Now that we have had Thanksgiving here in the United States, our thoughts now turn to Christmas and the winter season. For many of us, winter means car rallies in the snow. In anticipation of those winter rallies, I was looking at some past winter rallies to recall the spectacle of winter rallies. The World Rally Championship images below come from the 1992 WRC season and were published in “World Rallying 15” written by Martin Holmes.
The Swedish Rally was the one true winter rally event on the schedule that year. This event was held north of Karlstad, Sweden in February. The rally was won by Mats Jonsson/Lars Backman in a Toyota Celica GT-Four finishing 39 seconds ahead of Colin McRae/Derek Ringer in their Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo.
Colin McRae/Derek Ringer In A Subaru Legacy Finished Second In the 1992 Swedish Rally
Finishing in seventh position about 14 minutes behind the leader was Bjorn Johansson/Anders Olsson in a Mazda 323 GT-X.
Johannson/Olsson In a Mazda 323 GT-X
The other WRC rally that year that often has some snowy stages is the series opening rally, the Monte Carlo Rally. In 1992 Didier Auriol/Bernard Occelli won the Monte Carlo Rally in their Lancia HF Integrale finishing about 2 minutes ahead of Carlos Sainz/Luis Moya in a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD. The Lancia HF Integrale was a very successful rally car. The image below shows a Lancia HF Integrale driven by Philppe Bugalski/Denis Giraudet to fifth place about 8 minutes behind the winning Lancia.
A Lancia HF Integrale in the Classic Martini Racing Livery
In 1992 Nissan had two Nissan Pulsar GTI-R cars in the top 10 at the Monte Carlo Rally. The Nissan Pulsar GTI-R shown below wasn’t one of them. Perhaps the upside down “Nissan” name on the front of the car was indicative of the level of care in the preparation of this car.
This Nissan Pulsar GTI-R Finished Off The Pace
The Nissan Pulsar GTI-R car was never imported into North America, however one of these cars has competed several times in Targa Newfoundland.
Another car from that era that I believe was never officially imported into the United States was the Ford Cosworth 4×4. These were very impressive rally cars and I had the pleasure of being the co-driver in one of these cars a few years ago in a winter rally in the northeast United States.
I was the Co-Driver in This Ford Cosworth
I hope to take part in several winter rallies this year. Hopefully one of them will be an event in the Finger Lakes Winter Rally Series. In 2011 I competed in one of the Finger Lakes Winter Rallies, the Long Way Home rally, with Dave Siesicki in his Honda. Despite having two-wheel drive, the Dave’s Honda is good rally car unless there is a great deal of snow.
Dave Siesicki’s Honda That Dave & I Competed In the 2011 Long Way Home Rally
Despite how much the general public often complains about winter conditions, the winter rally season seems quite short and I look forward competing in a few of them.