Night of Turini
|Monte Carlo Rally 2001|
"206, the bad number" headlined a daily sportnewspaper after this rally. Indeed, Grönholm retired as of SS2 due to a broken waterpump. Panizzi crashed out in SS3, and on the fourth stage Peugeot's rally was all but over as Auriol lost a wheel causing him to retire as well. The previous year no 206 reached the finishline when at the beginning of the last day none of the three cars would start!
Subaru fared little better: Märtin gave up before even starting, Solberg left the road, and Burns retired due to an electronic breakdown.
The rally was still a theatre of many upsets and this from the very start: scratch of Gardemeister in SS 1 at the wheel of a customer 206 prepared by Grifone (astonishingly he will finish the rally in 5th, somewhat saving the honor of Peugeot). Another stage, another upset: scratch of Gassner in the SS2 on a Proton Pert Grp N. Never before seen in the World Championship : a producton car that wins a stage!!! Definitely, the Monte Carlo will always hold enormous surprises to us.
The battle for the victory then turned out to become a duel between C. McRae (leading) and Mäkinen (with 30' 6). Tommi initiated an impressive attack, taking a little more than 28' over the Scottish in 2 stages and seized the lead on the second day. On the third leg McRae retires in the first passage of the famous Turini (SS12). Ford finishes 2 and 3 as Sainz finishes 2nd on respectable distance from the leader and Delecour takes 3rd.