The year is 2001. Lifehouses’ “Hanging By A Moment” is the top single on the radio. Tom Hanks and a volleyball will make you bawl your eyes out in the movie theater. The wail of rally cars echoes through the trails as bright and bold machines rip into dust and damp earth.
The bright liveries of those rally cars and all the excitement of the 2001 World Rally Championship (WRC) are on display in a series of brief retrospectives featured over on WRC partner (and prominent American rally school) Dirtfish every month this year. It’s such a good look back!
All of the gnarly photography in the retrospectives comes courtesy of the McKlein Gallery, which we have don’t have access to. Luckily our subscription to Getty Images gets us some good 2001 WRC placeholders. Still, I’m happy to point you to Dirtfish which is an unfailing source of thorough rally coverage.
The retrospectives have covered three stages of the 2001 WRC so far. Those stages are the following, in order of publication via Dirtfish: the 2001 Monte Carlo Rally, the 2001 Swedish Rally and the 2001 Rally Portugal.
There’s also a neat look into the career of Argentina’s late rally racer Jorge Recalde that is worth a read. He died in 2001, which is why Dirtfish recalls his career. Recalde piloted a Lancia Delta Integrale to victory at the 1988 Rally Argentina:
The retrospectives are brief in their descriptions, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then you’ll have plenty to sort through. In any case, they’ve got good info, such as this from the 2001 Rally Portugal piece that recalls the devastating weather effects of that stage in the following:
Rally Portugal 2001 will go down in history as having the worst weather in living memory. The conditions were bad enough to help eliminate two-thirds of the starters.
The stages are full of the primary colors of machines from the turn of the millennium, when teams were not afraid to make statements with their color palettes. It might just be a look in hindsight but those colors pop more to my eyes than the sleek liveries of modern competition cars. Could be the neon.
Just look at this Pleiades livery:
You also don’t have to be a WRC or rally stan to enjoy these galleries, though you might find afterwards that you may be susceptible to becoming one.