That was the season when domination of Tommi Makinen has ended because no domination is good for any sport.
The thing is that Mitsubishi built him so good car that suited hos style of driving that he was able to win every season from 1996.
That was golden years of rallying and he had really good competition so we can't say that his won championships are kinda gifted.
Tommi was super cool when needed so it's nothing special to say that he was the best at that time.
Sorry, Colin McRae, you were my hero at that time but clock is clock and clocked posted that Tommi was better at that time.
photo and video from WRC and youtube