BF GOODRICH UPDATE:
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, AN AlVIERICAN DRIVER AND STREET RADIALS WIN A MAJOR EUROPEAN RALLY
Motorsports are the largest spectator events in Europe, and rallying is the largest rnotorsport in Europe. It is not uncommon to find a million or more spectators lining the courses of some European It is extremely uncommon however to find an American driver winning a European Championship Pally Likewise it is extremely uncommon to find a street radial winning such an event In fact neither had ever happened before the ECR Rally on the isle of Cyprus in the
eastern Mediterranean on September 30. 1984
The driver was John Buffum, winner of seven US. Pro Rally Championships. The tyres were BFGoodrich T/A Radials.
RUNNING AT A DISADVANTAGE.
Few expected Buffum and BFGoodrich to win at Cyprus. Buffum ‘s car was a turbo-charged 4WD longwheel based Audi Quattro. Yet the Cyprus Rally course is not congenial to such a car (Indeed, it was the first time a Quattro had ever run the Cyprus Rally). A competitor described the course as “one continuous hairpin-To make matters worse, the mountain roads were extremely narrow with some scarcely wider than the cars. The Quattro was thought too big for such roads Buffum found that much of his driving was in 1st and 2nd gears, with turbo boost barely coming on before he would have to brake for the next corner
On the other hand, the corn petition was in smaller cars and quite intense It included the Lancia Rally driver who was then merely one point away from ECR leadership points, and it included the 1984 British Rally Champion (who was also last year’s winner of the Cyprus Rally). Likewise the competition for BFGoodrich was intense, since the Buffum car was the only major competitor not running on special-purpose rally tyres
Conditions were intense too. The course, in fact, was so punishing that out 01 76 cars •