Brace yourselves rally fans, a Group B short film is coming

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There's a Group B short film hitting the international film festival circuit. Hopefully it becomes a full length. Photo Credit: RXGuru/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

There’s a Group B short film hitting the international film festival circuit. Hopefully it becomes a full length. Photo Credit: RXGuru/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

The insanely dangerous, wicked fast and ultimately short-lived Group B series of the World Rally Championship is the subject of a British short film. The Group B short film – with the clever title of “Group B” – wrapped production recently and will be released sometime in the near future.

Group B short film trumps every Fast and the Furious ever

It can be officially declared that “The Fast and the Furious” movies suck, as a Group B short film has been created.

Yes, I said it. “TFTF” sucks. The plots are awful, the acting is worse, the dialogue is unforgivable, but at least some of the cars are cool.

And the reason that it can now be said is that there’s something on record for one of the most significant race series…basically ever. Group B, for the low and uninitiated, was a vehicle class in the World Rally Championship that lasted only a few years but captured a lot of attention. Group B cars were practically unrestricted, and manufacturers used it as a test bed (as most do with racing) for engine tuning.

What followed was insane engine output – Lancia for instance squeezed upward of 500 horsepower from the Delta by twin-charging (supercharging and turbocharging at the same time) the 2.0-liter four-cylinder – incredibly dangerous speeds, and then tragedy, as drivers started dying in accidents. Audi sells AWD based on their Group B successes of the era with the Audi Quattro…which is what they call their AWD system. And so on.

And now there’s at least a short film about it.

The Lannisters send their race cars

The plot of the “Group B” short film is of a driver – the character’s name is Shane Hunter – who returns to racing after being away from the sport. He grapples with trials and tribulations until returning to the field. The director is Nick Rowland, a fledgling British director who’s made a few shorts (as per his IMDB page) and according to Classic Driver, the film is being submitted to various film festivals.

The star in the short is Scottish actor Richard Madden, who made a name for himself playing the character Robb Stark in HBO’s wildly successful series “Game of Thrones,” based on the fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. He also, just like most characters in the books and in the show, gets killed off, breaking the hearts of millions, in the event known as the “Red Wedding.”

The film also features English TV actor Michael Smiley – internationally an unknown – with an MG Metro 6R4 as the car. According to Road and Track, rally driver David Higgins handled stunt driving. Higgins is noted for winning the Rally America championship for the past few years running, as apparently he’s a good hand at the wheel of a Subaru.

Dearth of racing films

Perhaps the Group B short film will get greenlit as a full-length feature. Stranger things have happened; George Lucas’s first film, “THX-1138” began as a short, as did the recent film “Whiplash,” which won veteran character actor JK Simmons an Academy Award recently.

There haven’t been many racing films in recent years, with one of the most recent being “Rush,” the Ron Howard film about the 1976 Formula One season, which was an iconic year in that sport, given Niki Lauda’s crash and miraculous return. There have been a number of others, such as “Grand Prix” and “Le Mans,” but none about rallying, which is sort of a shame. Group B is pretty fertile ground and certainly iconic in it’s own right.

The trailer looks incredible. Please let this become a full-length.

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