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Richard Burns, Robert Reid, Subaru Impreza WRC
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Analysis

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

So the saying goes, ‘nice guys finish last’. Twenty years ago, one of the World Rally Championship’s nice guys disproved the widely-misjudged theory thanks to internal determination like no other.

On and around the turn of the millennium, the WRC was enjoying one of its most competitive periods between 1999 and 2001. Ford and Peugeot had upped their game in the manufacturer street fight, while Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen, Carlos Sainz and defending champion Marcus Gronholm were among the bulls locking horns in the driving seats.

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