Who are some of the world’s most renowned racecar drivers and what were their championship vehicles?
Racing has been one of the sports world’s greatest tests for resilience. Besides the technical aspects that include engines, pulleys, and chambered mufflers, the incredible feats of motorsport grandeur have strong foundations of competitors that infused a rich heritage to its history. Rally racing is no exception from the glamorous ferocity of motorsport action.
Here’s a brief look into the what makes these competitors of automotive racing shine:
Salonen was an interesting figure –a chain-smoking man with thick glasses and a thick build to match. He and his Peugot 205 Turbo 16 dominated the WRC’s Group B races in the mid-80s. Salonen and his Peugot went head to head with vehicles such as the Audi Quattro and Ford RS200.
Being in person at a Rally track means being tantalized from all the sights, sounds, smells, and colors. Makinen is an athlete that solely won all of Mitsubishi’s titles in the WRC. Throughout 1996 and 1999, him and the Mitsubishi Evolution won four consecutive titles.
Kankkunen won his first Group B championship WRC title in 1986 with Peugot 205 Turbo, but his transition to Lancia in 1987 is what led him to success. Kankkunen is most known for driving the Lancia Delta Integrale; winning the WRC championship in 1987, 1991, and 1993.
Similar to Makinen and his reputation with Mitsubishi, McRae is the iconic equivalent to Subaru rally. He is the record holder for youngest rally championship title holder at age 27. McRae and the Subaru Impreza 555 would later go on to win WRC constructor’s titles from 1995 to 1997. McRae was well-known for having a courageous ‘all-out’ attitude towards his racing which spread an unmistakable electricity flowing in the air.
Sainz and his racing skills were directly responsible for propelling Toyota as a major rally competitor in the early 90s. The Celica GT-Four and Sainz made their mark on the WRC circuits, causing an incredible buzz from the crowds. Sainz was given the nickname El Matador and still has the official record for most WRC career starts.
Looking into motorsport history is a great start when you find yourself on the journey of appreciating all the characters, cars, and chambered mufflers. You don’t have to be well-versed with the technicalities that go into the cars, but it gets more exciting once you gain a little bit of knowledge on how these dynamic personalities work their machines into victory.