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Watch the most talented British rally driver of all time win on home soil

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul9,2024

Watch the most talented British rally driver of all time win at home

Richard Burns was Britain's most talented driver/LAT Photographic, Motorsport Images

Scotland's Colin McRae is the name that springs to most people's minds when you think of the glory days of World Rally Championship, which we believe to be at their peak group A in the early nineties and ending with Sébastien Loeb's first title in 2004.

At the time, McRae was the greatest, brightest and most daring racer of the era. His bravery and arrogance brought him world fame, raising the prestige of rallying to stratospheric heights. But who was the most talented Briton of that era? Those who know will call another name. Richard Burns, writes Motor1.

Here's proof: Think back to Rally Great Britain, the final round of the 2000 season, in which Burns narrowly lost second place to two-time champion Markus Gronholm.

Up to this point, the fight for the championship was intense: Burns was second, and Gronholm was ahead. To have a shot at the title, Burns needed to finish first on his home rally and pray for Gronholm to drop to the bottom step of the podium.

Burns stood up to the pressure, taking the overall victory with his signature precision and aggression. Unfortunately for him, Gronholm alsoproved his mettle by doing enough to win the title.

This video report provides an overview of the final stage of the 2000 Rally Great Britain. Burns took the lead, but Gronholm continued to battle for the lead, with the championship result swinging back and forth between the two as the battle went against either of them.

A moment from the final stage of Rally Great Britain 2000: watch video

It's worth staying to see the real driving talent that Gronholm displays. Seven of the top ten drivers that season won or could have won the WRC title, including four-time champions Juhu Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen. It's also worth mentioning two unsung asphalt experts of that era who feature prominently in this video – Giles Panizzi and Francois Delacour. They deserve their own sequel on YouTube.

In the end, Gronholm and Burns were separated by five points, although Burns finished one less rally during the season. However, next season will be on Burns. He and his Subaru finally won the title after back-to-back seasons of runner-up finishes ahead of McRae, who finished second in a better Ford Focus.

Burns always drove a bit thinner on the edge than McRae, who spent much more time cruising past him This meant more glory for McRae, but also a lot more accidents. Both won one title each, making this feud one of the greatest pub debates of our time.

Of course, footage of Burns always seems bittersweet. His life was tragically cut short by a brain tumor in 2005, four years after winning his first and only WRC championship.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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