Bravo Sebastien. But there have been a few other names in the past that caused a bit of a stir when they appeared on the top of the time sheets as WRC.com discovers.
Dany Snobeck: fastest on SS32, Loda-Luceram, Rallye Monte-Carlo 1992: Dany Snobeck is used to setting records: he’s still recently been winning French championship rallies, in his 60s. Back when he was a young thing though, nobody expected him to go quickest on one of the trickiest stages of the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo. Admittedly he was armed with the hugely impressive Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, but it was still an impressive showing for only his second attempt at the event.
Gwyndaf Evans: fastest on SS2, Weston Park, Rally GB 1993: Former bus driver Gwyndaf Evans was a folk hero in his homeland, but was the first to admit that he never stood an enormous chance against the huge international stars of the day. All that changed on Rally GB, when in a Group N Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, he humbled the giants on the 4.10-kilometre Weston Park stately home stage.
Paolo Andreucci: fastest on SS3, Baiardo, Rallye Sanremo 1997: In another giant-killing act of heroism, Paolo Andreucci’s two-wheel drive Renault Maxi Megane defeated all the world rally regulars on the third stage of Rallye Sanremo: a well-known slippery and demanding asphalt road high up in the mountains. “I saw the time and I just couldn’t believe it,” said seven-time Italian champion Andreucci. “Later that day we had to retire and it was one of my biggest disappointments: we had the potential for an amazing result.”
Hermann Gassner Sr, fastest on SS2, St Pierre, Rallye Monte-Carlo 2001: Not many people know that Proton has won a WRC stage outright. The occasion was the 2001 Rallye Monte-Carlo, when car 46, Hermann Gassner Sr (the father of Red Bull driver Hermann Gassner Jr) pulled off the seemingly impossible to win the 30.34-kilometre St Pierre stage, run in mixed conditions, with a Group N Proton Pert; essentially a re-badged Mitsubishi. Don’t adjust your computer screens - it happened.
Armin Schwarz, fastest on SS13, Bosenberg, Rallye Deutschland 2004: Rallye Deutschland is associated forever with Sebastien Loeb domination but local hero Armin Schwarz enjoyed one of his finest hours by going quickest of all on the complex Bosenberg stage. What surprised people was that he did it in a Skoda Fabia WRC - fittingly enough on his 100th WRC start. It was also his 100th, and final, WRC stage win. Coincidences don’t get any better.