You may have noticed that despite the 2015 Festival of Speed being behind us (and Revival now just seven weeks away) that we’re still posting a ‘Flat-Out and Fearless …’ clip on a Friday. In the run-up to FoS our weekly celebration of this year’s theme proved very popular, so we’re going to carry on sharing them… at least until the internet runs out of things we can share!
Such have been the astonishing rallying feats of Sebastien Loeb that one could almost be forgiven for forgetting that during the latter half of the 1990s Tommi Makinen in a Mitsubishi was similarly unbeatable; more often than not a red and white metronome clicking off the fastest stage times …
This footage is from 1999 and the Finn’s home rally in what was to be his final championship year. Being 16-years-old and recorded on VHS, we do have to make a couple of apologies for the quality of the picture (especially at the beginning), but what will come across nonetheless is Makinen’s blend of aggression and calm smoothness behind the wheel, which enabled him to extract performance from his car that nobody could match with such consistency, despite notable competition from the likes of Colin McRae.
After 1999 the emergence of fellow Finn Marcus Gronholm signalled the end of Makinen’s dominance and he was never quite the same. By the end of 2003 he’d had enough and retired, paving the way for the irresistible force of Loeb. So take a few minutes to remind yourself of the entertaining and devastatingly effective style of this flying Finn.