A grim weekend for rallying and the world rally championship after a fatal accident on the last day of the Rally of Britain. Running in sixth place, Peugeot-driver Markko Martin had an off shortly after the start of SS15, his 307 WRC slewing sideways into a tree. Martin’s co-driver Michael “Beef” Park was fatally injured, whilst Martin was unhurt.
Peugeot Sport immediately withdrew from the Rally, whilst championship leader Sebastian Loeb - who would have secured his second successive drivers championship had he finished in first place - took time penalties to keep the championship open until the Rally Japan next month, and to ensure that he didn’t win the title under such tragic circumstances. The final stages of the rally were cancelled, along with all the normal victory celebrations.
The accident was the first fatality on the WRC circuit since Possum Bourne’s co-driver Rodger Freeth died in an accident during ‘Rally Australia’ back in 1993.