The FIA sold the World Rally Championship (WRC) rights to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 2000 for a 5 year contract period. This game was the first in the series and featured the official drivers, cars and tracks from the WRC 2001 season. The game has an arcade style handling model, but used real life tracks to create as close a simulation to real life WRC tracks as possible. Damage was present, effecting not only your car visually, but its performance as well.
The game features many real world track locations that were used in the 2001 WRC season, where Evolution Studios
used real life GPS data to map the roads that were raced on during the season. Because of this, the game became notorious for being very difficult, as the developer implemented real world hazzards into the game's tracks such as trees, rocks, broken roads etc. They also used the real 2001 season clandar and events in order to determine if it was raining on any particular tracks, snowing, or even if the cars raced at night.