22 Years Later

22 Years Later

Source: WRC.com

1984 was the last year that BF Goodrich claimed victory at Rally Cyprus. It was John Buffum, the most successful USA-based rally driver of all time, in an Audi Quattro who captured victory in the then European Championship event.

Buffum has dominated the scene in the United States, winning 11 titles and claiming 117 victories in North America during his professional career. Buffum also posted solid results in both the European Championship and the FIA World Rally Championship during his career, including a fifth overall at the 1984 Acropolis Rally.

"After finishing fifth on the Acropolis Rally with my co-driver Fred Gallagher, I believed a good result in Cyprus was possible because the terrain was practically identical," Buffum said. "I have always enjoyed and gone well over the sort of rough and twisty tests you get there. The 1984 Cyprus Rally took place at the end of September in searing heat, and Fred and I did a lot of fitness training both before and during the recce, although we still had time to sample the local produce, like the wine."

"Some people predicted that our standard BF Goodrich would be a big handicap over the rough stages, but I didn't agree, given how well their open tread pattern had worked in Greece," Buffum continued.

Buffum and Gallagher eventually led the rally from start to finish, claiming a fantastic result for BF Goodrich. "In one stage, we posted the fastest time more than a minute clear of the guy who came in second," Gallagher added. "Yet, our average speed was only 47kph! Although the stages were so rough, we didn't pick up a single puncture. Not bad for road tyres!"

In 2006, BF Goodrich has come away victorious at all 11 events run so far this season. Compared to the stages in Finland, where the average speed is well over 115kph, Cyprus will be only half that speed. The speed does not mean the rally will be any easier on the drivers, in reality it will be much more difficult on both the crews and the tyres.