Also included in the car purchase was co-driver Robert Reid’s final day pace notes, his Nokia cell phone, energy bars, ID papers and FIA Gold Log Book.
Prior to his title win, 2000 was Burns’ most promising year yet in the WRC.
Using the previous year’s car he won the Safari Rally in Kenya, before he and Reid took three more victories in the updated machine in Portugal, Argentina and, using Chassis No11, Great Britain.
Although a mid-season shunt in Finland had shifted the championship momentum in favour of eventual winner Marcus Gronholm, Burns continued his title fight until the final round, losing out by five points to the Finn.
The car still has its original 300bhp 2.0-litre flat-four ‘boxer’ engine, six-speed sequential gearbox (complete with right-hand only push/pull paddle shift), as well as Prodrive’s scrutineer-swerving software, which displayed the engine revs as 1000rpm lower than they actually were, so as to get around strict noise-level rules in place at the time.
Whilst going for a considerable sum, the Impreza is not the expensive WRC car to be auctioned.
That record went to a 1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1, which sold for £1,771,434 in February earlier this year. The car had been commissioned to Group B specification for the ’88 Race of Champions, the event having been organised in tribute to the late Henri Toivonen, whose death two years prior had prompted the end of those technical regulations.
At the same auction, a 1985 Peuguot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2 sold for £876,300. The car – also Group B – was taken to victory at the 1985 Corsica Rally by Bruno Saby, before winning with Timo Salonen in Finland and Great Britain in ’86.
This article was updated following the auction.