WRC2000 is the best ever
- 5th February 2007, 10:10am
In a countdown to commemorate ten years of World Rally Cars, the iconic blue and yellow machine was hailed as the greatest car of its generation. The article rated World Rally Cars on more than just success on the special stages – styling, engineering and the fondness with which they are remembered were also considered.
The WRC2000 had a hard act to follow when it appeared for the first time for the Rally de Portugal in the 2000 season. Its predecessor, the WRC99, had been very competitive, winning in Argentina and Finland in the hands of Juha Kankkunen and in Acropolis, Australia and Great Britain with Richard Burns at the wheel. Burns had finished second in the WRC points standings at the end of the season.
The 1999-specification car was also pressed into action for the opening rallies of the following season, while the team was also busy putting the finishing touches on the WRC2000. Burns used the older car to good effect, winning the Safari Rally, which was the last event before the new machine appeared.
Externally there were only minor changes between the 1999 and 2000 versions of the Impreza WRC, but the car had been thoroughly re-engineered.
The British driver, co-driven by Robert Reid, gave the new car a terrific debut on the Iberian event, which was based in the coastal town of Matosinhos. It was a tough event, but Burns was the fastest driver and won 12 of the 23 gravel stages. Burns also took the car to victories in Argentina and Great Britain and narrowly missed out on the world title, finishing second once again.
Although it didn’t capture the driver’s title, the Impreza WRC2000 is remembered as the car that marked a significant technological step forward for the World Rally Car genre as a whole.
Another landmark Subaru – the Impreza WRC97, which was the original World Rally Car – was ranked seventh in Autosport’s list.
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