Happy Birthday Ari Vatanen! To celebrate the 70th birthday of the 1981 World Rally Champion and Rally Legend Ari Vatanen, we look back in WRC history to his famous battle for victory on Rally Finland in 1993 in his brand new Subaru Impreza rally car. Ari Vatanen won 15 stages, took the lead on stage 26, but lost out to Juha Kankkunen in a Toyota Celica Turbo in the final results by only 45 seconds, after 35 stages and over 500km of flat out rally action in a brand new rally car!
Sorry about the audio quality in this video. Our old TV broadcast tapes are audio mixed this way. For best results use headphones, and you’ll find some sounds in the left ear, only sounds and music on the right. We hope you can still enjoy all the drama, interviews and classic rally engine noise despite the quality.
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WRC is the FIA World Rally Championship, a tough motorsport using rally cars on real roads around the world. Watch the best rally drivers flat out on gravel and asphalt roads with mud, rain, dust, ice and heat. Power slides, drifts, big jumps, watersplashes, handbrake turns, hairpin bends, lucky escapes, big moments or a massive crash. Rally requires maximum attack and careful tactics to become world rally champion.
Rally drivers take turns to complete closed road “special stages” as quickly as possible, setting off a few minutes apart. A co-driver reads pace notes to describe the hazards ahead. The same rally car is used to travel to each stage on public roads following normal traffic regulations. The crew which completes all the stages in the shortest time is the rally winner. WRC is administered by the FIA Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile FIA, motorsport’s world governing body.
Some of the world’s greatest drivers have won the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers : Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Walter Röhrl, Stig Blomqvist, Petter Solberg, Ott Tänak. Champions from Finland are Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen, Ari Vatanen, Marcus Grönholm and Hannu Mikkola. French rally drivers have dominated 8 times with Sébastien Ogier, and 9 times with Sébastien Loeb. Famous motorsport drivers have attempted WRC like Robert Kubica and Kimi Räikkönen from F1 and Ken Block from Rallycross.
Car companies compete for the prestigious FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers. The 1980’s featured the iconic Group B rally cars like the Lancia 037 and Delta S4, Peugeot 205 T16, MG Metro 6R4, Ford RS200 and Audi Quattro.
Japan dominated the 1990s with the Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Impreza, and Toyota Celica and Toyota Corolla. Citroen and Volkswagen became champions in the 2000s along with M-Sport team using the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta. Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 with the Toyota Yaris WRC, winning in 2018 and 2021. Hyundai won in 2019 and 2020 with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Find out about the latest winners and champions at https://www.wrc.com