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  Home > Seasons > Season 1996
Season of surprises
At the eve of 1996 Swedish Rally, when leading rally journalists were asked who would be the next champion, almost universally the answer was Colin McRae. This unanimity proves how little the were in the results of 1995 which would have hinted of the extent of Tommi Makinen's or Mitsubishi's domination in following season.

Some of that domination was due to opposition's inability to rise to the challenge and some was down to both the driver and team having gotten their act together. For many the biggest disappointment of the season was Colin McRae whose championship year got back on track only after Tommi had made sure of the title. Colin threw away certain victory in Indonesia and after a troubled start to Argentina, crashed in only sixth stage.

Besides the title fight, 1996 was also the lowest point of championship in many years. Because Toyota Team Europe had been banned for a year, only three official teams contested the championship. Of these Ford was still in turmoil after RAS-led season of 1995, Mitsubishi ran only one driver in most events, so it was down to Subaru to maintain the air of normality with strong driver lineup.

New event is added to the calendar as Indonesia is elevated to WRC status.

New Cars
No team debuted new cars during the season.

Tommi Makinen
1996 FIA World Rally Champion, Tommi Makinen
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  H. Miyoshi (Safari)
  J. Toroitich (Safari)
  S. Konishi (Indonesia)
  R. Pribadli (Indonesia)
  I. Gading (Indonesia)
  C. Alim (Indonesia)
  B. Hartono (Indonesia)
  J. Richelmi (Acropolis)
  U. Nittel (Argentina)
first stage win
  I. Duncan (Safari)
  J. Kytolehto (Finland)
  A. Dallavilla (San Remo)
  F. Loix (San Remo)