Peugeot 206 WRC is a World Rally Car based on the Peugeot 206. It was used by Peugeot Sport, Peugeot's factory team, in the World Rally Championship from 1999 to 2003. The car brought Peugeot the manufacturers' world title three years in a row from 2000 to 2002. Marcus Grönholm won the drivers' title in 2000 and 2002.

Peugeot 206 WRC
Daniel Carlsson - 2005 Cyprus Rally 2.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerPeugeot
Production1999-2003
Body and chassis
ClassWorld Rally Car
Layout4-wheel drive
Powertrain
Engine2.0 L (122 cu in) 4-cylinder, 16-valve
TransmissionX-trac
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,486 mm (97.9 in)
Length4,005 mm (157.7 in)
Width1,770 mm (70 in)
Height1,300 mm (51 in)
Kerb weight1,230 kg (2,712 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorPeugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2
SuccessorPeugeot 307 WRC

HistoryEdit

 
Juuso Pykälistö driving a 206 WRC at the 2003 Swedish Rally.

In 1999, Peugeot Sport unveiled the 206 WRC, and it competed for the first time in that year's World Rally Championship, with French tarmac veteran and long-time marque stalwart Gilles Panizzi narrowly failing, against a resurgent reigning champion in Mitsubishi's Tommi Mäkinen, to win the Rallye Sanremo. The car was soon a success, however, and won both the manufacturers' and drivers' championships in 2000, Peugeot's first such accolades since their withdrawal from the WRC after Group B was banned after the 1986 season, and achieved in the hands of Panizzi, Francois Delecour and Mäkinen's successor as drivers' world champion, Marcus Grönholm.

For 2001, Grönholm competed alongside two refugees of SEAT's exit from the championship at the end of 2000; compatriot Harri Rovanperä and the French 1994 world champion, Didier Auriol. Rovanperä and Auriol each contributed single wins, on Swedish Rally and Rally Catalunya respectively (the former to be a sole career win for the Finn, and the latter victory helped by assorted problems for the blisteringly quick debuting Citroën Xsara WRCs), before Auriol left the team at the end of the season. Grönholm, meanwhile, suffered sufficient reliability woes in the first half of the year such that he could manage no higher than fourth overall in the series, although Peugeot did fend off Ford, with a 1-2 result by the two Finns on the season-ending Rally of Great Britain to successfully defend the constructors' championship title.

 
Grönholm's 206 WRC from the 2003 season on display.

In 2002, Grönholm – despite now being paired in the factory line-up with defending 2001 champion from Subaru, the Briton Richard Burns – led Peugeot to a repeat of the WRC title double aboard his 206 WRC. His dominance that year was compared to Michael Schumacher's dominance of Formula One. In summary, Peugeot won two drivers' championships, in 2000 and 2002, and three manufacturers' titles in a row between 2000 and 2002. However, by 2003 the 206 WRC was beginning to show its age and was less effective against the competition, notably the newer Xsara WRC and the Subaru Impreza WRC, so it was retired from competition at the end of the season, to be replaced with the 307 WRC, albeit, unlike its predecessor, based not on the production version's hatchback, but its coupé cabriolet body style.

The Peugeot 206 WRC was awarded the Autosport "Rally Car of the Year" in 2002, preceded by the Ford Focus RS WRC and followed by the Citroën Xsara WRC. Peugeot GB created a Peugeot 206 rally championship aimed at young drivers. The championship was created to help young drivers develop their careers. The cars were built by Vic Lee Racing and drivers such as Tom Boardman, Luke Pinder and Garry Jennings all drove in the championship.

WRC victoriesEdit

No. Event Season Driver Co-driver
1   Swedish Rally 2000   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
2   Rally New Zealand 2000   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
3   Rally Finland 2000   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
4   Tour de Corse 2000   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
5   Rallye Sanremo 2000   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
6   Rally Australia 2000   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
7   Swedish Rally 2001   Harri Rovanperä   Risto Pietiläinen
8   Rally Catalunya 2001   Didier Auriol   Dennis Giraudet
9   Rally Finland 2001   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
10   Rallye Sanremo 2001   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
11   Rally Australia 2001   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
12   Rally of Great Britain 2001   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
13   Swedish Rally 2002   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
14   Tour de Corse 2002   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
15   Rally Catalunya 2002   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
16   Cyprus Rally 2002   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
17   Rally Finland 2002   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
18   Rallye Sanremo 2002   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi
19   Rally New Zealand 2002   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
20   Rally Australia 2002   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
21   Swedish Rally 2003   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
22   Rally New Zealand 2003   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
23   Rally Argentina 2003   Marcus Grönholm   Timo Rautiainen
24   Rally Catalunya 2003   Gilles Panizzi   Hervé Panizzi

External linksEdit

  Media related to Peugeot 206 WRC at Wikimedia Commons

Awards
Preceded by
Ford Focus RS WRC
Autosport
Rally Car of the Year

2002
Succeeded by
Citroën Xsara WRC