Toyota achieved the extraordinary last weekend when all four of its GR Yaris Rally1s finished in a perfect formation on Safari Rally Kenya.
A 1-2-3-4 finish in the World Rally Championship is an extremely rare thing – so much so that it had only happened once before in the 21st century when Citroën pulled it off on Rally Bulgaria 12 years ago.
But a 1-2-3 finish, that’s slightly more common and Toyota’s 2022 Safari Rally Kenya was actually the 54th in World Rally Championship history.
However, where does that latest success rank Toyota in the history books up against other manufacturers to lock out the WRC podium?
With the help of the eWRC-results archive, here is that list (ranked lowest to highest) of how many 1-2-3 finishes each manufacturer has claimed since the WRC was born in 1973.
10= Mitsubishi (1)
Mitsubishi has scored one 1-2-3 finish in the WRC, and not during its world championship-dominating pomp of the late ’90s.
Instead, the marque locked out the rostrum 20 years earlier on the 1976 Safari Rally. Local driver Joginder Singh beat Robin Ulyate while future Mitusbishi team principal Andrew Cowan was third.
Mitsubishi’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Safari 1976||Joginder Singh||Robin Ulyate||Andrew Cowan|
10= Mercedes (1)
It may surprise a few to find Mercedes – a brand with very little rallying history compared to some other marques – on this list, but on African rallies in the late 1970s, a Mercedes was the car to have.
So much so that on the 1979 Côte d’Ivoire Rally, Mercedes-Benz 450 SLCs locked out not just the top three but the top four places, led by the late 1983 world champion Hannu Mikkola and rounded out by Vic Preston Jr.
Mercedes’ complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Côte d’Ivoire 1979||Hannu Mikkola||Björn Waldegård||Andrew Cowan|
10= Peugeot (1)
For a manufacturer with such a revered WRC history, and one that enjoyed two periods of dominance with the 205 T16 and then 206 WRC, it’s perhaps a surprise to learn that Peugeot only ever locked out the WRC podium once.
It came on the 2002 Tour de Corse where asphalt king Gilles Panizzi led home that year’s world champion Marcus Grönholm and then reigning world champion Richard Burns.
Peugeot’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Tour de Corse 2002||Gilles Panizzi||Marcus Grönholm||Richard Burns|
8= Alpine (2)
Alpine holds the unique distinction in world rallying history as being the first manufacturer to ever win a WRC event: the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally. It therefore also stands as the first marque to score a 1-2-3 given that three A110s locked out the 1973 Monte podium!
Jean-Claude Andruet led home Ove Andersson and Jean-Pierre Nicolas on that event, but Alpine repeated the feat later that season – also on French asphalt – on the Tour de Corse where Nicolas was victorious.
Alpine’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Monte Carlo 1973||Jean-Claude Andruet||Ove Andersson||Jean-Pierre Nicolas|
|Tour de Corse 1973||Jean-Pierre Nicolas||Jean-François Piot||Jean-Luc Thérier|
8= Subaru (2)
Subaru’s place in rallying folklore has long been secure, but it was never the most dominant team in terms of having two or more drivers consistently fighting at the front.
But that being said, the famous blue and yellow machines did take two 1-2-3 finishes in WRC history and ironically netted them back-to-back.
As Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz’s scrap for the 1995 world title intensified, there were three Impreza 555s in the top three places on both the final two rounds of the season: Spain and GB.
Subaru’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Spain 1995||Carlos Sainz||Colin McRae||Piero Liatti|
|GB 1996||Colin McRae||Carlos Sainz||Richard Burns|
7 Fiat (3)
Fiat’s 131 Abarth was one of the most successful cars of its period (the 1970s), and therefore naturally Fiat claimed a few 1-2-3 finishes throughout the decade.
The first though was with the 124 Abarth on the 1974 season-opener in Portugal when Raffaele Pinto took his one and only WRC victory ahead of Italian compatriot Alcide Paganelli and Markku Alén.
Fiat would have to wait three years before its next 1-2-3 on Rally Sanremo 1977 – topped by Jean-Claude Andruet – while Bernard Darniche led home Fiat’s third and final WRC 1-2-3 on the 1978 Tour de Corse.
Fiat’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Portugal 1974||Raffaele Pinto||Alcide Paganelli||Markku Alén|
|Sanremo 1977||Jean-Claude Andruet||Maurizio Verini||Tony|
|Tour de Corse 1978||Bernard Darniche||Jean-Claude Andruet||Sandro Munari|
5= Toyota (4)
Toyota’s recent Safari success has elevated it above Fiat and into equal fifth place on this list, as its 1-2-3 this year was the fourth in the brand’s history.
The first was claimed on the 1986 Côte d’Ivoire Rally where Björn Waldegård led home Lars-Erik Torph and Erwin Weber’s fellow Celica Twincam Turbos.
Seven years later Toyota would lock out the podium once again in Africa with a dominant 1993 Safari Rally performance, topped by Juha Kankkunen.
Toyota has claimed two 1-2-3 finishes in the modern era too – the first with the Yaris WRC when Ott Tänak won Germany ahead of team-mates Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala and then with the GR Yaris Rally1 when Kalle Rovanperä, Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta finished in formation.
Toyota’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Côte d’Ivoire 1986||Björn Waldegård||Lars-Erik Torph||Erwin Weber|
|Safari 1993||Juha Kankkunen||Markku Alén||Ian Duncan|
|Germany 2019||Ott Tänak||Kris Meeke||Jari-Matti Latvala|
|Safari 2022||Kalle Rovanperä||Elfyn Evans||Takamoto Katsuta|
5= Volkswagen (4)
Volkswagen’s placing of just equal fifth is perhaps more a reflection of the fact it only competed in the WRC’s top class for four seasons (2013-16) as opposed to how dominant it was, as on most other metrics VW and the Polo R WRC would be found much higher up.
Given it never altered its driver lineup across those years, it’s no surprise to learn that VW is the only manufacturer in history to claim all of its 1-2-3 finishes with the same trio of drivers.
The first was scored on Rally Australia 2014 when Sébastien Ogier won from Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. In fact, this was the formation for three of VW’s four podium lockouts – only in Portugal 2015 did it switch as Latvala narrowly edged Ogier.
By far the most important 1-2-3 finish for Volkswagen however was its last, scored on Rally Germany 2015. On its home event, and given it had squandered victory for the past two years, a 1-2-3 was the perfect tonic for previous pain.
Volkswagen’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Australia 2014||Sébastien Ogier||Jari-Matti Latvala||Andreas Mikkelsen|
|Monte Carlo 2015||Sébastien Ogier||Jari-Matti Latvala||Andreas Mikkelsen|
|Portugal 2015||Jari-Matti Latvala||Sébastien Ogier||Andreas Mikkelsen|
|Germany 2015||Sébastien Ogier||Jari-Matti Latvala||Andreas Mikkelsen|
4 Audi (5)
Audi stole a march on its opposition when the Group B era was ushered in in the early 1980s as it had pioneered the four-wheel-drive rally car. That meant that it claimed all five of its 1-2-3 finishes within the space of just 16 months.
The original Stig, Stig Blomqvist, was involved in all of them, placing second on Rally Sweden 1983 and Rally Argentina 1983, and on the 1984 Monte Carlo Rally before winning in Sweden and Argentina that year.
Intriguingly, Audi therefore managed to achieve successive 1-2-3 finishes on not just one but two WRC events. Hannu Mikkola topped the 1983 iterations of Sweden and Argentina, while it was up to Walter Röhrl to take the honors on the 1984 Monte.
The names involved in Audi’s program back then were simply eclectic. Alongside Lasse Lampi, Per Eklund and Jorge Recalde who were all third overall in an Audi 1-2-3, Michèle Mouton was also involved in two formation finishes – placing third in Argentina 1983 and second on Sweden 1984.
Audi’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Sweden 1983||Hannu Mikkola||Stig Blomqvist||Lasse Lampi|
|Argentina 1983||Hannu Mikkola||Stig Blomqvist||Michèle Mouton|
|Monte Carlo 1984||Walter Röhrl||Stig Blomqvist||Hannu Mikkola|
|Sweden 1984||Stig Blomqvist||Michèle Mouton||Per Eklund|
|Argentina 1984||Stig Blomqvist||Hannu Mikkola||Jorge Recalde|
3 Citroën (7)
No manufacturer has scored as many 1-2-3 finishes in one season as Citroën. Across the 2010 season, the C4 WRC locked out the podium no fewer than six times!
Citroën wasn’t immune to domination throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, but 2010 was by far its most dominant season as Sébastien Ogier really began to hit his stride and prompt musical chairs within Citroën’s two outfits – the fully-fledged works team and the satellite Junior team – with the still ever-capable Dani Sordo.
Petter Solberg in a privately-run car was a valuable asset too as he was involved in four of Citroën’s seven 1-2-3 finishes in the WRC.
Naturally though, Citroën’s most famous son Sébastien Loeb was involved in all of them and won six of seven – including Citroën’s very first on the 2003 Monte Carlo Rally, laying down a marker to his two rather esteemed colleagues Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz.
Citroën’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Monte Carlo 2003||Sébastien Loeb||Colin McRae||Carlos Sainz|
|México 2010||Sébastien Loeb||Petter Solberg||Sébastien Ogier|
|Portugal 2010||Sébastien Ogier||Sébastien Loeb||Dani Sordo|
|Bulgaria 2010||Sébastien Loeb||Dani Sordo||Petter Solberg|
|Germany 2010||Sébastien Loeb||Dani Sordo||Sébastien Ogier|
|France 2010||Sébastien Loeb||Dani Sordo||Petter Solberg|
|Spain 2010||Sébastien Loeb||Petter Solberg||Dani Sordo|
2 Ford (9)
Although it often struggled to beat Citroën in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Ford’s massive rallying history allows it to edge its old rival here by one position and two 1-2-3 finishes – Ford claiming nine over the years.
Ford’s Escort was always a potent rally weapon but it was on home turf, Rally GB (then called the RAC), that it particularly excelled – going undefeated from 1972-79 and claiming three 1-2-3 finishes throughout that streak, in 1973, ’75 and ’78.
After a podium lockout in New Zealand 1979, it would be another 28 years until Ford cars dominated the WRC podium again, in Norway 2007. It was the first of two clean sweeps the Focus RS WRC claimed, the second arriving when Jari-Matti Latvala took his first WRC win on Rally Sweden 2008.
The Fiesta RS WRC was responsible for three 1-2-3s – the first incredibly on debut in Sweden 2011 before another at the end of the year in GB and the final coming on Rally Portugal 2012 after Mikko Hirvonen’s Citroën was excluded.
And a trivia fact for you: Ford is the only manufacturer in WRC history to have two different drivers from the same family involved in a 1-2-3 finish as both Henning and Petter Solberg feature here.
Ford’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|GB 1973||Timo Mäkinen||Roger Clark||Markku Alén|
|GB 1975||Timo Mäkinen||Roger Clark||Tony Fawkes|
|GB 1978||Hannu Mikkola||Björn Waldegård||Russell Brookes|
|New Zealand 1979||Hannu Mikkola||Blair Robson||Ari Vatanen|
|Norway 2007||Mikko Hirvonen||Marcus Grönholm||Henning Solberg|
|Sweden 2008||Jari-Matti Latvala||Mikko Hirvonen||Gigi Galli|
|Sweden 2011||Mikko Hirvonen||Mads Østberg||Jari-Matti Latvala|
|GB 2011||Jari-Matti Latvala||Mads Østberg||Henning Solberg|
|Portugal 2012||Mads Østberg||Evgeniy Novikov||Petter Solberg|
1 Lancia (15)
Well done if you successfully predicted (or even knew!) that Lancia would top this list. But considering its utter dominance of the WRC in the late ’80s in particular, when Group A cars headed the field, it’s probably no huge surprise.
The Group A Delta – in its HF 4WD and the Integrale guises – was responsible for 10 of Lancia’s 15 WRC 1-2-3 finishes, meaning in itself it outscored any other manufacturer. But the Stratos (twice in 1976), the 037 (twice in 1983) and the Delta S4 (when Peugeot was excluded from the 1986 Sanremo Rally) all brought the goods for Lancia too.
Lancia’s home rally was an extremely prosperous event for it as it claimed a third of its 1-2-3 finishes there, while Portugal was also a happy hunting ground with three podium lockouts.
A look at the table below reminds you just how imperious Lancia was in its pomp. The Rally Portugal result in 1990 is the perfect case-in-point – three Deltas in the top three, all driven by World Rally champions (although Didier Auriol wasn’t a champion at the time).
Miki Biasion, the only driver other than Juha Kankkunen to win two drivers’ titles with Lancia, was responsible for leading home the most 1-2-3s, with seven of his 17 WRC victories coming with his team-mates tucked in behind.
Lancia’s complete WRC 1-2-3 record:
|Monte Carlo 1976||Sandro Munari||Björn Waldegård||Bernard Darniche|
|Sanremo 1976||Björn Waldegård||Sandro Munari||Raffaele Pinto|
|Tour de Corse 1983||Markku Alén||Walter Röhrl||Adartico Vudafieri|
|Sanremo 1983||Markku Alén||Walter Röhrl||Attilio Bettega|
|Sanremo 1986||Markku Alén||Dario Cerrato||Miki Biasion|
|Olympus 1987||Juha Kankkunen||Miki Biasion||Markku Alén|
|Portugal 1988||Miki Biasion||Alessandro Fiorio||Yves Loubet|
|Acropolis 1988||Miki Biasion||Mikael Ericsson||Alessandro Fiorio|
|Argentina 1988||Jorge Recalde||Miki Biasion||Franz Wittmann Sr|
|Sanremo 1988||Miki Biasion||Alessandro Fiorio||Dario Cerrato|
|Monte Carlo 1989||Miki Biasion||Didier Auriol||Bruno Saby|
|Portugal 1989||Miki Biasion||Markku Alén||Alessandro Fiorio|
|Acropolis 1989||Miki Biasion||Didier Auriol||Alessandro Fiorio|
|Portugal 1990||Miki Biasion||Didier Auriol||Juha Kankkunen|
|Sanremo 1991||Didier Auriol||Miki Biasion||Dario Cerrato|