5 Feb 2013

Watch Carlos Sainz lose the '98 WRC championship

The recent TV programme about Colin McRae (UK readers can watch it here on iPlayer) has revived some older rally fans' long lost lusting for a return to form by the WRC.

Back when we petrolheads watched WRC on television (remember that?) the cars were fast and furious, the drivers actually had personalities and the rivalries were intense.  We all hope WRC returns to some semblance of it's heyday but for now have a look at the clip below.

It show Carlos Sainz in his Toyota Corolla WRC car breaking down 700 yards from the finish line at the 1998 British round of the championship.  We all had our hearts in our mouths because Sainz was literally 700 yards away from winning the championship.  He had started the rally 2 points behind Tommi Makinen.  Makinen had retired during the rally so all Sainz had to do was finish with 3 or more points in order to be crowned 1998 World Champion.

And then his car broke down right, at the end.  Richard Burns in his Mitsubishi Lancer won the rally and Makinen won the title.  Sainz was so gutted he threw his helmet through the stricken Corolla's rear window.