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Subaru Impreza WRC Bruno Thiry, Condroz Rally 1997

 

In 1992, I started looking rally with my older brother and his friends. It was the era of four wheel driven Gr.A cars with loud popping turbo systems. Nowadays a lot of them still are iconic cars, such as Delta Integrale, Impreza WRX, Escort Cosworth, Lancer Evolution and Celica GT Four.

The FIA worked out a new formula and in 1997, manufacturers could switch from Gr.A rally cars onto the first generation of WRC’s. Subaru was the first brand to come with a well-shaped wide-bodied car.
Bruno Thiry -accompanied by Stéphane Prévot- was works driver at Subaru World Rally Team. With the support of Winfield, he was able to bring an Impreza WRC to his home rally (Condroz) here in Belgium. His strongest opponents were Patrick Snijers and Grégoire de Mévius in their Ford Escort WRC, Freddy Loix, local driver Renaud Verreydt and Danish driver Hendrik Lundgaard in their TTE Toyota Celica Gr.A.
I still remember the beautiful Impreza and Thiry’s magnificent driving, resulting in the win.

 Bruno Thiry -accompanied by Stéphane Prévot- was works driver at Subaru World Rally Team

 

With the support of Winfield, he was able to bring an Impreza WRC to his home rally (Condroz) here in Belgium

 

Before Tamiya’s re-released Impreza shells were available, I saw a second hand red shell in France. Very much by coincidence, because it was not mentioned in the description of the advert and only partly visible in the background of one picture.

I knew what to do with a red Impreza and managed to buy the shell separately. A new project was born.

I knew what to do with a red Impreza and managed to buy the shell separately. A new project was born.

 

First, I removed all decals. It was very visible where the decals have been, or not.

First, I removed all decals

 

Therefore, I had to polish the shell. I started with the roof because I had the chance to meet Bruno Thiry and I wanted his autograph on it. I told the friendly pilot my plans and he signed my strange red thing. I covered his signature and went on polishing the whole shell.

I covered his signature and went on polishing the whole shell.

 

As usual, I painted the lines around the windows mat black. However, the red paint came too far on the windows. I wiped it off with Revell Paint Remover.

The red paint came too far on the windows. I wiped it off with Revell Paint Remover.

 

The red paintwork was a problem in general. On some parts, it was damaged / scratched off. Some parts were painted too little and on other parts way too much. I covered the windows and wrapped up the outside. Ready for new paint.

 Ready for new paint

 

Also the rear wing needed a fresh layer of red. All together, I used almost two cans PS-15.

Also the rear wing needed a fresh layer of red

 

I applied some new decals. I had spares from sticker sheets from other projects. I also painted the headlights white, because I had transparent decals to apply on it.

I also painted the headlights white, because I had transparent decals to apply on it

 

Here are my home printed decals for the headlights. The yellow ones are for this project (+ spares) and the other ones for two projects with clear headlights.

Here are my home printed decals for the headlights

 

The decals are on the headlights and the front splitter is painted black. Halfway making my WRC, I needed a shell to ride a local drift competition. I used some white decals, white wheels and a high rear wing. The blue Fina backgrounds were covered a bit with red decals.

The decals are on the headlights and the front splitter is painted black

 

The decals are on the headlights and the front splitter is painted black

 

With sun strip on the windshield and door numbers of the competition.

With sun strip on the windshield and door numbers of the competition

 

Despite it looked good this way, I removed the decals and went on with the rally livery. Winfield logos in white and gold (except for the very small ones, which are only white), license plates in the correct font… Here I am trying to make a perfect arrow on the bonnet. All done with vinyl.

 Here I am trying to make a perfect arrow on the bonnet. All done with vinyl.

 

Making a straight line on the correct place on both sides of this well-shaped shell was not easy.

 Making a straight line on the correct place on both sides of this well-shaped shell was not easy.

 

The finishing touch were rally plates of the Condroz Rally 1997. I printed them on an A4 paper and cut out that part. I placed a small part of decal paper in it and printed the same file again. It is transparent decal paper. The big rally plate came on white vinyl on the bonnet. In addition, door handles and Belgian flags were printed.

The finishing touch were rally plates of the Condroz Rally 1997

 

The small rally plate remained clear and is on the rear windshield. I also made mud flaps, made of mat black vinyl, on both sides of a piece of paper. Applied with double-sided tape on some Lexan corners.

 I also made mud flaps, made of mat black vinyl, on both sides of a piece of paper.

 

Here is my Winfield Impreza replica, 20 years after Bruno Thiry’s victory. For these pictures, I fitted the shell on my MST chassis -which has nice dummy brakes and placed the car on a Winfield flag.

 Here is my Winfield Impreza replica

 

Here is my Winfield Impreza replica

 

Here is my Winfield Impreza replica

 

Here is my Winfield Impreza replica

More about the real car. It was Subaru WRC chassis number 10, with license plate P10 WRC. This car was used by Piero Liatti in the Catalunya Rally and Tour the Corse, and by Colin McRae in the 555 China Rally in 1997. The same year, Bruno Thiry used it in the Condroz Rally.

 

 

 

In 1998, another Belgian driver Renaud Verreydt drove this car with a new Winfield livery.From 1999 on, several other Belgian drivers competed with this car. 

In 1998, another Belgian driver Renaud Verreydt drove this car with a new Winfield livery.

 

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Written by Gumpie22B