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Old 12-12-2021, 09:43 PM   #1
TitoBandito
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Member#: 318302
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: CT
Vehicle:
2004 Sti
WRB

Default Dirfish favorite World Rally Car survey results

Dirtfish held a vote for the favorite car from the era of the World Rally Car regulation of the WRC. The World Rally Car rules lasted from 1997 to 2021, and was preceded by the more production car-based Group A, and is succeeded by the new for 2022 Rally1 rules, of which the most prominent change is the addition of a hybrid system. The late 90s and early 2000s saw a trove of manufacturers enter cars, Subaru, Ford, Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen, Skoda, SEAT, and Mitsubishi. The past few years dwindled down to 3 manufacturers, Hyundai, Toyota, and Ford (M-Sport), which made the spectacle more dull in terms of the minimal variety of machinery on the rally stages.

Of the 31 choices in the survey, 5 were Subaru Impreza WRC models, sometimes with several similar models grouped into one choice:
Impreza WRC S4-S6 (GC-chassis, 2-door coupe, raced from 1998 to 2000)
Impreza WRC S7-S8 (‘bugeye’ models raced in 2001 and 2002)
Impreza WRC S9-S11 (‘blobeye’ models raced from 2003 to 2005)
Impreza WRC S12 (‘hawkeye’ model raced from 2006 into early 2008)
Impreza WRC S14 (GH/GR 5-door hatchback, raced in 2008)

I think the survey accidentally omitted the first year Impreza WRC from 1997, the S3. Was very similar to the S4 through S6.

Unsurprisingly, the Impreza WRC S14 placed lowest among the Imprezas, 29th on the list. This car only achieved 2 podiums and no wins in its only (and partial) year of competition.

The next up on the list is the S9-S11, at number 14 out of 31. While I cast my single vote on a different machine, this car – I thought – was very impactful and prominent as it was one of these cars that Petter Solberg won the World Rally Championship with back in 2003, and we received the blobeye 2004 STi as the first STi available in the U.S.

One place up on the list is the S7-S8. This, again, was one of the models that a Subaru driver claimed the championship with. The late Richard Burns taking the driver’s trophy in 2001 piloting an Impreza WRC S7.

The Impreza WRC S12 came in 6th, and I was surprised as this car did not achieve the same success with rally wins or drivers championships that the bugeye and blobeye rally cars did. The last win came in 2005 with the previous model, so the S12 only attained a couple podiums every year. So I personally am not sure how this car garnered more votes but I am curious to see opinions if I have not bored everyone already and people do decide to respond.

Dirtfish did not immediately release the top 5 (but they could be inferred as to which they were, not the order, by seeing all options in the initial vote). I think there’s enough mystique about the original 2-door GC Impreza, in a blue body with gold wheels, yellow 555 decals (or later Subaru swoosh) locking the real wheels and sliding around tight chicanes on the Rally Monte Carlo for most people to see that it was a shoe-in for top car in the list for cars in the 1997-2021 era.
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Old 12-16-2021, 11:45 AM   #2
TitoBandito
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Member#: 318302
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: CT
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Default

Well I'll be damned. The Skoda Octavia WRC came in first place. With about 25% of the total votes, nonetheless.

For a car that never won a rally, and barely made it onto the podium, you could kind of tell that it was a bit of a joke answer when it made the top 5. The Octavia was big, at least relative to other rally cars like the Peugeot 206. It looked heavy but was deceiving as it was built to the minimum regulated weight just like the other cars. I know Prodrive had some hand in working with Skoda to build the rally car.
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