Happy birthday, Michèle Mouton: the 5 cars that made her legend

Michèle Mouton is celebrating her 23rd birthday on June 73! The opportunity to look back at the five cars that marked her career, she who remains to this day the only woman to win a WRC rally.

Published on 23/06/2024 à 14:11

Dorian Grangier

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Happy birthday, Michèle Mouton: the 5 cars that made her legend

© Nikos Katikis / DPPI

Audi Quattro

© DPPI

How not to start the list of Michèle Mouton's iconic cars with the incredible Audi Quattro? Aboard the German vehicle, revolutionary with its four-wheel drive, the Frenchwoman won four rallies WRC in 1981 and 1982 and finished vice-world champion in 1982 with co-driver Fabrizia Pons. By winning the legendary Rally Sanremo 1981, the tricolor became the first woman to win a World Rally Championship event... and remains today the only one to have accomplished this feat.

Fiat 131 Abarth

© DPPI

If Michèle Mouton cut her teeth in rallying aboard theAlpine A310 and the Porsche Carrera RS, it was with the Fiat 131 Abarth that the young Frenchwoman made a name for herself, between 1977 and 1980. Spotted and recruited by Fiat France alongside Jean-Claude Andruet, she participated in the French and European racing championships. rallies. And even if she didn't like the car's handling, the Grassoise managed to achieve good performances aboard the Italian car. During the 1978 Tour de Corse, she gleaned her first points in the WRC with a 5th place finish overall (victory in her category), a result she would repeat in 1979 and 1980.

Audi Quattro Pikes Peak

© DPPI

While the Group B era was in full swing in the WRC, Audi Sport also went into exile in the United States to take part in the crazy adventure of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, with Michèle Mouton – Fabrizia Pons. In 1984, the Franco-Italian duo won the Open (today Unlimited) category aboard the Audi Quattro used in the world championship and placed second overall. Not enough to satisfy Audi and Michèle Mouton, who returned a year later with a supercharged version of the Audi Quattro. Result: a victory in the general classification and a record shattered by the Frenchwoman in 11'25″390!

Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

© DPPI

At the end of 1985, Michèle Mouton changed sides, little reassured by the decline of Audi. The Tricolor joins the clan Peugeot , who then had a formidable weapon with the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16. With her new co-driver Terry Harryman, she participated in the German rally championship and won twice, enough to obtain the title. At the end of the 1986 season, Michèle Mouton ended her professional racing career.

Moynet LM75

© DPPI

We tend to forget it, but Michèle Mouton, it's not just rallying! It is also a circuit with the highlight being participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975. With the car built by André Moynet, the Esso-France team fielded an exclusively female crew with Michèle Mouton, Christine Dacremont and Marianne Hoepfner. The French trio finished the race in 21st position in the general classification, and won the Sport 2.0L category, for engines with a displacement below 2.0L.

ALSO READ > Michèle Mouton will leave her post at the FIA

Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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PJ Petit

23/06/2024 at 05:00 a.m.

Thank you for this article. Where we discover in particular that 100% female teams at the 24 Hours are not at all a new thing.

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