The World Rally Guide book review

This almanac of WRC info is a must for any stats geek


Remind me, how many stages were canceled on the 1980 Rally Sanremo? And don’t even think about going near the internet.

I know, bit of a nightmare. Or it was until Alex Dobai compiled what has to the most comprehensive and comprehensively brilliant book of World Rally Championship numbers. The World Rally Guide has been a labor of love for Dobai and he’s delivered an absolute gem. Every round of the series between 1973 and 2019 is given a page with plenty of detail including stage winners, rally leaders, the top 10 classification and even a picture of every winner.

If you’re a bit of a bobble-hatter – like me – and you don’t own a copy of this book, you need to have a serious word with yourself. It’s impossible not to lose yourself in the numbers which follow a light but informative guide to world championship rallying. Every driver who won a WRC round has their career numerically detailed and the stats just keep on coming.

Want to know the one manufacturer who locked out the top five positions of a WRC round? Then buy the book. Amazon has the details of the hard copy and the ebook version.

One more thing I really like is the way Dobai’s attention to the individual rallies doesn’t start with 1973. He goes back to the beginning of each rally which has achieved WRC status. Thanks to this feature I know Spiros Dimitrakos co-drove the winning Jaguar XK120 on the 1953 Acropolis Rally.

Still pondering the Sanremo thing? OK, I’ll give you that one – or Alex will: two of the 49 planned stages were lost on Italy’s world championship encounter 40 years ago.