2002 Peugeot 206

WRC - ex-Vatanen/Salonen, huge history


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2002 Peugeot 206 WRC

Campaigned in the 2002 and ‘03 World Rally Championships and driven by Peugeot World Champions Ari Vatanen & Timo Salonen for each of their final WRC rallies.

Ex-Timo Salonen, Ari Vatanen, Gilles Panizzi and Harri Rovanperä
Driven by Salonen and Vatanen in their final WRC rallies
Winner of the European Rally Championship’s 2003 Mogul Šumava Rally
Multiple winner and podium finisher in French national championships
Retains exceptional original documentation, including FIA Passport
Excellent history with a library of sensational images

An incredible example of Peugeot’s evocative and historic 206 WRC, which was rallied by World Champions and Works drivers alike.

The tumultuous yet thrilling Group B years of the World Rally Championship came to sad end in 1986, but it was Peugeot that had ended that fabled era on top. Amid controversy over the Rallye Sanremo, where all the results were annulled after Italian officials were deemed to have illegally disqualified the French team to hand their native Lancia team the win, it was Peugeot Sport and Juha Kankkunen who received the final Group B Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles with the iconic 205 T16.

Peugeot Sport wouldn’t return to top level WRC until 1999, but, when they did, it was definitely worth the wait.

From the mid 1990s and through to the mid 2000s the World Rally Championship had rediscovered its magic and enjoyed a revival to near Group B levels of popularity. Drivers were again household names and everyone knew the likes of Burns, McRae, Mäkinen, Sainz, Grönholm and Solberg, while a young Sébastien Loeb began his journey to become the most successful driver in WRC history. What’s more the new PlayStation generation phenomenon would see the championship winning cars immortalised forever in the minds of fans around the world, who had grown up driving them from their bedrooms and living rooms.

1999 was naturally a season of learning for Peugeot Sport, which only began the season on Round 6 at its home Tour de Corse rally, but that didn’t get in the way of three results in the top seven places and an incredible 2nd place for Peugeot stalwart Gilles Panizzi.

But with the new millennium came the age of Peugeot. From 2000 to 2002 the dominant French team achieved a trio of consecutive Manufacturers’ Championships, as well as two Drivers’ titles for Grönholm in 2000 and ’02. The 206 WRC had not just carried on from its Group B predecessor numerically, but had been significantly more successful too.

This 206 WRC, chassis 17, began active service for Peugeot’s Works-supported satellite team Bozian Racing in 2002 and contested five World Championship rounds. Gilles Panizzi, who also drove for the Works team in ’02, was at the controls of chassis 17 for the Rallies of Sweden, the Acropolis and Great Britain. Gilles had placed as high as 5th on Stage 12 in Greece, but was forced to retire with transmission trouble two stages before the end and his best result with the car was 11th in Great Britain.

Round 9 was Rally Finland and home-grown hero Timo Salonen, who won the World Championship for Peugeot in 1985 and drove his 205 T16 to victory in the team’s final Group B era win in 1986, was given the chance to drive chassis 17 in his last WRC rally before retiring from the series. But it was during Round 4 in Catalunya, with Peugeot Works driver Harri Rovanperä at the helm, that the car achieved its best result of its WRC career and came home 7th.

The 2003 season began, as is tradition, with the Rally Monte Carlo and the treacherous January conditions clearly suited Czech driver Roman Kresta. Results like a 5th place on Stage 9 meant that the Peugeot was running as high as 7th in the overall standings and, after the final stage, finished 10th only minutes behind eventual winner Loeb. Kresta retained the car for Round 2 in Sweden, where he placed 14th.

A break in its WRC duties afforded chassis 17 the chance to enter Round 5 of the European Rally Championship (which was also Round 1 of the Czech Championship), during which Kresta was dominant and took 8 of 12 stage wins to come home 1st overall. A month later in April, Kresta was leading the Czech Championship’s Round 2 with four stage wins before retiring on Stage 6.

By June the Peugeot was back in the WRC and Juuso Pykälistö took over for Round 7 in Cyprus, where two top-ten finishes saw him steadily climb the rankings before retiring on Stage 11.

For Rally Finland, the Peugeot was once again handed over to one of the sport’s legends for his final WRC drive. Ari Vatanen hadn’t competed in the category since 1998, but scored four incredible top tens to place 11th overall out of a bumper 71-car entry. Quite an exceptional way for the 51 year old to bid farewell to the WRC.

Cédric Robert captained chassis 17 for its final two WRC events, Rounds 11 and 13 in Sanremo and Catalunya, putting the Peugeot in the top ten in Italy and finishing 11th in Spain – albeit having scored a stage best of 5th!

Now retired from the WRC, the Peugeot began a new career from 2004 to 2011 in the French national gravel and tarmac championships. Needless to say that, as full bore WRC car, chassis 17 enjoyed a succession of outstanding results. Over these eight years the Peugeot delivered 14 podiums, six of which were wins.

More recently the car has been returned to its 2002 Peugeot Total livery and is an outstanding example of the iconic 206 WRC. Importantly, this car is accompanied by a wealth of history including its original event-stamped FIA Passport and a library of images. With the values of Group B cars now stratospheric, cars from this equally evocative and historic era represent extraordinary value indeed.

Price: £325,000 Plus VAT

2002 Peugeot 206 WRC Race Results

RACE DATE: 1st – 3rd February 2002
RACE: WRC Round 2 Uddeholm Swedish Rally
DRIVERS: Gilles Panizzi/ Hervé Panizzi
CAR NO: 24
RESULT: 16th

RACE DATE: 21st – 24th March 2002
RACE: WRC Round 4 Rally Catalunya
DRIVERS: Harri Rovanperä/ Risto Pietiläinen
CAR NO: 23

RACE DATE: 24th – 26th May 2002
RACE: France Tarmac Round 2 Rally of Sainte-Baume
DRIVERS: Cédric Robert/ Gérald Bedon

RACE DATE: 13th – 16th June 2002
RACE: WRC Round 7 Rally Acropolis
DRIVERS: Gilles Panizzi/ Hervé Panizzi
CAR NO: 23
RESULT: Retired SS14

RACE DATE: 8th – 11th August 2002
RACE: WRC Round 9 Neste Rally Finland
DRIVERS: Timo Salonen/ Launo Heinonen
CAR NO: 33
RESULT: 14th

RACE DATE: 6th – 8th September 2002
TRACE: Turkey Round 6 Anatolian Rally
DRIVERS: Juuso Pykälistö/ Esko Mertsalmi
RESULT: Retired

RACE DATE: 14th – 17th November 2002
RACE: WRC Round 14 Network Q Rally Great Britain
DRIVERS: Gilles Panizzi/ Hervé Panizzi
CAR NO: 23
RESULT: 11th

RACE DATE: 24th – 26th January 2003
RACE: WRC Round 1 Rally Monte Carlo
DRIVERS: Roman Kresta/ Miloš Hůlka
CAR NO: 22
RESULT: 10th

RACE DATE: 7th- 9th February 2003
RACE: WRC Round 2 Uddeholm Swedish Rally
DRIVERS: Roman Kresta/ Miloš Hůlka
CAR NO: 24
RESULT: 14th

RACE DATE: 13th – 15th March 2003
RACE: RC Round 5 Czech Republic Round 1 Mogul Šumava Rally
DRIVERS: Roman Kresta/ Miloš Hůlka

RACE DATE: 18th – 19th April 2003
RACE: Czech Republic Round 2 AAA Auto Valašská Rally
DRIVERS: Roman Kresta/ Miloš Hůlka
RESULT: Retired SS6

RACE DATE: 20th – 23rd June 2003
RACE: WRC Round 7 Cyprus Rally
DRIVERS: Juuso Pykälistö/ Esko Mertsalmi
CAR NO: 22
RESULT: Retired SS11

RACE DATE: 7th – 10th August 2003
RACE: WRC Round 9 Neste Rally Finland
DRIVERS: Ari Vatanen/ Juha Repo
RESULT: 11th

RACE DATE: 3rd – 5th October 2003
RACE: WRC Round 11 Rally San Remo
DRIVERS: Cédric Robert/ Gérald Bedon
CAR NO: 23

RACE DATE: 24th – 26th October 2003
RACE: WRC Round 13 Rally Catalunya
DRIVERS: Cédric Robert/ Gérald Bedon
CAR NO: 21
RESULT: 11th