Spectacular scenery provided the backdrop for the opening round of the 1988 World Rally Championship, the Monte-Carlo Rally. However, the historic special stages were without their traditional snow, setting up a finely balanced, and ultra-fast, battle over more than 630 competitive kilometres of dry asphalt. The event would prove to be a real car-breaker, eliminating almost half the field during 26 stages.
The scene was set for a showdown between the Martini Lancia team that had dominated 1987, and the rejuvenated Mazda team wanting to forget a disappointing season.
While the works Lancia Delta HF 4WDs of Bruno Saby and Miki Biasion led the way, the Mazda 323s of Timo Salonen, Hannu Mikkola and Ingvar Carlsson were in trouble - diesel-contaminated fuel ruining their effort. When Biasion retired, the Lancias of Group N Champion Alessandro Fiorio and Yves Loubet joined the battle for victory.
Loubet's luck ran out with the end in sight, his Lancia crashing into retirement. Behind Saby and the Jolly Club-backed Delta of Fiorio, Jean-Pierre Ballet's Peugeot 205 GTi took unexpected third. Incredibly, former World Champion Salonen recovered from 42nd to take fifth, just behind the battle-scarred Renault 11 Turbo of Alain Oreille.
Enjoy incredible action, interviews with the stars and some spectacular 'moments' in these excellent highlights.
Monte-Carlo Rally 1988 is part of a collectable set of classic Monte-Carlo rally highlights programmes.