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  Home > Specials > Group B Supercars > Supercars and safety
Safety of Group B in general
...some cars were safer than others... audi was strong monocoque...

Car safety
...spaceframes, hot turbo-chargers, fuel and oil, other flammable materials like magnesium or carbon fibre... add 500hp's worth of performance and often difficult handling... not all cars were safe to run in the first place

...of the fatal accidents of 1985 and 1986, Bettega's was a freak one, tree penetrating the roll cage into Attilio and Toivonen perished in flames...

Spectator safety
Of the fatal accidents of 1985 and 1986 two involved spectators, Joaquim Santos' in Portugal 1986 and Kenneth Eriksson's in Safari 1986. The accident at Portugal happened as Santos went flat out over the crest only to find spectators in the middle of the road which happened all the time in Portugal and especially at Sintra. In order to avoid these spectators he braked hard and managed to avoid accident there but hundred meters later was still off-line for tight left-hander, spun and ploughed into a crowd. Spectators were packed so densely that there was no room to run away, three were killed and over thirty injured.

This caused immediate withdrawal of all works drivers from the rally and of the four items on the bulletin issued by the drivers following their decision, the third one is shown on right. It is true that type of car would not have prevented the accident but a slower car might have reduced the carnage. At any rate, spectator safety is ultimately organiser's responsibility and from those mad days things have continuously improved. Even so, there is always room for improvement as recent accidents involving spectators prove (for example Sainz's off in Great Britain 2001).

The FIA safety delegate (at the time of writing polish Jacek Bartos) has still work to do.

Item three
"The accident on stage 1 was caused by the driver having to try to avoid spectators that were in the road. It was not caused due to the type of car or the speed of it."