Panizzi grabs shock victory

On his last outing for Peugeot as a works driver, asphalt king Gilles Panizzi stole victory from Citroen's Sebastien Loeb on the very last stage of Rally Catalunya

Panizzi grabs shock victory

Loeb set a dazzling pace throughout the event in his Citroen Xsara, apparently keeping the challenges of Ford's Markko Martin and Peugeot's Panizzi at arm's length throughout the asphalt event. But Panizzi, who was 49.7s in arrears with three stages remaining, stormed through the final test of Viladrau to snatch a remarkable victory by 13secs.

"This is a fantastic result," said Peugeot Sport chief Corrado Provera. "It is so important for the team. It is a goodbye gift from Gilles to us."

Panizzi himself said: "Today has been just incredible. I just hoped to finish on the podium. For me, it was impossible to touch Sebastien Loeb... This result is crazy!"

The final stage was disastrous for Citroen, as not only did Loeb lose the victory but team-mate Carlos Sainz ground to a halt in the middle of the test, and dropped from fourth to seventh. All that means they go into the Rally GB title decider tied on points at the head of the championship, but no less than four drivers can take the championship next month.

Loeb held on to second by just 0.6secs from Martin, whose team-mate François Duval finished fourth. Petter Solberg took full advantage of the wet conditions of the final day to climb to fifth place in his Subaru, which means he is just one point off the lead in the points race.

Marcus Gronholm was sixth for Peugeot, ahead of the unlucky local hero Sainz, while Subaru's Tommi Makinen rounded out the points finishers, ahead of Citroen's Colin McRae.


Gilles Panizzi (Peugeot)
Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) +13.0s
Markko Martin (Ford) +13.6s
François Duval (Ford) +55.4s
Petter Solberg (Subaru) +1m10.8s
Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) +1m29.1s
Carlos Sainz (Citroen) +1m33.0s
Tommi Makinen (Subaru) +1m55.1s

shares
comments
Day 3am: Subaru in the hunt

Previous article

Day 3am: Subaru in the hunt

Next article

Solberg predicts title thriller

Solberg predicts title thriller
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021