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Old 11-24-2001, 06:26 PM   #1
nativo
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 157
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Coamo, Puerto Rico
Vehicle:
1998 JDM STIv8 6sp
Rally Blue Pearl

Default Camino Libre para Burns

Burns on course for title as rivals crash

By Alan Baldwin


CARDIFF, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Championship leaders Colin McRae and Tommi
Makinen wrecked their chances and left Richard Burns in the driving seat for
the world rally title on Friday.

Burns, who has won his home British rally for the past three years, can now
take the crown as England's first champion if he finishes fourth or higher on
Sunday.

Barring further mayhem, the title is in the bag.

The Subaru driver starts Saturday's second leg in second place, 36.6 seconds
behind his future Peugeot team mate and outgoing champion Marcus Gronholm of
Finland.

Gronholm was fastest in five of the day's eight stages and, with Peugeot
seemingly assured of the manufacturers' title, was aiming to round off his
season with a victory.

Any notion of a "Battle of Britain" between Burns and McRae vanished when the
Scot rolled his Ford at high speed on the fourth Rhondda stage and retired
with blurred vision and a heavy heart.

McRae had started the day as leader but the crash took the heat and the two
frontrunners out of the closest ever championship finale.

The 1995 champion was left heading back to Scotland with his hopes seemingly
abandoned with his shattered car in the ditch.

"Richard is in the driving seat and all I can do is sit at home and hope he
has some kind of a problem," lamented McRae, who had a hospital check
afterwards.

Makinen, chasing a record fifth title, had earlier hit a rock and gone out
with the Welsh forests still shrouded in early morning mist.

McRae has 42 points, Makinen 41 and Burns 40.

PLAYING SAFE

Burns made clear he would be playing safe for the title rather than pushing
to win.

"I'm trying to drive quickly with a certain amount of safety...a big part of
the fight has gone but we still have to go quickly," he said.

"It's been a good day, almost a mirror-image of last year. We now need to
drive to finish as Marcus did 12 months ago."

Makinen, who had looked ragged in Thursday night super-special stage, called
it a day after just 10.2 km after he lost a wheel and broke a suspension
bolt.

"We seem to be very, very unlucky here. It's a difficult sport sometimes,"
added the Finn, who has never finished higher than third in Britain.

The Finn also ripped a wheel off his car in the 1998 version of the rally but
that year he ended up as champion after Spaniard Carlos Sainz's Toyota ground
to a halt within sight of the finish.

Sainz still has a mathematical chance of the title and climbed up to fifth
place after a tough day with a puncture at the start and an off-road
excursion in foggy conditions at the end.

He also picked up a 40 second penalty for arriving late at a stage after
stopping to make repairs and drove through two stages without front brakes.

Saturday's second leg is four regular stages and a super-special in Cardiff,
a total of 132.89 km.
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Old 11-26-2001, 10:26 AM   #2
Kingtut R-S
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Member#: 4163
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Bayamon PR
Vehicle:
2005 Legacy GT 5AT
Regal Blue Baby!!

Default He did it!!!

Burns se convirtio en campeon del WRC 2001!

Veremos a ver si Makkinen repite, digo si se lem ejora la espalda.
Aparentemente hay problemas legales con el contrato de Burns, asi que hay una remota posibilidad que se quede un ano mas,
Imaginense ese line up!
Makkinen
Burns
Peter!

Dream team jehehehe!
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