François Delcourt truly introduced the top flight of the 1991 World Rally Championship at the Monte Carlo Rally in a stunning but ultimately painful battle for victory. TOM HOWARD rethinks how the French have approached so far
Lockdown isn’t that much fun, but it gives motorsport fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in the archive and relive the classic moments.
Last week, Autosport magazine celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s last F1 World Championship, perhaps the best of the year, from Senna’s biggest title to the rise of IndyCar talent Michael Andretti and his rivalry with Wayne Rainey. We have published a special 1991-themed issue that covers the story of. Kevin Schwantz.
And when the World Rally Championship began this weekend at the Monte Carlo Rally, Autosport thought it appropriate to continue with the 1991 theme. Motorsport.tvWe have selected some highlights from the classic version of the famous Alpine event.
Group A’s period is rarely cited in talking about the WRC’s greatest era, but the 1991 entry list includes a great factory with Toyota, Lancia, Mitsubishi, Ford and Mazda fighting fiercely. The lineup was full. However, although this year was defined by the battle between Juha Kankkunen (Lancia) and Carlos Sainz Sr (Toyota), it was a new force that emerged to take the central stage in Monte in 1991-François.・ Advance Delcourt.
The French impressed the event by driving a Peugeot factory team in 1990, finishing in 9th overall as a two-wheel drive top runner.
Now welcomed by the Worksford team, Derecourt has entered the scene of driving a Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth with a relatively new, unproven four-wheel drive Q8 that debuted the previous year.
The rally began with WRC champion Sainz starting the title defense in the best possible way by leading Celica to a comfortable lead. The Spaniards looked rude on the tricky stage, where they lost heavy snow unseasonably, but were full of spectators dangerously creeping up as the car passed by.
By the end of the first day, Sainz had a 54-second advantage over Lancia, run by Miki Biasion’s factory Lancia Delta and Bruno Saby’s Jolly Club.
In the meantime, the fantasy Derecourt set an impressive stage time, but flew well under the radar in 4th place, 61 seconds from the lead.
Delecourt was charged on the second day, chasing Sainz as Biasion was upset early on the only snow-covered stage of the rally. These stages were familiar areas for Derekour, as they successfully navigated the uncontrolled crowd along the route, shaving a few seconds from Sainz’s lead.
As Lancia’s charge weakened, the rally seemed to be determined by a duel on the final day between Sainz and Derekour, the latter firmly entering with an unlikely debut victory chance for Ford. ..
Delecourt refused to forgive on the final day, overhauling Sainz’s 9-second cushion and moving to his own commanding advantage prior to the final stage. In fact, he actually had to complete a 14-mile nightstage at a reasonable pace to guarantee victory.
However, the drama happened when Sierra ran off the road, seriously damaging the rear suspension and picking up a flat tire in the process. Delecourt’s car stopped at the end of the stage with a drift of about 5 minutes, ending the hope that would have been a dream victory on the home ground.
He rested badly on the roof when he got out of the car in tears, surrounded by the crowd, and agreed what happened when Sainz robbed an unlikely victory-Lancia of Biasion. It ended 4 minutes 59 seconds earlier.
Derecourt was left in third place to comfort himself and had to wait until 1994 to make up for his near miss with a victory at Monte. In a top-class career that lasted until 2002, he won four times and was runner-up in 1993, but Monte in 1991 is always memorable as a breaker star. ..
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In Memory of the WRC Monte Carlo Rally 1991: The Joy and Despair of Derecourt | WRC News
https://www.autosport.com/wrc/news/154715/wrc-monte-carlo-91-delecour-delight-and-despair In Memory of the WRC Monte Carlo Rally 1991: The Joy and Despair of Derecourt | WRC News