Subaru Impreza WRX STI Night Lights
In 2001 the WRC season started with six potential title candidates: Marcus Grönholm (Peugeot 206, defending champion), Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer, 4x world champion), Carlos Sainz (Ford Focus, 2x world champion), Colin McRae (Ford Focus, world champion in 95), Didier Auriol (Peugeot 206, world champion in 94) and Richard Burns (Subaru Impreza, vice-world champion in 99 and 2000). At the start of the 14th and final round of the season 4 drivers were in the runnings: Colin McRae led the championship with 1 point ahead of Tommi Mäkinen and two over Richard Burns. Carlos Sainz was 4th 9pts behind McRae. Mäkinen retired in the second special and McRae in the fourth. In the fight for the podium Richard Burns was then in the best position to win the title. Sainz retired on SS11 and left the field open to the Subaru driver. Richard Burns finished the rally in third place and became 2001 World Rally Champion by two points! Burns won only one rally in 2001 but was a bit more consistent than his rivals. Two years later, following a malaise before the 2003 Rally of Great Britain, Burns' disease was detected. His brain tumor would kill him two years later, on November 25, 2005, 4 years to the day after his title of world champion!