The second leg of the Rally of Great Britain was an eventful one, but Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team crews Alister McRae and David Senior, and Kenneth Eriksson and Staffan Parmander continued to fight amid the dreadful weather conditions to end...
The second leg of the Rally of Great Britain was an eventful one, but Hyundai Castrol World Rally Team crews Alister McRae and David Senior, and Kenneth Eriksson and Staffan Parmander continued to fight amid the dreadful weather conditions to end the day in fourth and ninth positions respectively.
Alister McRae's colours shone today as the Scot powered his way up to fourth position from an overnight placing of sixth, to within sight of his first podium finish in the Accent WRC. But it was a difficult day in general; the first two stages of the day were run as per schedule but an accident in stage 11 involving Ford's Carlos Sainz, forced both stages 11 and 12 to be cancelled.
Commenting on the day's events, McRae said, "I'm really pleased with our performance so far and fourth is a great position to be in. In stage 11 we were asked to slow down just before the corner where Carlos had the accident and we passed him driving slowly through the stage. I now have to continue driving as hard as I can and see if we can get our first podium finish here on home turf!"
Kenneth Eriksson set a strong time on the opening 46.45km Resolfen stage, but made a wrong tyre choice for the next stage and paid a small price for it. Owing to the events in stage 11, he was unable to rectify his mistake, running stage 11 non-competitively. "About 10km into the stage we saw the yellow flag and were told to slow down so had to drive to the finish at a slow speed. But there were so many spectators yesterday and today standing on corners and braking points that is was too dangerous - very similar to Portugal at times," said the Swede.
Eriksson is still optimistic about their chances, "I am confident we can get past Armin [Schwarz] but we were all given the same time for stage 11 so we didn't get the chance to pass him. There are still four long stages left tomorrow so it is still possible and I really would like to get some more points for Hyundai."
Leg three of the Rally of Great Britain starts at 06:00 and covers the final 108 competitive kilometres in the Welsh forests east of the Felindre service area, before remaining crews return to the Cardiff finish at 16:10.
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The action on leg two of the event was largely overshadowed by the accident involving Carlos Sainz on the third stage of the day during which a number of spectators were injured, resulting in the final two long stages being cancelled. As a result, Ford announced they were withdrawing both remaining cars from the event. The day's events began this morning when Didier Auriol lost three minutes going off the road, dropping him from fourth to tenth position. Freddy Loix retired after his gearbox finally gave up, and British hopeful Neil Wearden ended his event after going off the road. At the head of the field Marcus Gronholm still leads by a comfortable 1 minute 35 seconds ahead of Championship hopeful Richard Burns, and Harri Rovanpera lies in third, ready to boost Peugeot's points to ensure a confident win for the Manufacturer. Armin Schwarz lies in fifth behind Alister McRae.