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  Home > Seasons > Season 1990
King Carlos
That consistency with which Sainz's fans of later date are familiar with marked Carlos' 1990 season and earned him drivers' title in style. Four wins during the season and incredible seven consecutive podium finishes between Corsica and San Remo, quite an achievement from a driver who hadn't won a WRC event before the season started.

First win is almost universally biggest moment to a driver but finest drive of the year from Carlos definitely is his historical 1000 Lakes win. Not only was he first non-scandinavian driver to conquer the classic event which hitherto had been territory for finns and an occasional swede but Carlos managed that with injured left foot which hindered his driving somewhat.

Besides Carlos, also Toyota Team Europe came to an age in 1990. Celica had been fast but fragile previously, now it had found the reliability too and came within an inch of taking manufacturer's crown too. Team's sole failing was their faith and dependence on Carlos, the only other driver to score points for the team was Bjorn Waldegard. With another strong sprint driver like Carlos and Toyota might have ended Lancia's run of makes titles.

Biggest changes of the year were in the large number of top drivers changing teams for 1990. Juha Kankkunen had become disenchanted with problems that TTE had with new Celica and moved to Lancia. Former Lancia superstar Markku Alen was signed to spearhead Subaru's WRC assault and another former Lancia driver Mikael Ericsson switched to Toyota. Toyota also lost Kenneth Eriksson who moved to Mitsubishi.

New cars
1990 saw entrance of two completely new cars and two evolutions of existing designs of which both were also new cars in their own way. First of the evolutions was Mazda's 323 GT-X which first saw action in 1000 Lakes Rally. It had new bodyshell and bigger engine with host of other changes but it wasn't any more successful that it's precessor. The second evolution was Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4 which also debuted in 1000 Lakes Rally. Intended as an intermediate model between 2WD Sierra and forthcoming Escort Cosworth, this car was 4WD version of older four-door Sierra with improved engine and, incredibly, with seven-speed gearbox.

Two truly new cars were Subaru's Legacy and Volkswagen's Golf Rallye G60. Both went into official action in Acropolis, even though japanese prepared and run Subaru Legacies were entered for Safari Rally before that. Legacy was designed and run by Prodrive and met much better though lean success than Volkswagen's car. Neither had traditional engine, Legacy sporting boxer and VW mechanical G60 supercharger.

1990 FIA World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz
Drivers scoring their
first win
  C. Sainz (Acropolis)
  P. Tauziac (Ivory Coast)
first drivers' point
  F. Delecour (Monte Carlo)
  R. Holzer (Portugal)
  P. Njiru (Safari)
  A. Pattni (Safari)
  S. Anthony (Safari)
  S. Polo (Corsica)
  P. Moschoutis (Acropolis)
  T. Makinen (New Zealand)
  G. Pianezzola (New Zealand)
  G. Martin (Argentina)
  O. Maccari (Argentina)
  F. Marino (Argentina)
  K. Inoue (Australia)
  P. Liatti (San Remo)
  A. Fassina (San Remo)
  P. Deila (San Remo)
  G. Grossi (San Remo)
  J. Bernier (Ivory Coast)
  V. Evina (Ivory Coast)
  J. Dionneau (Ivory Coast)
  R. Droogmans (Great Britain)
first stage win
  A. Schwarz (Portugal)
  E. Weber (New Zealand)
  R. Dunkerton (New Zealand)
  G. Cunico (San Remo)
  P. Deila (San Remo)
  P. Liatti (San Remo)