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Old 08-20-2000, 10:54 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 949
Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NJ
06 F2000
Speed Triple

Post Final standings: Rally Finland.

A starring drive on the 1998 Neste Rally Finland brought Marcus
Gronholm to the attention of Peugeot and today he repaid that faith
with his third win of the season and his first on his home rally.
It was Peugeot's first win on this event since Timo Salonen in 1986
and it promotes Gronholm to the lead of the FIA World Rally
Championship for the first time in his career. With Richard Burns not
finishing in Finland, Colin McRae has moved closer to his British
rival while the Ford team has now passed Subaru to lead the Manufacturers'
series. Until Burns crashed out of the event at the start of the second
day the battle for the lead had been incredibly close but the statistics
still show that Gronholm led from start to finish.

Peugeot was the only team to have all of its factory-run cars still
in the rally at the finish although a final stage roll for Francois
Delecour nearly ruined that result. Marcus Gronholm took a crushing
win for the French team while his cousin, Sebastian Lindholm, drove
superbly on his first event for the team to take fifth. There were a
few scares in the French camp today. Gronholm suffered a front-end
vibration on the first batch of stages and found the car pulling to
the left, while Delecour's car had a gearbox change after suffering
some form of transmission problem before the final two stages. Despite
losing two minutes with his final stage roll, Delecour still managed
to take sixth and the final FIA World Rally Championship point. “I'm
obviously very happy with this result,” said Gronholm. “The Finnish
fans have supported me all the way and I'm very grateful to them for
that. There's still a long way to go in the championship but now maybe
we've got a chance to win it this year. We've shown here that Peugeot's
reliability is now very, very good.”

Fastest time on the opening two stages today brought Colin McRae
right onto the heels of second placed Harri Rovanpera. His pace was
likely to have taken him past the Finn even before the Toyota driver
received a road penalty. McRae made good use of the fact that the
second stage today is not being run in its usual direction and
therefore previous experience is not such an advantage. “The final
two stages are much faster so we will need to press hard,” said McRae.
At the moment there is some confusion about Harri's penalty but if
we beat him on stage times, then for us it won't matter anyway.”
Unfortunately McRae then dropped 13 seconds to Rovanpera on SS22,
coinciding with the stewards halving the Finn's road penalty, and
found himself back in third once again. On the same stage Carlos
Sainz was further delayed by an electrical fire. McRae regained
second with fastest time on the final stage. “I like that stage and
I remember most of it so my confidence was high. Harri's been tough
to beat. The championship is still a long way off and we have to
consider the strength of the Peugeot now. However we'll also be
strong in Cyprus and there's still everything to play for.”

Tommi Makinen's day got off to an eventful start with a minor oil
leak reported on the opening stage, and engine that cut out at the
start of the next and then a high-speed collision with a mail box
on the third. The five-time winner of this rally has still not found
his true form, despite the improved new version of the Mitsubishi
Lancer, but he scored enough points to keep him well in contention
for a fifth consecutive FIA World Championship title with five
events still to go. Part of his problem on this event has been that
co-driver Risto Mannisenmaki has been competing in severe pain from
a back injury sustained after a heavy landing yesterday morning.
With so many jumps, this event is relentless in its pressure on a
co-driver and despite extra padding in his seat to cushion the impact,
Mannisenmaki has admitted that there have been times when he has
had to ask Makinen to take things a little easier that he would
have liked.

Juha Kankkunen broke a wheel rim on the second of today's stages,
but survived without the dramas of yesterday. He promised to set
fastest time on the final two tests in his quest to regain a points
scoring finish. Scratch time on SS22 (ironically where he had all
his problems yesterday) took him past Didier Auriol's ailing SEAT
and into seemingly easy striking distance of Alister McRae's Hyundai.
He couldn't quite pull off his promise of two fastest times, but
still did enough on the final stage to pass McRae and take a possibly
crucial two championship points for Subaru.

With four of today's five stages being repeats of those run yesterday,
the power-sapping nature of the roads was made even worse for Hyundai,
whose engine is still being developed. Kenneth Eriksson also felt that
SS21 was too rutted to have been used today. “It's too badly damaged
and it's a very difficult stage,” he said. Alister McRae's car developed
an odd electrical malady that manifested itself by turning the
windscreen wipers and other items on and off almost at random. On
the penultimate stage he suffered power steering failure and that
effectively put an end to any chance he had of keeping Kankkunen at

Didier Auriol began today's leg in seventh place but slipped back
after a recurrence of the handling problems that had hit him on Friday.
The feeling isn't so good today,” he said. “The problem is that there
are so many electronic items in a modern car that it could be anything
that is causing the problem. Now I must try my best to maintain my
position as the final two stages are the most difficult and demanding
of the event.” Observers reported that the SEAT's engine was consuming
oil and co-driver Denis Giraudet added a full litre of lubricant
before SS21. The team changed the complete drive-shaft and suspension
sets on Auriol's car before the final two stages and the Frenchman
promised to attack hard to try and stay clear of both Alister McRae
and Juha Kankkunen. Unfortunately he suffered a major time loss on
SS22 and immediately fell down the order, out of the points.

Other teams
Unusually this event managed to throw some wild cards into the overall
positions with third placed Harri Rovanpera the highest non-factory
entry. The Toyota driver might have hung on for second had he not
collected a time penalty for being late at the start of SS20 and
then damaging is suspension on the stage itself. The initial 20
second penalty dropped him behind second placed Colin McRae although
it was later halved to 10 seconds and he regained the place. The
reigning FIA Group N Champion Gustavo Trelles retired this morning,
handing in his time card at the exit to parc ferme. The Uruguayan
driver has struggled to find performance on this event and was a
long way out of a points scoring position. Group N fell to Jani
Paasonen, ahead of Jusso Pykalisto while third placed Manfred Stohl
extends his series lead over Trelles. With Hamed Al Wahaibi an early
retirement, the FIA Teams Cup fell to the Toyota Team Saudi Arabia
entry for Abdullah Bakhashab, well clear of Frederic Dor's own entry
in a Subaru. TTSA now takes the series lead, with F Dor Rally Team
tied in second place with the Spike Subaru entry for Toshihiro Arai,
who did not enter this round.

Tyre facts

This weekend's result in Finland was a particularly satisfying
performance for Michelin. Not only was Gronholm's success the French
firm's sixth of the year from nine rounds, but it was also its third
consecutive start-to-finish victory on gravel. Victory for Peugeot-
Michelin was compounded by Group N success with Jani Paasonen
(Mitsubishi-Michelin), while Michelin's partners return to the top
of both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' points tables with Gronholm
and Ford.

After his frustration yesterday, Juha Kankkunen laid the ghost of
Ouninpohja by setting fastest time when the stage was repeated.
Yesterday a damaged tyre forced him to abandon a possible podium
finish but today the same stage brought his Subaru back into the
championship points. A broken wheel rim on SS20 proved to be no major
problem thanks to Pirelli's EMI anti-deflation system that helped
maintain the tyre's shape and performance.


Unofficial Results at the end of Leg 3

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 3:22:37,1
2 McRae Ford Focus 3:23:43,3
3 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 3:23:46,7
4 Makinen Mitsu Lancer 3:24:15,8
5 Lindholm Peugeot 206 3:24:43,1
6 Delecour Peugeot 206 3:27:42,1
7 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla 3:27:53,6
8 Kankkunen Subaru Impreza 3:28:30,0
9 A.McRae Hyundai Accent 3:28:46,2
10 Martin Toyota Corolla 3:29:27,7

Group N
1 Paasonen Mitsu Carisma 3:37:25,8
2 Pykälistö Mitsu Carisma 3:38:49,2
3 Stohl Mitsu Lancer 3:39:05,2

Teams Cup
1 Bakhashab Toyota Corolla 3:50:37,0
Toyota Team Saudi Arabia
2 Dor Subaru Impreza 3:56:41,4
F Dor Rally Team


Provisional FIA World Championship Points

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers
(unofficial positions after 9 of 14 rounds):
Gronholm (FIN) 44
Burns (GB) 38
McRae (GB) 36
Sainz (E) 27
Makinen (FIN) 26
Kankkunen (FIN) 18

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
(unofficial positions after 9 of 14 rounds):
Subaru 60
Ford 63
Peugeot 54
Mitsubishi 33
Skoda 8
Hyundai 5

FIA Cup for Drivers of Production Cars
(unofficial positions after 9 of 14 rounds):
Stohl (A) 45
Trelles (ROU) 32
Paasonen (FIN) 21
Pozzo (RA) 16
Campos (P) 13
Pykalisto (FIN) 12
Menzi (I) 12

FIA Teams' Cup
(unofficial positions after 9 of 14 rounds):
Toyota Team Saudi Arabia 32
Spike Subaru Rally Team 26
F.Dor Rally Team 26
Team Ataken 13
Wisja TV Turning Point Rally Team 10
Arab World Rally Team 10


Stage Winners

SS19 - McRae, SS20 - McRae, SS21 - Gronholm,
SS22 - Kankkunen, SS23 - McRae


Leading Retirements

no leading retirements today

Burns - Accident
Loix - Mechanical
Gardemeister - Mechanical
Solberg - Accident
Laukkanen - Mechanical
Tuohino - Accident
Puhakka - Steering
Ipatti - Engine Failure
Menzi - Accident


SS 19 Ehikki 2 19.08 km
1st Car: 08:39

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time

1 McRae Ford Focus 9:26,3
2 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 9:27,1
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 9:27,2
4 Makinen Mitsu Lancer 9:30,8
5 Lindholm Peugeot 206 9:32,3


SS 20 Moksi 14.67 km
1st Car: 09:12

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time

1 McRae Ford Focus 7:58,3
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 8:02,6
3 Sainz Ford Focus 8:07,6
4 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 8:11,0
5 Martin Toyota Corolla 8:11,2


SS 21 Leustu 2 23.58 km
1st Car: 09:51

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 11:41,3
2 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 11:46,1
3 McRae Ford Focus 11:46,3
4 Kankkunen Subaru Impreza 11:48,9
5 Makinen Mitsu Lancer 11:53,9


SS 22 Ouninpohja 2 34.21 km
1st Car: 11:58

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time

1 Kankkunen Subaru Impreza 16:21,3
2 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 16:23,9
3 Makinen Mitsu Lancer 16:25,1
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 16:28,5
5 Lindholm Peugeot 206 16:28,8


SS 23 Vaheri 2 25.43 km
1st Car: 13:01

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time

1 McRae Ford Focus 12:13,3
2 Makinen Mitsu Lancer 12:15,8
3 Kankkunen Subaru Impreza 12:17,3
4 Rovanpera Toyota Corolla 12:19,4
5 Sainz Ford Focus 12:21,6

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Old 08-20-2000, 11:59 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1742
Join Date: Jun 2000
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Gilbert, AZ, USA
2000 Imp 2.5 RS, SRP
& a fast red car ;)


I can't believe Ford is ahead of Subaru and Mitsu is now where in sight. I think that dual transmission failure (in Greece, wasn't it) followed by the crash in this round really killed us.

Driver's race has gotten really interesting though. Anybody think Gronholm can come from behind and win?

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Old 08-21-2000, 03:28 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 265
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Kirkland, WA
1998 22B Blue
1986 Ford RS200 White


Told ya Gronholm was one to watch


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Old 08-21-2000, 08:09 AM   #4
Tim K.
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 214
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Sumter, SC
2014 Massey Ferguson


Well, I don't know what to say about Burns. He crashed the car, rolling it over several times, after he crossed the finish line for the stage. I wonder, do the pace notes extend beyond the finish line?

Apparently there was a tight right hander right after the finish line, Burns straightened it completely out and in the process destroyed the car. He was fast up until that point.
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Old 08-21-2000, 09:26 AM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 102
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: The meeting place

So sad....
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