Peugeot 307 WRC, the ultimate disappointment

Gronholm, Peugeot 307 WRC

During its brief yet intense stint in the World Rally Championship, the Peugeot 307 WRC asserted itself with authority, clinching three remarkable victories. Guided by the mastery of Marcus Grönholm, one of the most talented and respected drivers of his era, the 307 WRC made its mark.

In the whirlwind of speed and adrenaline that characterizes the world of rally, few cars have been able to write such intense and exciting pages as the Peugeot 307 WRC. Designed to dominate the most challenging terrains and the twistiest curves, this competition car has left an indelible mark on the landscape of motorsport, defying expectations and establishing itself as a formidable force on tracks worldwide.

The debut of the Peugeot 307 WRC on the World Rally Championship stage was greeted with great enthusiasm by motorsport fans. Launched in 2004 as the successor to the renowned 206 WRC, the 307 WRC came with a clear mission: to uphold the prestigious name of the French automaker and reaffirm itself as one of the most competitive cars in its category.

During its brief but intense period of activity in the World Rally Championship, the Peugeot 307 WRC asserted itself with authority, clinching three extraordinary victories. Driven by the mastery of Marcus Grönholm, one of the most talented and respected drivers of his time, the 307 WRC made its mark on rally stages worldwide, once again demonstrating its superiority in extreme race conditions.

Throughout its career in the rally world, the Peugeot 307 WRC underwent several evolutions and improvements to maintain its competitiveness and adapt to ever-new challenges. The “Evo2” version, introduced in the 2005 season, brought with it a series of significant improvements, including increased width and a new rear aerodynamic appendage, which helped make the car even more agile and performant on rally tracks.

In addition to Marcus Grönholm, the Peugeot 307 WRC had the honor of being driven by some of the most talented and respected drivers in the world rally scene. Names like Markko Märtin, Freddy Loix, Harri Rovanperä, and Daniel Carlsson contributed to writing memorable pages in the car’s history, bringing their experience and talent to the world’s most demanding competitions.

Like many race cars, the Peugeot 307 WRC faced challenges and obstacles along its path. Mechanical and electronic issues tested its reliability and the determination of the Peugeot team. However, despite adversities, the 307 WRC proved to be a force not to be underestimated, facing difficulties with courage and determination.

At the end of the 2005 season, Peugeot announced its withdrawal from the World Rally Championship, thus ending the brief but intense career of the 307 WRC. Although its time on the track was relatively short, its impact on the world of motorsport was lasting, leaving a legacy of successes and glory that will be remembered forever.

Today, the Peugeot 307 WRC lives on in the memories of rally fans and in the hearts of those who had the privilege of seeing it race. Its story of successes, triumphs, and challenges faced with courage will remain a benchmark in the world of motorsport, a testament to the passion and ingenuity that animate the world of motorsport.

Issues with the 307 WRC

The vehicle encountered transmission problems throughout its career, and the driving style of the factory team pilots did not adapt to the car’s maneuverability characteristics. In 2004, despite achieving seven podiums and its first victory at the Rally of Finland, the car failed to compete for the championship, as Marcus Grönholm finished fifth in the drivers’ championship and Peugeot fourth in the constructors’ championship.

The 2005 season saw more success, and Peugeot became a serious contender for the constructors’ championship, leading the championship after the tenth round. However, the challenge faded after Markko Märtin’s withdrawal from rallies following the death of his co-driver Michael Park during the Wales Rally GB in 2005. Ultimately, Peugeot finished second in the constructors’ championship, while Grönholm finished third in the drivers’ championship, tied with Petter Solberg, the second-place finisher. Grönholm secured victories at the Rally of Finland and the Rally Japan, along with six other podiums, while Märtin achieved four additional podiums.

The competitive life of the car, supported by the factory, came to an end at the end of 2005 with PSA’s decision to withdraw the Citroën and Peugeot factory teams from high-level rallies. A private enterprise, Peugeot Bozian Racing, largely took over the responsibility for managing the WRC 307 specifications for the following 2006 season, under the name of OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team. Manfred Stohl and Henning Solberg were named team members. Stohl achieved a notable fourth place in the overall drivers’ standings, and the 307 WRC secured seven podiums by private teams that season.