Back in the mid-1990s, car manufacturers went motorsport crazy. Thanks, in part, to widespread print media and television coverage, UK motorsport championships became worldwide successes, and automotive companies wanted to take part to show potential customers how good their vehicles were.
The British Rally Championship was a big benefactor of this popularity rise. It had introduced a new ‘Formula 2’ ruleset in 1993 that allowed for 2-litre front-wheel-drive, naturally aspirated, hatchbacks to compete. It became the leading BRC class by 1995, before its final season in 2000. Thanks to this segment being one of the most popular in terms of road car sales, a flurry of works teams entered.
At one point, Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, Vauxhall, Ford and Seat all had professional teams. It also helped that the F2 cars were spectacular to watch, with wide-body styling and aggressive engine notes.
In 1999, there was an official video game on PC – Mobil 1 Rally Championship – which is still one of the greatest rally games ever. But since these halcyon days, most rally titles eschew these cars in favour of more contemporary machines.
But, thankfully, not DiRT Rally and its sequel, DiRT Rally 2.0. In the latter there are several: Peugeot 306 Maxi, SEAT Ibiza Kitcar and this, the Volkswagen Golf MK4 Kitcar from 1999. Paired with the Colin McRae FLAT OUT DLC Pack and the Scottish stages – in my opinion, the best stages in the game – and you have a recipe for a fun time.
HenrikM’s video, posted recently, is simply a quick run through the muddy forest in the VW on an Xbox One with a Fanatec wheel setup. Nothing more, nothing less. But it reminded me of just how good DiRT Rally 2.0 can be and how many times I have watched old BRC videos on YouTube.
Once you’ve finished watching their run, why not fire up DiRT Rally 2.0 and try it for yourself? I know that’s exactly what I’m doing after I’ve published this post.