Rally Argentina 1999 – 2.4 seconds
As controversial as it was close, the last Rally Argentina of the 20th century featured a one-two for the Prodrive Subaru squad, but not quite in the order that anyone had been expecting. Least of all rally leader Richard Burns. The Englishman enjoyed a 17-second lead on the final day and with the team instructing him and team-mate Juha Kankkunen to hold station and avoid unnecessary risks, he went into cruise mode, protecting his advantage at the slowest possible speed. Four-time World Champion Kankkunen, however, had other ideas and the Finn chipped away at Burns’ lead, eventually turning a 1.2s deficit into a 2.4s advantage in the final test, the second run through the 21.3km Amboy-Santa Rosa de Calamuchita stage. Burns’ co-driver Robert Reid was moved to comment at the finish: “where there’s a shark, there’s a Finn.”
Footnote: two other rallies were decided by 2.4s. In New Zealand in 2010 Jari-Matti Latvala and Ford defeated Sébastien Ogier and Citroen, while in Argentina a year later, Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb had the measure of Ford rival Mikko Hirvonen. Argentina 1999 gets the nod here as it happened first.
Images courtesy of LAT