DustTrails, Episode 1: Michael Guest in the WRC

Australian rally driver, Michael Guest, has sensationally revealed that he was facing the death penalty before competing in a World Rally Championship round in 1999.

Guest was in the first year of a three-year program contesting the World Rally Championship when officials impounded his car and shut down the WRC service park.

In an exclusive interview for RallySport Magazine’s DustTrails podcast, Guest tells how the story unfolded, and how for a while, he was fearing for his life.

His car had been forcibly removed from an impound at the service park prior to the rally when Guest arrived at 7am.

“I’m looking at it and thinking that I’m smelling a rat here. This is not right as there’s three dogs running in and out of my car,” Guest said.

“The next thing they lift up the back seat of the rally car and they’ve got a bag of something, and they’re all clapping and cheering.

Michael Guest (left) and his WRC co-driver, David Green in 1998.

“A few minutes later they shut down the service park and nobody is allowed in or out.

“I couldn’t understand a word they’re saying, but this translator guys says: ‘This is 85 grams of opium. In this country, more than 8 grams is – no lawyer, no judge, no jury, no jail – instant death penalty’.

“And he’s saying to me: ‘Is this the drugs that you use to enhance your performance?’

“They’re standing there with guns and they’re saying to me: ‘Someone must pay, you must pay’.

Guest also reveals how a close family connection to drugs meant the accusations were far from the truth.

“My dad had an addiction to prescription drugs, so I’m the most anti-drugs person going around, and here they are trying to pin this on me,” he says.

Eventually, after a full day of interrogation, the drama was sorted out and Guest was able to compete with the event.

Listen to the full story, as well as other stories behind Guest’s Winfield WRC program, only on the DustTrails podcast

Michael Guest – WRC statistics

Born June 25, 1969
WRC starts 19
First WRC event 1992 Rally Australia
Last WRC event 2000 Rally Australia
Best WRC results 1st Group N, 1998 Rally NZ & Rally Australia

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Author

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.

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