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Old 03-08-2001, 09:41 AM   #1
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Talking Rally of Portugal

Lots of action and the Rally hasn't really started yet. Go Subaru!
From rally-live:
Rally of Portugal : Shakedown - Summary

This time it's a tree that attacks Marcus Gronhom.

The rain definitely didn't shy away from the rally minions this afternoon (Wednesday) as the WRC crews settled into the mud bath mayhem that was the season's third Shakedown.
Despite the incessant rainfall of the past days, the water only came in the form of showers today but still the dreadful road conditions persisted. In fact, after the session, few were the drivers who didn't form an opinion on the subject.
In fact, Nicky Grist has called for serious changes to be made by the organisers concerning scheduling and the routing of the event. Colin McRae co- driver believes the situation to be unacceptable. According to the Welshman, there is even less grip than in Indonesia.
Tommi Makinen couldn't agree more : "It is very bad - very, very difficult," he said. "It is slippery everywhere, but it is hard to see the really bad places and there is just no grip at all on some corners. There is mud and ruts everywhere. Still, the new suspension will make a big difference to the car. It is the biggest improvement we have made in a long time."
Mud and ruts - who would have thought… Over the years, we have gotten used to a dry Rally Portugal on which the stages are smooth and dusty. But this is more akin to the RAC (oops, I mean Network Q) than a sunny Portuguese round.
One man who's probably glad that rain doesn't fall mainly on Spanish trains* is Armin Schwarz. While hurtling around the section of road chosen for the shakedown, his Accent was suddenly enveloped in flames, forcing the Skoda driver to stop and attempt to put it out. Not so easy since he only had one fire extinguisher. Thankfully, Francois Delecour was close behind and together they joined forces to quell the fiery beast. A differential oil line had melted after contact with the Accent's exhaust system. Despite this setback, Schwarz will start the rally tomorrow.
The verification stage didn't spare Marcus Gronholm's Peugeot 206 either. The Finn actually hit a tree and smashed his front-left suspension but also the car's steering. He thought it wiser to wait for a tow as opposed to limping back to base. This caused the session to be halted while the car was being removed.
Things were looking a bit better in Group N. Reigning World Champion Manfred Stohl, on his last appearance in the category, could easily be the pacesetter, driving his well-proven Carisma GT. The Austrian has a good deal of experience, but reckons the opposition will be tough. "I have never seen the roads like this in Portugal. In places, it is more like the Safari! I think it will be a good rally to finish and you will need to be clever as well as fast," Stohl commented.
Many of his most serious challengers are Latin Americans and one of Manfred's biggest rivals is sure to be Uruguay's Gustavo Trelles, the four-times Group N World Champion driving a Lancer Evolution. "Portugal is normally a nice rally, with good roads and a good atmosphere. This year will be a bit different I think. There is so much mud that in some places there is almost no road left and we will have to be a bit careful," Trelles warned.
Rising star Gabriel Pozzo will be worth watching too, although the Argentinean reckons the weather has actually altered the stages. The opposition will also be hard to master.
*Note to anyone who hasn't heard that expression before – it comes from the film “My fair lady” and is sometimes heard in England…

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Old 03-08-2001, 10:35 AM   #2
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Its plains (those wide open flat spaces in spain) actually, not trains. LOL

"The rain in spain falls mainly on the plains"
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Old 03-08-2001, 10:38 AM   #3
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That's what I thought. Got lost in the translation I suppose.
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Old 03-08-2001, 11:10 AM   #4
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AS of 2:08PM EST, Makinnen is leading, Martin is 6th, Burns 7th, and Solberg 9th
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Old 03-08-2001, 11:51 AM   #5
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lol-its apparently been an extremely wet year in portugal. my dad was there back in late january and it rained everyday for the 2 weeks he was there. he was told that in most of the country, it had rained some everyday for 3 months he did bring back some nice port though...
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Old 03-09-2001, 12:01 AM   #6
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It is on!!! Here are the standings so far:

1. 7 MAKINEN - MANNI Mitsubishi A8 03'46"900 50.8 km/h 1 1
2. 1 GRÖNHOLM - RAUT Peugeot 206 A8 03'47"900 + 00'01"00 2 2
3. 16 ROVANPERÄ - PIE Peugeot 206 A8 03'51"000 + 00'04"10 3 3
4. 3 SAINZ - MOYA Ford Focus A8 03'52"900 + 00'06"00 4 4
5. 8 LOIX - SMEETS Mitsubishi A8 03'54"700 + 00'07"80 6 6
6. 18 MARTIN - PARK Subaru Impr A8 03'54"700 + 00'07"80 5 5
7. 5 BURNS - REID Subaru Impr A8 03'56"500 + 00'09"60 7 7
8. 12 THIRY - PREVOT Skoda Octav A8 03'56"900 + 00'10"00 8 8
9. 2 AURIOL - GIRAUD Peugeot 206 A8 03'57"500 + 00'10"60 9 9
10. 25 LAUKKANEN - LIN Toyota Coro A8 03'58"500 + 00'11"60 10 10
11. 26 CARLSSON - MELA Toyota Coro A8 03'58"600 + 00'11"70 11 11
12. 27 HAGSTRÖM - GARD Toyota Coro A8 03'58"800 + 00'11"90 12 12
13. 17 DELECOUR - GRAT Ford Focus A8 04'00"200 + 00'13"30 13 13
14. 6 SOLBERG - MILLS Subaru Impr A8 04'00"300 + 00'13"40 14 14
15. 11 SCHWARZ - HIEME Skoda Octav A8 04'01"400 + 00'14"50 15 15
16. 9 ERIKSSON - PARM Hyundai Acc A8 04'01"500 + 00'14"60 16 16
17. 22 MATOS CHAVES - Toyota Coro A8 04'01"700 + 00'14"80 17 17
18. 10 McRAE - SENIOR Hyundai Acc A8 04'01"900 + 00'15"00 18 18
19. 23 LOPES - LISBOA Peugeot 206 A8 04'02"600 + 00'15"70 19 19
20. 4 McRAE - GRIST Ford Focus A8 04'04"500 + 00'17"60 20 20
21. 19 ARAI - MACNEALL Subaru Impr A8 04'15"200 + 00'28"30 21 21
22. 29 BAKASHAB - WILL Toyota Coro A8 04'15"200 + 00'28"30 22 22
23. 32 AL-WAHAIBI - SI Subaru Impr A8 04'17"600 + 00'30"70 23 23
24. 33 KUZAJ - BARAN Toyota Coro A8 04'19"100 + 00'32"20 24 24
25. 30 SOLBERG - FLOEN Toyota Coro A8 04'19"300 + 00'32"40 25 25
26. 24 MADEIRA - PRATA Ford Focus A8 04'22"700 + 00'35"80 26 26
27. 21 LUNDGAARD - ANK Toyota Coro A8 04'25"100 + 00'38"20 27 27
28. 31 KULIG - BARAN Ford Focus A8 04'25"800 + 00'38"90 28 28
29. 28 PAPADIMITRIOU - Peugeot 206 A8 04'28"700 + 00'41"80 29 29
30. 20 PANIZZI - PANIZ Peugeot 206 A8 04'38"800 + 00'51"90 30 30


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Old 03-09-2001, 03:40 AM   #7
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Armin Schwartz drives an Octavia not an Accent...

Freddi Loix is actually still in the race...hahaha He was SO good driving the Corolla...since he started w/Mitsu he hasn't shown his talent...

It must be really slippy since Colin is so far down the list...Toshihiro is nipping @ his heels though...GO ARAI GO!!!

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Old 03-09-2001, 06:06 AM   #8
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Yup, its really slippery. SS6 was cancelled because everyone was getting stuck in the mud! I believe right now they're still stuck in the mud, so everything is off schedule quite a bit.

Oh and I think it was in SS4 where Burns' had a run in with a cow. Now sure what happened there though.

Its really slippery right now, lots of mud, fog, and cows.

Edit: SS7 has just been cancelled!

[This message has been edited by MstrDC (edited March 09, 2001).]
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Old 03-09-2001, 07:19 AM   #9
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With two rounds gone the World Rally Championship has yet to show any true form guides for the season ahead. Neither of last season’s top two drivers has a point on the board, nor does the Peugeot team but that’s a situation that surely won’t last for long. This week the gang sets off to Portugal for what is generally regarded as the first ‘true’ event of the season after the specialist outings in Monte Carlo and Sweden. It’s on gravel - the dominant surface of the 14-round calendar - and so it is the first event where the real title chasers can cut loose.
Marcus Gronholm ran Richard Burns close here last year and set himself up for what became the title-winning campaign. With nothing to show for his two outings so far, the Peugeot star must do the business this time out.
Didier Auriol is another with a pair of fat zeros to his name this year and so he will also be out to redress the balance and get Peugeot’s first points.
Harri Rovanpera drives the third Peugeot in Oporto this weekend and is riding high on the back of his Swedish Rally win. He’s not registered for teams’ points by Peugeot but he can still score Fantasy Rally points and might just do very well indeed.
If you picked Gilles Panizzi in your Fantasy Rally team this year then you’ll have to hope that the privately-run 206 from the Grifone team can mix it with the factory teams.
Richard Burns needs to score this weekend (if you’ll pardon the expression!) if he’s to set himself on course for the title. The Subaru ace won this event in pretty dominant style last year and so this is as good a place as any to start the ball rolling.
Petter Solberg seems to have overcome his tendency to throw his car at the scenery and Subaru has again nominated him for points alongside Burns. He’s proved himself quick here in the past and so a lot is expected of the flying Norwegian.
Markko Martin is the third car of the four-strong Subaru team in Portugal. Aside from scoring points in the Fantasy league he’ll be out to secure a manufacturer nomination for future events. Naturally it is Fantasy Rally that is his main priority!
Juha Kankkunen? Not this time either, sorry.
Colin McRae stunned his rivals over the first handful of stages here two years ago, establishing a lead that no one could challenge. Can Ford’s extrovert star do it again? Bear in mind that British drivers have won the past three Portugal rallies and the odds are looking good for McRae and Burns.
Carlos Sainz leads the World Championship at the moment and who could bet against the rejuvenated Spaniard extending that lead this weekend? He’ll have plenty of support, too, for his mates live just over the border and will use this event as a practice round for Catalunya in a couple of weeks!
Francois Delecour seems to be enjoying life at Ford right now so don’t bet against him pushing hard for a podium place. Come to think of it, a Ford 1-2-3 isn’t too hard a concept to grasp right now.
Tommi Makinen won the opener in Monte Carlo then tossed it all away on the final stage in Sweden. He’ll be hurting right now but as the last non-British winner of this event he’s well placed to bounce back.
Freddy Loix may be getting plenty of bad press at the moment but it shouldn’t be overlooked that he’s been on the podium on three of his last four appearances in Portugal and in the points on the one that got away. He needs a good result, desperately, for his own sake as well as the team’s.
Alister McRae flipped Hyundai’s new Accent into a ball of scrap in testing and cut short the preparation programme for the new car’s debut event. Nevertheless this is a step forward for the team and McRae could be on for a good result.
Kenneth Eriksson hasn’t enjoyed a lot of success in Portugal recently so don’t expect Super-Swede to rack up too many points in your team selection.
Piero Liatti is another factory driver to sit this one out. Bad luck if he’s your choice.
Armin Schwarz got plenty of publicity for his record-breaking jump at Fafe last year. The big Octavia proved pretty agile as it leapt almost the length of a football field over the most famous landmark on the rally. The bigger question, however, is whether he can get into the points again.
Bruno Thiry has been unlucky to get Skoda’s ‘Friday afternoon’ car on both events to date so the Belgian driver is out to get his first decent performance out of the Octavia this weekend. The car’s good enough and so is the driver.
Tyre choice in Portugal isn’t so specialised although the rough/smooth nature of the roads demands that the two tread-pattern options available to each team must also cover anything the weather chucks at us. Both Pirelli and Michelin will have opted for a compromise pattern with all manner of compounds being used to cope with the variable temperature. Will it be wet or dry this weekend? The weather girls aren’t’t saying!
Live the dream. www.fantasyrally.com
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Old 03-09-2001, 10:37 AM   #10
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Colin McRae has retired with engine problems in Stage 8. Petter Solberg experienced a damaged front suspension in Stage 8, but got it fixed enough to finish. He lost so much time, though, that he retired.

Man this must be some tough racing. First time I actually paid attention to rally racing. Kinda makes other forms of racing seem dull.

Makinen is holding first overall, but Rovenparou is on his tail. Stage 8 didn't help him much, as he finished 5th. Burns is in 5th overall. Go Richard! Too bad about Petter's car.

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Old 03-09-2001, 10:49 AM   #11
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Hehe, if you look at the stats on rally-live.com for overall results after scr 09, it shows the leader being Kulig in a Focus. It says he is 1 hour and 4 minutes ahead of the next person! Speed 338.4 km/h!
I want that car!
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Old 03-10-2001, 12:17 AM   #12
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Why are they complaining about hte decisions?! after all it's a Rally for goodness sakes! It's not F1! I would expect the likes of Schumacher or Hakinnen to whine. But not rally drivers. Actually Hakkinen whines no matter what. Go Burns Go! They should re-field Juha! Wasup with Petter?!
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Old 03-10-2001, 05:38 AM   #13
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after ss14, with ss15 cancelled, burns is in 4th. rovanpera retired - radiator. martin 8th. burns posted fastest times for ss13 and ss14, running well now. hope he can keep it up and if tommi finds a rock as others have...

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Old 03-11-2001, 11:56 AM   #14
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1 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3:19:17,3
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 3:19:30,3
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:21:29,4
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 3:22:24,1
5 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 3:27:40,2
6 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 3:29:56,2
7 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 3:30:59,1
8 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 3:33:58,8
9 Laukkanen Toyota Corolla WRC 3:34:22,0
10 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 3:36:38,4

It's good to see Burns in the top 5. It's also good to see 4 different manufacturers making up the top 4. It's gonna' be an interesting year.


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