McRae RAC Pirelli Review/Results

McRae and Volkswagen storm to second Alister McRae and reigning champions Volkswagen staged a sterling fightback in the forests of Cumbria to claim second place in today's third round of the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship. ...

McRae and Volkswagen storm to second Alister McRae and reigning champions Volkswagen staged a sterling fightback in the forests of Cumbria to claim second place in today's third round of the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship. Their Pirelli International Rally second-leg result went some way towards making up for a disappointing sixth-place finish in Saturday's first leg. Lanark-based McRae and his Daventry-domiciled co-driver David Senior stormed to five stage wins out of nine in the Sony and Pirelli-backed Golf GTI, but lost time on both days of the "double-header" event with mechanical problems. "It's been a frustrating rally for us," said Alister, the 1995 British Champion. "On the stages where we had no problems we were clearly quickest, and without those difficulties I'm sure we'd have been on top of the leaderboard on both days. But these things happen in rallying and the team worked magnificently between stages to get the car fixed. Now I must look forward to the next round, my home event. I won in Scotland last year and I'm determined to do so again." McRae has accelerated up the championship leader board to fifth position, with Volkswagen holding fifth place among the manufacturers. SEAT leads the title race after Gwyndaf Evans' overall Pirelli International victory. McRae's second-leg performance was a boost for Volkswagen's UK rally partner team, SBG Sport of Daventry, after the disappointments suffered on day one of the event. After a flying start to Saturday's leg at Carlisle Airport, where McRae thrilled a 6,000-strong crowd by setting fastest time over the mile-long opening sprint stage, brake problems hampered the Golf's progress on the 23-mile Chirdonhead stage in Kielder Forest and cost the Scot 30 seconds. "A stone knocked off a pipe," explained Alister, 27, "and we had to carry on with virtually no brakes. Then, on the next stage, we lost a further minute with a throttle linkage problem. It was very disappointing." McRae and Senior fought back in style on the final Saturday stage, Kershope, taking a second a mile from their rivals to win the stage by 14 seconds. Volkswagen's duo completed the first leg sixth among the championship-class runners, 61 seconds behind interim leader Rowe, and were left to ponder what might have been... The dramatic Volkswagen fight-back continued this morning. On the longest stage of the rally, the fearsome 25-miler at Pundershaw, McRae romped to victory by 22 seconds. "I knew we were going to have to give it a real push," said Alister. A further stage win, shared with SEAT's Gwyndaf Evans, at Riccarton was complemented by fastest time on the final stage, the 18-mile Newcastleton test. McRae's dramatic climax promoted the Golf to second on the day behind Evans' SEAT, and fourth overall for the rally as a whole. Further backing for the Volkswagen team comes from BHWG, ECM, Exhibition Support, Mondial Assistance, Silkolene, TNT Logistics, Volkswagen Finance, Volkswagen Insurance Service and WRP. Pirelli International Rally Carlisle, 25/26.4.98 Final overall standings 1 Gwyndaf Evans (GB) / Howard Davies (GB) SEAT 2h 01m 08s 2 Tapio Laukkanen (SF) / Tapio Jarvi (SF) Renault 2h 01m 35s 3 Martin Rowe (GB) / Derek Ringer (GB) Renault 2h 01m 49s 4 Alister McRae (GB) / David Senior (GB) Volkswagen 2h 02m 22s 5 Marko Ipatti (SF) / Kari Kajula (SF) Mitsubishi 2h 03m 10s 6 Gavin Cox (GB) / Stephen Griffiths (GB) Mitsubishi 2h 03m 16s First leg positions Round 2, Mobil 1 British Rally Championship 1 Rowe / Ringer 0:59:30 2 Evans / Davies 0:59:34 3 Jarmo Kytolehto (SF) / Arto Kapanen (SF) Vauxhall 0:59:35 4 Laukkanen / Jarvi 0:59:36 5 Christer Steen (S) / Per Westman (S) Skoda 1:00:27 6 McRae / Senior 1:00:31 Second leg positions Round 3, Mobil 1 British Rally Championship 1 Evans / Davies 1:01:34 2 McRae / Senior 1:01:51 3 Laukkanen / Jarvi 1:01.59 4 Rowe / Ringer 1:02:19 5 Neil Wearden (GB) / Trevor Agnew (GB) Honda 1:04:06 6 Steen / Westman 1:05:37 Championship standings Manufacturers 1 SEAT, 120 points; 2 Renault, 115.5; 3 Ford, 87; 4 Vauxhall, 83; 5 Volkswagen, 76.5; 6 Peugeot, 62; 7 Proton, 32. Drivers 1 Rowe, 86; 2 Evans, 85, 3 Wearden, 64; 4 Laukkanen, 47; 5 McRae, 46, etc.

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Series Other rally
Drivers Alister McRae , David Senior , Martin Rowe , Derek Ringer , Gwyndaf Evans , Howard Davies , Trevor Agnew