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By: Janos Wimpffen .
The 1980s witnessed a great renaissance in sports-car racing. The new Group C formula aimed to lure major manufacturers to the championship by blending the popular appeal of the closed-top cars of the late 1960s with state-of-the-art developments in chassis design, aerodynamics, and tires. This approach succeeded spectacularly, as Lancia, Ford, Jaguar, Mercedes, Peugeot, Nissan, Toyota, and above all, Porsche, stepped to the fore at various times during the decade. The designs that resulted produced some of the fastest and most-powerful race cars ever built, from Porsche's championship-winning 956 in 1982 to Peugeot's 905B ten years later. In between there were also successful runs for Jaguar and Sauber-Mercedes.
This strong field of cars and competitors helped the World Endurance Championship and World Sports- Prototype Championships attract nearly as much attention as Formula One. By the mid-198os the level of professionalism in endurance racing was at its highest point in decades, yet there was still ample room for a variety of privateers to participate. The decade also saw the growth of Group C2, a junior division featuring cars built by a host of independent constructors. Monocoques and Ground Effects illustrates the many great models of the period, as well as many unusual cars that have seldom been seen elsewhere.
With hundreds of rare archival photographs and detailed captions, Monocoques and Ground Effects charts the course of each racing season of the Group C era. The book covers long-distance classics such as Le Mans, Nurburgring, Monza, and Silverstone, as well as the numerous sprint races held across Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. It also provides insight into the background and drama that surrounded each season and each race. Both the cars and the ambience of the locales are shown, as are portraits of key people, such as Derek Bell, Stefan Bellof, Jacky Ickx, Hans Stuck, and Bob Wollek.
Sports-car racing historian Janos Wimpffen spent years researching and writing the text, providing the most comprehensive review of this period ever assembled. The pictures include action shots and portraits from some the world's best-known racing photographers, many of which have never been published before. Monocoques and Ground Effects is a rousing finale to Wimpffen's four-volume photographic history of world-class sports-car racing.