Greatest Rally Racers to Ever Compete: Top 100

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As Kiarostami treats us to extended scenes of his protagonist driving around, the landscape gliding past his windows, something mesmerizing and even kind of exciting emerges. In its own way, this is as great a car movie as something more iconic, like Vanishing Point or Two-Lane Blacktop. Sex and cars: Director John Dahl brings out the unsettling undertones even as he orchestrates some fantastically terrifying set pieces. But in their own crazy way, they had adhered to some semblance of plausibility. With their focus on the street-racing subculture, and on the specific capabilities of the cars themselves, they were amped-up carsploitation movies.

With the fifth entry in the franchise, however, the series went Bond — becoming an international fantasia of increasingly fantastical set pieces, each one more ludicrous than the last. There was no reason for it to work, but director Justin Lin who shepherded four of these movies, in the process turning this franchise from a box-office also-ran to an international phenomenon captured just the right lighthearted, cartoonish tone to make it all sing.

The new one, Furious Seven , came close to topping it — and who knows, maybe it will with the passing of time — but for now, Fast Five remains the pinnacle of this series.

The World Rally Championship – what is it, and how does it work?

What starts off as a tight little thriller becomes a fascinating study in masculinity. Weaver is the Eternal Pushover, the guy who is always getting stepped on and pushed aside. The back and forth between these two figures — between, essentially, man and fate — has a delicious, delirious existential kick. Plus, this movie, written by Richard Matheson, is just plain exciting as hell. A religious allegory?

A meditation on the constantly shifting nature of the modern world? A vision of a soul adrift? He has that unique ability to create barbed satire while also conjuring up ridiculously memorable characters, never letting his righteous anger get in the way of his humanism. The result is a movie that defined the punk ethos for an entire generation of viewers. Co-written by Rudy Wurlitzer, the film is not exactly a metaphor, not exactly a drama.

Timo Mäkinen: one of the greatest ever rally drivers

Instead, in the occasionally perplexing interactions between these characters, it creates a strange little ecosystem of competition, codependence, resentment, and alienation. But most unforgettable are the fantastic driving sequences and the almost casually riveting performances — with James Taylor making for a perfectly intense and surprisingly charismatic lead, an ideal foil for the garrulous, slightly helpless Oates. Even the lead is grimmer than before, with Tom Hardy easily out-brooding his predecessor Mel Gibson.

And, of course, this picture is the one that gives us such indelible characters as the Imperator Furiosa and Immortan Joe. Taxi Driver No complaining.

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It totally is a car movie. But this study of loneliness, madness, and violence is all about the way cabbie Travis Bickle Robert De Niro drifts through the city — the dank, smoky streets forming a vision of Hell as they glide past his windshield. Already a subscriber? Log in or link your magazine subscription. Rallying is one of the most challenging forms of motorsport for both the driver and the machine. A rally car is driven in the most demanding conditions, be it gravel, broken roads or even snow.

While rally cars have calmed down a bit over the years, they've become faster. What makes it even more interesting is that most cars are based on on-road models, and some made specifically for rallying but subsequently introduced to the public as high-performance street cars. In the past 40 years, there have been quite a few iconic rally cars. Here are, what we think, the 10 greatest rally cars of all time. The Stratos was developed to be a rally car and only made it to production since the rally homologation demanded it.

The car was so successful that it went on to win the World Rally Championship thrice in a row from to With a lightweight fibre-glass body, the Stratos was a supercar made for rallying, and was powered by a Ferrari Dino V6. The car was designed by Bertone in Italy and is best known for being the car that drivers loved going sideways with thanks to a powerful engine and rear wheel drive.

The Stratos is definitely a legend and is even regarded as one of the best looking rally cars of all time. Another star that emerged thanks to the Group B class in the s was the Peugeot T16 Turbocharged and 16 valves. The French maker's first Group B car resembled the compact from the outside but everything else was completely different to the road car. The 4-cylinder motor moved to the rear of the car and power was sent to all four wheels.

The car produced close to PS and weighed just kilos. This made it a treat to watch every single rally. The car was very competitive and it went on to claim the World Championship in and Group B rallying unfortunately came to an end thereafter, but the T16 was modified to take part in several other rallies such as the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Paris-Dakar rally.

When Audi created Quattro their version of the all-wheel drive system , it created a new category of rally cars that not just put out insane power but could also put it down to better use thanks to four powered wheels instead of two. This meant that other manufacturers went back to their drawing boards and had to redevelop their cars all over again. The sport Quattro was front-engined, produced PS and had its wheelbase shortened drastically to aid in super handling. The five-cylinder engine could produce much more but was restricted due to the Group B regulations.

The World Rally Championship – what is it, and how does it work?

Weighing in just over a tonne, it was light too, and thanks to a high power to weight ratio and a game changing power-shift gearbox, the car could accelerate to kmph in just 3. Unfortunately, the car never saw success in the WRC. The Fiat was a humble family car from Italy that was a common sight in most houses in Italy and the rest of Europe. But in the year , the Italian manufacturer created a monster in the form of the Abarth, named after Fiat's Motorsport division Abarth.

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To homologate the car for competition use, road going cars were made. The was a rear-wheel drive car, and it was perfect for rallying then since the 4WD era was yet to come. The car was modified to accommodate a fully independent suspension, the engine was upgraded to a 2. He also triumphed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, becoming the first man ever to reach the summit in less than 11 minutes.

He trumpeted his arrival on the international stage by winning the Tulip Rally, before claiming his first Monte win a year later. As a works Ford man, he was routinely the fastest Escort driver out there. He famously triumphed in the World Cup Rally, and two years later became the first non-national to claim honours at the East African Safari Rally. He was runner-up again a year later, but won the top prize in as a works Audi man. In doing so, he became the youngest driver ever to take the title, and also the first Briton.


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His final tally was 25 WRC wins from starts. His death alongside his son and two family friends in in a helicopter accident robbed motor sport of one of its most brilliant performers.

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This intensely focused Spaniard holds the record for the most WRC starts , but his initial interest was circuit racing. He proved handy in Formula Ford before heading off-piste and winning the Spanish Rally Championship titles. Not only that, he also claimed Asia-Pacific honours and the Dakar Rally.


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His last was the Rally Finland. In between, he won 23 rounds and four WRC titles from starts. In , he became the first driver to successfully defend his crown, having moved from Peugeot to Lancia after the former withdrew from the series. Kankkunen also bagged the Dakar Rally. Given that he was 30 years old by the time he won a round of the WRC, the Lakes Rally, you could argue that this Finn was a late bloomer.


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