Delecour’s awesome NZ drive

Colin McRae might have won, but Luke Barry was mightily impressed with Delecour's drive

Rally of New Zealand Auckland (NZ) 05-08 08 1993

It’s weird because it was the scene of the most famous driver in the history of the World Rally Championship winning his first ever event, but the image that conjures to my mind when somebody mentions Rally New Zealand 1993 isn’t of Colin McRae.

It’s of François Delecour.


I’ve honestly no idea. It’s not as if McRae’s drive on Motu was epic or anything…

But, in this public argument with myself, I’m going to give my mind some credit because Delecour’s drive to second was awesome too.

And, as you can see from the picture above – available to purchase for yourself (along with literally thousands of others) on the Girardo & Co. Archive – he looked typically brilliant doing it too.

Plenty of that is down to Delecour and his charismatic driving style, but a lot of it is also down to the gorgeous Ford Escort RS Cosworth. I’ve had arguments on the internet with fellow fans before, but I’m prepared to debate it again.

It's Delecour hustling a Group A Escort on the most beautiful gravel stages in the world, obviously

The Escort looked better in its official Ford Motorsport guise than Malcolm Wilson’s 1994 British championship-winning Michelin Pilot example did.

(Insert gasp, or applause, here).

But I’ll be up front with you, I’m feeling a bit of pressure this week. Since we launched our ‘picture of the week’ feature over a month ago now, it’s always been DirtFish media’s head honcho David Evans who’s set aside a good half hour to raid the archive and smash the keyboard waxing lyrical about what he’s found.

Today, it’s my turn.

Why have I selected this particular image? Besides the fact it’s Delecour hustling a Group A Escort on the most beautiful gravel stages in the world, obviously.

It’s more topical than you might think.

The very reason I’m across this feature this week links to why this makes sense. Along with Colin Clark, David is away in NZ working with our friends at the Otago Rally to bring you all the action as it unfolds.

(Stick around for that!)

So sticking with the NZ-theme, I landed here.

And did I mention it’s Delecour in a Group A Escort? I don’t think I did. That’s relevant every single day of the week.

In my eyes at least, it’s evidently even more iconic than McRae.