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Audi Tradition at the “Rally Mecca” in Daun

Between 21 and 23 July, tens of thousands of fans make the pilgrimage to Daun, the “Mecca” of historical rally sport, to see the legendary cars of the 1980s. Audi Tradition will once again be appearing this year and offering fans of the brand something rather special at the Eifel Rallye Festival: Developed 30 years ago and never raced, the Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype will take part in a rally event for the first time. What’s more, the Audi Sport Quattro Rally will be driven by two-time German champion Harald Demuth. The Audi Sport quattro S1, highly regarded in the rally world, completes the Audi Tradition line-up in Daun, Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype represents a real highlight of the rally festival in Daun, where more than 60 spectacular rally cars from Group B and Group S will be on show. After an unprecedented arms race between the manufacturers in the World Rally Championship, Audi decided in the mid-80s to move away from developing comparatively close-to-production cars in rally sport. Instead, the engineers began to develop a special car with a mid-engine, space frame, plastic bodywork and four-valve turbo engine. They planned to introduce a racing car for the 1987 season, in which Group B would be separated from Group S. A serious accident at the Portugal rally–not involving Audi–spelled the end for the project: For safety reasons, the international rallying authority, the FIA, were no longer willing to sanction either Group B or the planned Group S for the 1987 season. The Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype, conceived for that very season, would forever remain an unfulfilled promise.

On show to the public at a rally event for the first time after 30 years: the Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype, developed for the1987 season but never able to race.
On show to the public at a rally event for the first time after 30 years: the Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype, developed for the1987 season but never able to race.

Audi Tradition is also presenting two more classics from rally history in Daun. Two-time German rally champion Harald Demuth will drive an Audi Sport quattro Rally from the 1984 season. The Audi Sport quattro S1 from the 1985 season will be on show too in the paddock: For many fans of the Group B series, the “Flügelmonster” (or “winged monster”) remains the most emotionally charged car of all time.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.