 4 cars for the International Championship for Sports Cars. In 1968, the rules were changed, so that prototypes were limited to 3.0L, but Sports cars of up to 5.0L could be still be entered. It was also announced that the minimum production figure for the Group 4 sports cars would be reduced to 25 cars for 1969. With larger engines than the prototypes, the Group 4 cars were now in contention for outright race wins. The Ford GT40 was the winner at Le Mans in both 1968 and 1969. Porsche began work on a production run of 25 cars for the Porsche 917. Ferrari, with some financial help from Fiat, produced the similar Ferrari 512.[10]

For the 1970 season, the Group 4 Sports car category was renamed and became Group 5 Sports Cars and Group 4 designation was applied to a new Special Grand Touring category. The new Group 4 was contested by production based cars such as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, Porsche 911 Carrera RS and the De Tomaso Pantera.

The Group 4 GT category was replaced by a new Group B GT class for 1983.[11]

Rallying[edit]

Group 4 Lancia Stratos HF. The Stratos helped Lancia win the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

The Group 4 regulations were also used as the basis for the World Rally Championships until they were replaced by the Group B regulations. In mid 1970s to early 1980s rallying, it was necessary to produce 400 identical cars for homologation as a Group 4 rally car. Notable cars included the Ford Escort RS1800, Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Stratos HF and the Audi Quattro.

List of FIA Group 4 homologated cars[edit]

No. Marque Model Type Start End
220 United States Shelby Cobra Roadster 427 January 2, 1966 January 2, 1966
221 France Matra Djet 5S MB 8S January 1, 1965 January 1, 1965
222 France Alpine A110 1300 February 1, 1966 February 1, 1966
223 France Panhard 24 BA February 1, 1966 February 1, 1966
224 United Kingdom Ford GT40 February 2, 1966 February 2, 1966
225 Italy Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta February 1, 1966 February 1, 1966
227 Germany Ford Taunus P5 Hardtop April 15, 1966 April 15, 1966
228 United Kingdom Tunex Diva GT April 16, 1966 April 16, 1966
229 Italy Abarth 1300 OT April 15, 1966 April 15, 1966
230 Italy Abarth 1000 OTR Coupé April 30, 1966 April 30, 1966
231 Spain SAAB Sonett II
234 Italy Ferrari 275 GTB 4 April 1, 1967 April 1, 1967
235 Italy Lamborghini 350 GT April 1, 1967 April 1, 1967
236 Italy Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 April 1, 1967 April 1, 1967
237 United Kingdom TVR MkIV 1800S July 1, 1967 July 1, 1967
238 United Kingdom Lotus Mark 47 January 1, 1969 January 1, 1969
239 Italy Ferrari 308 GTB 4 April 1, 1967 April 1, 1967
240 United Kingdom Lola T70 Mk III February 1, 1968 February 1, 1968
241 Italy Abarth 1000 SP March 1, 1969 March 1, 1969
242 United Kingdom Marcos 1300 GT March 1, 1968 March 1, 1968
242 Italy Lamborghini Urraco P250 July 1, 1975 December 31, 1981
244 United Kingdom Chevron GT May 1, 1968 May 1, 1968
245 Italy Lamborghini P400 Miura June 1, 1968 June 1, 1968
246 Italy Alfa Romeo 33 Spider January 1, 1969 January 1, 1969
247 Italy Ferrari 206 GT January 1, 1969 January 1, 1969
248 United Kingdom McLaren M6 GT August 20, 1968
249 Germany Porsche 910 January 1, 1969 January 1, 1969
250 Germany Porsche 917 May 1, 1969 May 1, 1969
251 Italy De Tomaso Mangusta April 1, 1969 April 1, 1969
252 Italy Abarth 2000 April 1, 1969 April 1, 1969
253 Italy Ferrari 365 GTB 4 Daytona June 1, 1969 June 1, 1969
254 Italy Ferrari 512 S July 1, 1969 April 1, 1970
255 United Kingdom Chevron B16 Cosworth January 2, 1970 January 2, 1970
624 France Alpine A110 1600 January 1, 1970 December 31, 1970
625 Italy Alfa Romeo GTA Sprint January 1, 1970 December 31, 1977
626 Germany Porsche 914/6 March 1, 1970 October 1, 1971
627 Italy Ferrari 246 GT January 1, 1971 February 1, 1973
628 France Citroën SM Type SB April 1, 1971 July 1, 1971
629 United Kingdom Range Rover Classic April 1, 1971 January 1, 1972
630 France Renault 12 Gordini R1173 October 1, 1971 January 1, 1972
632 Italy De Tomaso Pantera January 1, 1972 July 1, 1972
633 Italy Ferrari 365 GTB 4 January 1, 1972 December 31, 1979
634 United Kingdom Lotus Europa Twin Cam April 1, 1972 July 1, 1972
637 Germany Porsche Carrera RS March 1, 1973 July 1, 1973
638 France Renault 17 TS April 1, 1974 October 1, 1974
639 Italy Maserati AM122 Merak May 1, 1974 December 31, 1981
646 United Kingdom Aston Martin V8 April 1, 1976 December 31, 1981
631 Italy Alfa Romeo Montreal January 1, 1972 April 1, 1972
640 Italy Lancia Stratos HF October 1, 1974 December 31, 1981
644 Germany Opel Kadett C GT/E October 1, 1975 February 1, 1976
645 Germany Porsche 911 Turbo January 1, 1976 January 1, 1977
647 Italy Abarth 131 Rally April 1, 1976 December 31, 1981
648 Italy Ferrari 308 GTB November 1, 1976 December 31, 1981
649 United Kingdom Vauxhall Chevette HS2300 November 1, 1976 December 31, 1981
650 United Kingdom Ford Escort RS April 2, 1977 January 1, 1982
651 France Alpine A310 V6 April 1, 1977 January 1, 1978
652 Spain SAAB 99 Turbo Combi Coupé January 1, 1978 October 1, 1978
653 United Kingdom Lotus Esprit April 1, 1978 December 31, 1981
654 United Kingdom B.L. Triumph TR8 April 1, 1978 December 31, 1981
655 United Kingdom Panther Lima October 1, 1978 December 31, 1981
656 Poland FSO Polonez 125 PN January 1, 1979 April 1, 1980
657 Poland FSO Polonez January 1, 1979 April 1, 1980
658 Spain SAAB 99 Turbo Sedan February 1, 1979 April 1, 1979
659 Germany Audi 80 1600 February 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
660 Germany Porsche 924 Turbo February 1, 1979 April 1, 1979
661 Germany Daimler-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 April 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
662 United Kingdom Chrysler Sunbeam Lotus April 1, 1979 January 1, 1980
663 Japan Toyota Celica 2000GT Rally RA45 June 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
664 Argentina Renault Argentina 12 Alpine July 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
665 United Kingdom Morgan Plus 8 July 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
666 Germany Opel Ascona 400 November 1, 1979 December 31, 1981
668 Italy Alfa Romeo Alfetta Turbodelta February 1, 1980 December 31, 1981
669 France Renault 5 Turbo September 1, 1980 April 1, 1981
670 Germany BMW M1 December 1, 1980 December 31, 1981
671 Germany Audi Quattro 2145 January 2, 1981 January 1, 1982
672 Germany Porsche 924 Carrera GT January 1, 1981 December 31, 1981
673 Germany Daimler-Benz 500 SL January 1, 1980 December 31, 1981
674 Italy Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 6 2.5 January 1, 1981 October 1, 1981
675 Japan Mitsubishi Lancer 2000 Turbo A176A April 1, 1981 December 31, 1981
676 France Talbo Matra Murena 2.2 August 1, 1981 December 31, 1981
677 Germany Volkswagen Golf Mk I 16S December 1, 1981 December 31, 1981

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article 252 of the FIA’s Appendix J regulations, 1962 Retrieved from www.fia.com on 11 February 2009
  2. ^ Article 252 of the FIA’s Appendix J regulations, 1965 Archived 2009-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved from www.fia.com on 11 February 2009
  3. ^ M.L. Twite, The World's Racing Cars, 1971, page 109
  4. ^ Appendix J 1969, Art. 251, Art. 252 Archived 2006-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. on www.fia.com
  5. ^ János L Wimpffen, Time and Two Seats, 1999, page 710
  6. ^ M.L. Twite, The World's Racing Cars, 1971, page 99
  7. ^ a b Appendix J 1971, Art. 251, Art. 252 on www.fia.com
  8. ^ Appendix J 1976, Art. 251, Art. 252 on www.fia.com
  9. ^ Ford GT40 MkI 289 on QV500.com
  10. ^ 1970 Ferrari 512 S on QV500.com
  11. ^ János L Wimpffen, Time and Two Seats, 1999, page 1347

External links[edit]