WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Tue 18 Oct 2022

WRC50: Crowd-pleaser Panizzi’s Spain donuts

Rally drivers are perpetually on the edge, any slight mistake can set the car into a spin.

It is practically unheard of for a driver to spin deliberately in the middle of a stage, but that is exactly what Peugeot’s asphalt ace Gilles Panizzi did in Spain in 2002. 

Such was Panizzi’s dominance that on the final morning he chose to perform a celebratory donut. He did it in front of the huge crowds gathered at the famous Viladrau hairpin under the motorway bridge. 

Ten of his forty-two-second lead was lost performing this stunt, however he still came out victorious. 

Gilles had omitted to inform his co-driver, brother Hérve, what he was planning to do and thus gave him an anxious moment as the silver bullet spun 360° in a cloud of tyre smoke. The fans loved it, however. 

This story is an excerpt from 'WRC 50, The Story of the World Rally Championship 1973-2022', written by Markus Stier. Purchase your copy here.

Cover Photo: © McKlein