NOV 13th 2014

Video: The most dramatic World Rally Championship ending ever?

Tomorrow sees the start of Rally GB and the final round of the 2014 World Rally Championship. Sebastien Ogier has already been crowned champion and Volkswagen has walked the constructor’s title. However, in 1998 things were a little more tight …

Having suffered a couple of engine failures in his Mitsubishi, Tommi Makinen held a slender two point lead over Carols Sainz going in to the event. With both drivers looking for their third title this promised to be a hell-for-leather duel to the finish. Sadly, fate (and a smearing of engine oil on one of the tarmac stages) conspired to tear a wheel off Makinen’s car. He continued but when he rejoined the public roads was stopped by a traffic officer determined to uphold the Road Traffic Act. Something about a four-wheeled vehicle running on three wheels and dragging part of its backside along the road being a little bit illegal …

So, that was that. All Sainz had to do was cosset his bullet-proof-reliable Toyota Corolla over the line in eighth place or better and the title was heading to Spain. He even went so far as to say that Makinen had a 1% chance compared to his 99%. On the final day Makinen was heading to the airport when something astonishing happened, but we won’t spoil what it was in case you’ve forgotten or somehow haven’t seen it yet.

Better that you watch this nicely put-together video highlighting all the key events in what must be one of the most bizarre conclusions to a motor racing championship ever.

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