1997 WRC Season Review

Mitsubishi

1997 saw a lot of changes for the World Rally Championship. A new top specification called World Rally Cars were introduced and manufacturers could choose between the existing Group A rules or the new World Rally Car rules which no longer required road going versions of the race car. Only Subaru and Ford switched over the new spec in 1997 but it was the beginning of a new era for the WRC.

World Rally Championship

Manufacturers were also required to enter all 14 rounds for the first time but the events became shorter and more compact as well. Subaru, Ford, and Mitsubishi are the main players but Toyota showed up mid season with a Corolla World Rally Car. This was also the season where the “slower” classed Group 2 cars started beating the faster WRC cars at the all tarmac French and Spanish events. Here’s the full 1997 review. All two hours and ten minutes worth!

If you’re not going to watch the video and just want season results, scroll down…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1997 World Rally Championship – Drivers
Car Number Driver Manufacturer Points
1 Tommi Mäkinen FI Mitsubishi Lancer 63
2 Colin McRae GB Subaru Impreza 62
3 Carlos Sainz SP Ford Escort 51
4 Kenneth Eriksson SE Subaru Impreza 28
5 Juha Kankkunen FI Ford Escort 28
6 Piero Liatti IT Subaru Impreza 24
7 Richard Burns GB Mitsubishi Lancer 21
8 Armin Schwarz DE Ford Escort 11
9 Gilles Panizzi FR Peugeot 8
10 Freddie Loix BE Toyota Celica 8
11 Didier Auriol FR Toyota Celica 5
12 Markus Grönholm SE Toyota Celica 5
13 Ian Duncan KE Toyota Celica 4
14 Thomas Radström SE Toyota Celica 4
15 Jarmo Kytolehto FI Ford Escort 4
16 Gregoire de Mevius BE Ford Escort 3
17 Didier Delecour FR Peugeot 3
18 Uwe Nittel DE Mitsubishi Lancer 3
19 Jonathan Toroitich KE Toyota Celica 2
20 J.NpP. Richelmi MC Ford Escort 2
21 Angelo Medeghini IT Subaru Impreza 2
22 Possum Bourne NZ Subaru Impreza 2
23 Henrik Lundgaard DK Toyota Celica 1
24 Gustavo Trelles UR Mitsubishi Lancer 1
25 Frederic Dor FR Subaru Impreza 1
26 Masao Kamioka JP Subaru Impreza 1
27 Rui Madeira PT Subaru Impreza 1
28 Ordinski AU Mitsubishi Lancer 1

Bill Caswell is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator, and rose to internet fame taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have featured in places like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com. A lifelong fan of rally and motorsport, Caswell famously believes nothing to be impossible.