François Delecour

Nationality: French Active years:1984 - 2002 Teams: Ford, Peugeot, Mitsubishi Rallies: 96 World Championships: 0 Rally wins: 4 Podiums: 19 Stage wins: 214 Total points: 326 First rally: 1984 Monte Carlo Rally First win: 1993 Rallye de Portugal Last win: 1994 Monte Carlo Rally Last rally: 2002 Rally Great Britain François Delecour (born on 30 August 1962 in Hazebrouck, France) is a rally driver. In the employ of Ford Motor Company as a driver of the factory-fettled Ford Escort RS Cosworth, he finished as runner-up in drivers' standings in the 1993 World Rally Championship season. He was still driving for Ford by January 1994, when he won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally for the team. After this victory he was regarded as the title favourite, but injury in a road traffic accident forced him to miss most of the rest of the season. After leaving Ford, he then acquitted himself in a subsequent stint for Peugeot, piloting the French firm's array of various machinery for much of the rest of the 1990s and often continuing to make a points-scoring impact, particularly on asphalt world championship level rallies in the two-litre kit-car classification. It culminated in his involvement in the opening years of the works Peugeot 206 WRC project, where amid much publicity he was to find himself, on the hard-surface rounds of the 2000 World Rally Championship season which Peugeot otherwise dominated, in conflict with Peugeot management and fellow French tarmac ace and team-mate, Gilles Panizzi at that year's San Remo Rally. Delecour switched back to Ford for 2001. The Blue Oval's effort, however, was by now being masterminded not from long-time headquarters Boreham, but by Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport in Cumbria, which ran a third, alternatively liveried Ford Focus WRC for Delecour. A shunt, nearly crippling for co-driver Daniel Grataloup, on his final outing in Australia threatened to marr his time at the team. But despite otherwise again proving a regular scorer, he was once again to change teams come the following year, this time to Mitsubishi to drive their still young first World Rally Car, he and Alister McRae being drafted in as replacements for both outgoing four-time World Champion, Tommi Makinen and his teammate Freddy Loix. Unfortunately, both he and McRae were to suffer as the Japanese marque's competitiveness continued to wane. During this time Delecour again suffered a massive shunt during that year's Rally Australia. This time the accident had effectively ended Grataloup's top line career due to injuries he sustained as a result of the accident. Delecour, despite his accident, would go on to compete at the next event in Great Britain. This event was noted as Delecour's Mitsubishi left the road in the middle of the event causing him to lose his temper at his replacement co-driver Dominique Savignoni.] After a comparatively unsuccessful season, Mitsubishi announced a sabbatical from the series until 2004, effectively bringing Delecour's world championship career to a close.