Thirty years after the end of Group B rallying, film-maker
Helmut Deimel has launched his latest film on rallying’s wildest era.
For “Riding Balls of Fire”, the Austrian legend behind the
hugely popular “Evolution of Rallying” has gathered together the finest archive
footage of the 500 bhp Group B supercars in their prime.
Watching this film really shows the extreme pace of
evolution of the cars and the sport in the three short years from 1983 to 1986.
As is typical for Deimel, the chronology of events is broken
up by special features such as the failure of the high-tech cars in Africa, the
fight for glory on the Race to the Clouds at Pikes Peak, and a preview on the
planned Group S formula. Apart from the action on the special stages, “Riding
Balls of Fire” also highlights the technological developments and the heroes of
the supercar era. For his homage to Group B rallying, Deimel has spoken to all
the important characters including the four Group B World Champions plus Walter
Röhrl, Michèle Mouton, Ari Vatanen and the former team managers Jean Todt and
Although this 100-minute documentary also deals with the
tragic accidents, Deimel always focuses on the fascination of that era. “Riding
Balls of Fire” is not a blood opera. It is a rally film that gets under your
skin. Deimel’s review only throws a few critical stones at Group B rallying,
rather preferring to strew rose petals in its wake in memory of a very special