During our live-in with Chus Puras a few days ago, many questions were asked about his breakdown at the 1999 Rallye in Catalonia, proof that they were leading ahead of their teammate Bugalski by seven seconds. Leaving the closed park on the second day, the Xsara refused to start. Puras remembers the home race in this way: “The kit-car was a very effective car and in Catalonia I always tried to give the maximum to the Spanish fans. It was a great opportunity to get my first victory in the World Cup, as well as in front of mine”.
In relation to the famous breakdown, the Cantabrian commented the following in our talk last Friday: “It wasn’t the only time these things happened. In the closed parks of Lloret de Mar, we do not know if due to the humidity or some circumstance, strange breakdowns appeared”. Other drivers also “suffered problems”, as Puras commented. However, after the breakdown, “it was never known what happened“, but he was cornered to an “electronic problem”. As the champion admitted, “it will go down in history, but that’s how racing is”.
We also took the opportunity to ask him about a possible “fix” of Citroën to win with a French rider the race: “No, not at all. I know the brand very well, it has many values and those circumstances did not fit anyone. Neither with pilots, engineers, team leaders… Absolutely impossible for that to happen. The cause was oblivious to any kind of boycott,’ he said.
However, fate returned the coin and Puras won his first round at the World Championship with a WRC created by them: “We were able to develop that car with the engineers of Citroën Sport France. We gave Citroën the first victory of a Citroën WRC in the championship. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever done in my life, but not just for victory. We created a car out of nothing and made it a winner. At the time it was the realization of a dream, “he says.