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Panizzi in 2005
19 September 1965|
|World Rally Championship record|
|First rally||1990 Monte Carlo Rally|
|First win||2000 Tour de Corse|
|Last win||2003 Rally Catalunya|
|Last rally||2006 Rally Catalunya|
Panizzi was born in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alpes-Maritimes. Like many of his fellow rally racing countrymen, Panizzi spent a great deal of his developmental driving years participating in asphalt rally events throughout his native land.
In 1996 and 1997, Panizzi won the French Championship title in a Peugeot-backed (funded) 306 kit car. It was at that point that he was nominated to drive for Peugeot as their resident asphalt (tarmac/sealed-surface) expert.
Between 1999 and 2003 Panizzi had great success in his role as Peugeot's tarmac expert. He won a total of seven World Rally Championship rounds in this period - all on tarmac. However, Panizzi's inability to match his rivals pace on gravel precluded him from challenging for the world title while at Peugeot. Panizzi had an embarrassing moment during the 2000 Safari Rally, where he and his brother and co-driver Herve were behind the slower car of Argentine driver Roberto Sanchez, who had not moved over despite being ordered to do so was kicking up dust and blinding the irate Panizzi, who got 2 punctures thanks to the stones thrown up by Sanchez's car. The 2 Panizzis were so furious that after the end of the stage they both ran up to Sanchez's car, opened the door and started physically assaulting the Argentine driver, both trying to pull Sanchez out of his car. The Panizzi brother's outburst landed them both a $50,000 fine. He is the only WRC driver to do a (famous) 360 spin at the 2002 Rally Catalunya.
In the 2005 season, Panizzi was replaced in the lead car by Harri Rovanperä, and guested in the second car with Gianluigi Galli. He finished third at the Monte Carlo Rally, the first event of the season, but only scored points in one other event.
In 2006, he was signed by the semi-privateer Red Bull Škoda team. Despite a strong performance in the opening rally of the season in Monte Carlo, he expressed his dissatisfaction at the performance of his car, and after a disappointing showing in Spain, he announced his departure from the team, and was replaced by his former Peugeot teammate Harri Rovanperä.
# Event Season Co-driver Car 1 44ème V-Rally Tour de Corse - Rallye de France 2000 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 2 42º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2000 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 3 43º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2001 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 4 46ème Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 5 38º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 6 44º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 7 39º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 2003 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
Complete WRC results
- WRC.com - the official World Rally Championship website.
- Official Website - note: inactive as of April 2006
| Race of Champions
| Race of Champions
Cristiano da Matta