Subaru’s first serious campaign in rallying came in 1989, with the launch of Subaru Technica International and the involvement of Prodrive, which led to the creation of the Group A Subaru Legacy RS rally car. The Legacy was powered by a longitudinally mounted boxer engine, which despite having the benefit of a low centre of gravity, ultimately lacked power and suffered from repeated drive train issues. Prodrive worked on the car over the next few years, but the problems took a long while to sort resulting in the car’s sole win ironically coming on its last outing.
Prodrive’s experience of building rally cars told them that the way forward was a smaller, more agile car and work on a Group A Impreza rally car began. This car appeared towards the end of 1993 and had a more neutral front/rear weight distribution and featured active differentials. The car’s first outing was on the 1000 Lakes Rally and in the hands of Ari Vatanen finished 2nd overall.
In 1997 the FIA changed the regulations of rallying, with Group A being replaced with World Rally Car. These changes gave teams much greater freedom in terms of construction design and materials. This new freedom led Prodrive to totally redesign the car, launching the WRC97, which featured modified camshafts, cylinder ports and combustion chambers which saw increases in both power and torque.
In 1998 the Impreza WRC98 replaced the 97 and saw the introduction of computer controlled active front, centre and rear differentials, and an electronic throttle. Not perhaps surprisingly mechanical failures were common, which prevented the team from challenging for the world title.
Is Chassis number 11, which was used by Richard Burns on three events during 2000.
Its debut came on Rally San Remo, where it unfortunately retired with mechanical failure.
Its next event was the Rally Tour de Corse, where it finished 4th overall.
Its final event was the Network Q Rally GB and the one it will be remembered for most, where it finished 1st overall. Unfortunately Richard was unable to steal the Drivers Championship from Marcus Gronholm, that feat would have to wait until 2001.
The car was purchased by its current owner directly from Prodrive, as it crossed the finish line. The car remains complete and unmolested and other than having had a clean is exactly how it finished the event.
Engine : Turbo Charged, Fuel Injected, 4 Cylinder, DOHC, 16V 2ltr,
Power : 300 BHP +