The Burns Subaru that starred on its debut

The Subaru Impreza S6 WRC moved the goalposts when it won on its 2000 debut in Portugal - and what a sound it made!

Pic of the week2

I don’t need to describe the sound to you. Already, it’ll be in your head.

If the gentle tweeting of birds, indicating the dawning of a new morning, is your thing, then good on you. But my kind of chirping is the sound of a Subaru Impreza WRC’s wastegate as Richard Burns backs his foot off the throttle, just for a nanosecond.

Always has been. Always will be.

This picture of the week from the Girardo & Co. Archive is one that I’m sure will appeal to many.

It’s a Subaru jumping through the air for crying out loud! It’s as clichéd, yet as sensational, as rallying gets.

But this particular Impreza is a rather special one, as it’s the S6 WRC (or P2000). The Christian Loriaux-penned design that changed the game in the World Rally Championship forever with its strong focus on improved weight distribution.

Every time Rally Portugal rolls around now, my mind drifts back to the year 2000 where Richard Burns took the new car to victory at the very first attempt.


The Englishman had to make do with the old 1999 car for the first three rounds of the season, but boy was his new machine worth the wait. In testing, he had managed to go one second per kilometer faster.

One second per kilometer!

And in the rally, that performance proved to be no facade. Burns and co-driver Robert Reid were pushed hard by Marcus Grönholm’s Peugeot, but managed to win out by a slender 6.5 seconds – and although he missed out on the title, Burns and the Subaru proved to be the fastest package across the year 23 years ago.

So the history is fascinating, but let’s be honest this car could’ve retired on the first stage and it still would’ve been a worthy pick this week.

That sound… the growling bark of Subaru’s flat-four power plant at work… It consumes me whenever I see any picture of this generation of Impreza.

When my time on this earth is done and my spiritual self gets the chance to drive any rally car on any rally stage, I’d be buckling up those Sabelt belts and taking this Subaru for a drive.

I’d take it anywhere, but the Fafe stage seems like as good a place as any to start