Richard Burns – 2001/2002
The only Englishman to win the title, the late, great Richard Burns had made the Subaru team his own after Colin McRae had left for Ford at the end of 1998. Burns, co-driven by long-time right-hand man Robert Reid, ran at the sharp end aboard the Impreza WRC in 1999, taking three wins and runner-up slot in the title race. Three more wins in 2000 and another second-place finish in the points convinced many that he could finally join McRae as a British champion in 2001. And he didn’t disappoint. He won twice, took five other podium finishes and came good on Rally GB on November 25th, 2001. For 2002, Burns felt he needed to prove himself outside of Subaru, so he joined Peugeot alongside Finn Marcus Grönholm. Burns would come close to victories in the French 206 WRC over the next two seasons, but an 11th win proved elusive during the next two years. His biggest battle, against brain cancer, began ahead of Rally GB and he fought bravely until November 25th, 2005 – exactly four years after that glorious moment in Wales.