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History

All images appear courtesy of www.mcklein.de

Rally Travel - WRC Australia Rally Travel - ACP Stadium Rally Travel - Sweden Rally

There is nothing in motor sport to match the diversity, spectacle and sheer exhilaration of the world rally championship and it's important we remember the history of the sport and the people and places which made the WRC what it is today...

1970's

Rally Travel - porsche 911 Rally Travel - stratos Perhaps we're all guilty of looking back through rose tinted spectacles but rallying in the 1970's was truly a magical time which contained 2 of the most evocative cars of all time.

From Italy came the beautiful Lancia Stratos, a car which when driven by the likes of Sandro Munari and Markko Alen was capable of winning in any conditions.

The shrill scream of the Ferrari V6 engined Stratos and it's futuristic looks was in contrast to the other more mundane saloon cars competing at the time.

But there was one particular box shaped saloon car which was to leave it's mark on the sport for generations to come...

From Timo Makinen to Richard Burns just about every world rally champion from the past 30 years has competed in a Ford Escort RS at some stage or another.

Heroes such as Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola, and Roger Clark raised the spectacle of the sport to a new level with their 'sideways' driving style and somehow the cars allowed the drivers to demonstrate their artistry behind the wheel like never before or since...

Rally Travel - escort Rally Travel - Fiat 131 Rally Travel - Escort

1980's

Rally Travel - Audi Quattro Rally Travel - Metro 6R4 The 1980's saw a period of incredible change within the sport and undoubtedly some of the highest and lowest points in the sport's history.

When the 4 wheel drive Audi Quattro exploded on the scene in 1981 rallying would never be the same again and looking back 20 years later it seems barely believable that such cars were ever let loose on the world stage.

The battles between the 2 wheel drive Lancia 037 and the original Audi Quattro have now passed into rallying legend, and with the might of Fiat and Audi throwing millions of pounds into the sport rallying suddenly became big business.

It was common to see team helicopters shadowing the cars and dropping mechanics and parts down to fix their charges in the middle of the African plains or high atop the French Alps, and there really was no limit to what could be done in the name of competition.

Things came to a head in the 1985-86 seasons when the Quattro went head to head with the 500+bhp Peugeot 205T16, the RS200, the V6 engined Metro 6R4 and the Super and Turbo-charged Lancia Delta S4.

Rally Travel - RS 200Rally Travel - lancia Rally Travel - Delta

1990's

Rally Travel - Lancia Delta Rally Travel - Celica As the Group A era evolved into the current Word Rally Car formula the sport continued to change.

The 'need' to become more TV friendly meant the loss of classic rallies from the calendar such as the epic Safari Rally, and a change in the ethos of rallying from that of endurance to outright speed and the current format of 'sprint' rallies.

It became common place in the mid 1990's to see rallies resolved by seconds rather than minutes and the increased interest brought in new manufacturers from Japan & Korea.

Whilst the Scandinavian drivers such as Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen continued to dominate the sport, others such as the spectacular Colin McRae, Spain's Carlos Sainz, and France's Didier Auriol proved that they could win on all surfaces as well.

As the decade grew to a close Richard Burns and Petter Solberg ushered in a new level of professionalism within the sport with their more technical driving styles and media savvy.

Rally Travel - Colin McRae Rally Travel - Celica Rally Travel - Colin McRae

2000's

Rally Travel - 206Rally Travel - Citroen Sebastien Loeb seemed to come from nowhere when he burst onto the WRC scene with a 2nd place finish on the 2001 Sanremo rally, just 11 seconds behind Gilles Panizzi & comfortably in front of the likes of Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol and Colin McRae. The following year's Monte Carlo Rally should have seen his first WRC victory, only for a time penalty to delay his maiden victory until Rally Germany later that summer.

The former gymnast from the Alsace then dominated the sport throughout the 2000's winning his 1st World Championship in 2004 and forging an alliance with Citroen that broke all the WRC records.

The Frenchman's uncanny ability to take 15 or 20 seconds from his rivals over an icy Monte Carlo stage was reminiscent of the great Walter Rohrl, who is often voted by his peers as the best WRC driver of all time, but Loeb seemed able to set fastest stage times everywhere from Sweden to Rally GB as he rounded out the decade with a remarkable 7 consecutive world titles.

Marcus Gronholm and Petter Solberg forced Loeb to work hard for his victories during the first half of the decade, whilst a new generation headed by Mikko Hirvonen, Dani Sordo, and the exciting Jari-Matti Latvala challenged the World Champion as the high-tech 2 litre 'World Rally Car' era came to a close at the end of 2010.

Rally Travel - focus Rally Travel - Lancer Rally Travel - 206

Drivers World Championship

2011 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen DS3 WRC) FR
2010 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen C4 WRC) FR
2009 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen C4 WRC) FR
2008 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen C4 WRC) FR
2007 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen C4 WRC) FR
2006 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen Xsara WRC) FR
2005 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen Xsara WRC) FR
2004 Sébastien Loeb (Citröen Xsara WRC) FR
2003 Petter Solberg(Subaru Impreza WRC) NO
2002 Marcus Grönholm (Peugeot 206 WRC) FI
2001 Richard Burns (Subaru Impreza WRC) UK
2000 Marcus Grönholm (Peugeot 206 WRC) FI
1999 Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) FI
1998 Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V & VI) FI
1997 Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV) FI
1996 Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III) FI
1995 Colin McRae (Subaru Impreza) UK
1994 Didier Auriol (Toyota Celica GTFour) FR
1993 Juha Kankkunen (Toyota Celica GTFour) FI
1992 Carlos Sainz (Toyota Celica GTFour) ES
1991 Juha Kankkunen (Lancia Delta Integrale 16V) FI
1990 Carlos Sainz (Toyota Celica GT4) ES
1989 Massimo Biasion (Lancia Delta Integrale & 16V) IT
1988 Massimo Biasion (Lancia Delta Integrale) IT
1987 Juha Kankkunen (Lancia Delta 4WD) FI
1986 Juha Kankkunen (Peugeot 205 T16) FI
1985 Timo Salonen (Peugeot 205 T16) FI
1984 Stig Blomqvist (Audi Coupè Quattro) SE
1983 Hannu Mikkola (Audi Coupè Quattro) FI
1982 Walter Röhrl (Opel Ascona 400) DE
1981 Ari Vatanen (Ford Escort RS) FI
1980 Walter Röhrl (Fiat 131 Abarth) DE
1979 Bjorn Waldegaard (Ford Escort RS & Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0) SE
1978 (FIA Cup) Markku Alèn (Fiat 131 Abarth & Lancia Stratos) FI
1977 (FIA Cup) Sandro Munari (Lancia Stratos) IT

 

Manufacturers World Championship
2011 Citröen (DS3 WRC)
2010 Citröen (C4 WRC)
2009 Citröen (C4 WRC)
2008 Citröen (C4 WRC)
2007 Ford (Focus WRC)
2006 Ford (Focus WRC)
2005 Citröen (Xsara WRC)
2004 Citröen (Xsara WRC)
2003 Citröen (Xsara WRC)
2002 Peugeot (206 WRC)
2001 Peugeot (206 WRC)
2000 Peugeot (206 WRC)
1999 Toyota (Corolla WRC)
1998 Mitsubishi (Lancer Evolution V)
1997 Subaru (Impreza WRC)
1996 Subaru (Impreza)
1995 Subaru (Impreza)
1994 Toyota (Celica GT4)
1993 Toyota (Celica GT4)
1992 Lancia (Integrale Evo)
1991 Lancia (Integrale 16V)
1990 Lancia (Integrale 16V)
1989 Lancia (Integrale 8V)
1988 Lancia (Integrale 8V)
1987 Lancia (Delta 4WD)
1986 Peugeot (205 Turbo 16)
1985 Peugeot (205 Turbo 16)
1984 Audi (Quattro)
1983 Lancia (037)
1982 Audi (Quattro)
1981 Talbot (Sunbeam Lotus)
1980 Fiat (131 Abarth)
1979 Ford (Escort RS)
1978 Fiat (131 Abarth)
1977 Fiat (131 Abarth)
1976 Lancia (Stratos)
1975 Lancia (Stratos)
1974 Lancia (Stratos)
1973 Alpine Renault (A110)
1972 Lancia (Fulvia HF)*
1971 Alpine-Renault (A110)*
1970 Porsche (911S)*
1969 Ford Europe(Escort TC)*
1968 Ford GB (Escort TC)*
  *: (Not World Championship)