In the general classification we are seeing a great fight between Eriksson and Makinen (now only 8 seconds apart). A pity that both Sainz (5th stage) and McRae (6th stage) are out. McRae was the first leader and Sainz was very close.
Freddy Loix is justifying his nickname ("Fast Freddy") with an excellent 3rd place. Richard Burns in the second Mitsubishi is not doing very well (4th) since he seems incapable of catching Loix.
Rui Madeira (5th) may now drive a little faster (he has inherited C. McRae's tyres *), but he seems to have started with the moral of a defeated, saying that catching the WRCs was not possible. Well, Loix was not so intimidated, and Madeira could catch Burns, since Burns seems to be not quite adapted to his car.
* Madeira doesn't score points to Subaru, but can steal points from Mitsubishi and Ford.
Schwarz (6th) had a small off (how surprising! :), and some more problems (broken driveshaft last night), and at this time has about 1'40" delay realtively to Madeira.
In the F2 group, the Portuguese Adruzilo Lopes is on the lead with an official 306 maxi. He had a great fight yesterday with Alister McRae (Colin's brother), but A.McRae had some problems and is now 3rd, behind Rovanpera (2nd) in the Seat. The Skodas are, as usual, the more popular cars in this category, since their driver's talent compensates to some extent their lack of power. Pavel Sibera is 4th, behind Weber's Seat.
The 2 official Renault (Portuguese team), have retired.
The Group N is a Mitsubishi affair. They are the only manufacturer with an official team and also they have the best car (it is no coincidence that they are the only ones that didn't need to make a WRC).
The 16th stage (15.1 Km) is finishing at this moment:
Makinen has won 4 more seconds relatively to Eriksson (now with only 4 seconds advantage)
1 - Eriksson 2 - Tommi Makinen 0'04" 3 - Freddy Loix 1'27" 4 - Richard Burns 2'03" 5 - Rui Madeira 2'13"
After all, it seems that Madeira is attacking Burns. He won 6 seconds in 2 stages.
-- http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/rally/ an ex-tifoso since 95/11/13
.pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC) Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94