I have no problem admitting I have a fanboy crush on Lancia Delta HF Integrale and her sexy curves with a touch of muscle on the sides. And just before I doze off each night I comfort myself that one day, by some wild accident, I will be able to afford one of them, in full combat guise and it’s timeless Martini Racing livery.
Morning, however, brings just another day, but you never know, one of these days…
If you’re former world championship driver (and title winner to boot), it is a touch easier to get your hands on one of these (and many other) legendary machines. Petter Solberg, Juha Kannkunen, Colin McRae, and many other drivers don’t just drive their cars and consider them piles of metal or tools of the trade. As you can imagine, if you spend your working hours pushing one of these special beasts to it’s limits and risk your life and the life of a co-driver while doing so, you must get emotionally attached to the car.
And so, the cars end up in a garage, but not just any garage. You don’t just cram the championship winning car into some shady corner and leave it to collect dust. Oh no, you care about it and make sure it’s comfortable in the warmth of it’s own personal resting place. Because, it’s piece of motorsport history and these garages are actually museums. And you cannot help but feel the passion and dedication these guys had and still have towards this incredible sport.
One such museum is owned by former World Champion and one of the most prominent French drivers (not sure if Mons. Panizzi and Delecour would agree) of the modern-ish era of rallying – Didier Auriol.
Enjoy as Francois describes some of his favourites, from Lancias to “strange” Metro.