San Marino is a quiet, picturesque setting which many would find best-suited to relaxing in the sunshine with a glass of wine and watching the hours melt away. This weekend will see the small mountainous microstate transform from idyllic into rowdy rallying royalty. The annual Rallylegend is here once again and the crème de la crème of rallying is there. The cars, liveries, and faces of old and new that we all know and love are back to celebrate everything that is rally.
Each year I team up with Martin Hansson who runs MHrallybilder and we cover this event for print media. Rallylegend goes from strength to strength, so for 2018 we will be teaming up again for the regular print work but wanted to throw some blogs full of iconic cars, drivers, and all the insane action from the event at you too. Rallylegend is the motorsport world’s best kept secret, nowhere (not even Goodwood) will you see five genuine Group B Lancia S4 machines in one place being driven flat out.
What makes Rallylegend special is that you have cars from the 70s’ all the way through to the latest 2018 WRC machines out being driven in anger. The private collections and museums break open their doors, and these classics are all let loose for a weekend. This isn’t an exhibition (well it is as showboating is the order of the day) but the difference is that there is no dithering, or faffing around. These cars are all driven flat out down the narrow roads, all day long and in the pitch black with light pods guiding the way.
This is an actual rally with timed stages, and the best part is some of them take place at night in actual darkness. The WRC seemingly decided that night-stages were not to their liking, but true rallying always included them and of course so does Rallylegend.
The rally takes place predominantly on twisty mountainous tarmac and the stages are lined by spectators just as many remember in the 80s’. Names such as Ari Vatanen, Markku Alen, Giles Panizzi, and Sebastien Loeb among many have all driven here, and some are not only special guests but regular entrants. This is proof that the event is top-shelf.
As a younger generation of rally fan, both Martin and I missed the era of Group B with names such as Kankkunen, Toivonen, Mouton, and Alén driving the fire-breathing Group B monsters in anger. Many older rally fans talk of the ‘good ol days’ and we could only experience that era of the sport through YouTube, until now.
‘Those days’ are now very real with a raft of current and ex-WRC drivers present, some of them reunited with their original works cars for the first time in decades.
So as the weekend is creeping up on us real quick, enjoy these images from the 2016 and 2017 events, which will feature some of the same cars, and plenty of new ones as well.
Many of the tyre marks have only just disappeared from the twisty tarmac roads, and now we are ready to do it all again. The crowds are gathering, cars being unloaded, and the stage is set. The 2018 edition of Rallylegend is celebrating Martini in rallying, and for rally fans there have been plenty of memories of cars adorned with the beautiful red, white and blue. Enjoy the additional photos below, and check out the 2018 event preview video below too. We look forward to bringing you the best of Rallylegend soon!