The International Swedish Rally 1999 Official Site: http://www.swerally.se Round 2 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 12-14 February 1999

Results of Leg 1

Makinen and Sainz battled each throughout today but after 8 stages, Makinen was the winner and leads the Swedish Rally by 2 seconds!

Many drivers are commenting on how slippery the stages are, but as Swedish star, Thomas Radstrom describes: "Of course it is slippery, it usually is in the winter time ...!". Almost all drivers though are complaining about lack of traction and tyre/stud choice has been critical. There is also a shortage of snow in some areas and quite a few drivers have had off road excursions although there are only a few retirements. Radstrom went off in SS3 at 150km/hr doing some damage to the front end; Sebastian Lindholm retired on SS3 after ripping a wheel and suspension out; McRae hit a snowpole and broke the windscreen and then went into a ditch on the next stage; Kankkuknen went off on SS6.

Mitsubishi: Makinen is driving flat out and only slowing in places where the snow is thin so as not to do damage to the studs. Loix is 'havin fun' and learning - this is his first time on the Swedish stages.

Toyota: Sainz is driving flat out and Auriol about 90% and is not taking many risks.

Ford: Radstrom has stalled the car on the start line 3 times but it is otherwise handling well. Before he went off in SS4, he had lost a driveshaft. McRae lost 1 minute in SS4 after going off, Drivers still learning about the new Focus about about tyres for Sweden. Subaru: Kankkunen, Burns and Thiry are all struggling with a lack of grip from their tyres and are driving accordingly.

Seat had a very unfortunate day - the engine in Marcus Gronholm's Seat WRC gave up after SS1 and he was forced to retire. Also Harri Rovanpera sufferred fuel pressure problemsand did SS2 (a 30km stage) with a maximum speed of 60km/hr only. Although the problem is fixed, he is well out of contention.

Hyundai - Kenneth Eriksson has a solid 35 second lead in Formula 2.

Seven times winner of the Swedish Rally, Stig Blomqvist went off the road in SS3 and has retired.

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Unofficial results and of Leg 1:

1 Makinen     Mit Lancer Evo VI 1:15:35,7
2 Sainz                Toyota Corolla        1:15:37,4
3 Radstrom        Ford Focus        1:15:57,4
4 Auriol        Toyota Corolla        1:16:10,9
5 McRae                Ford Focus        1:17:32,8
6 Burns                Subaru Imprza        1:18:02,6
7 Kankkunen        Subaru Impreza        1:18:03,0
8 Hagstrom        Toyota Corolla        1:18:32,1
9 Thiry        Subaru         Impreza                1:19:45,5
10 Solbery        Ford Escort WRC        1:20:11,4

Formula 2:

1 Walfridsson        Mit Lancer Evo IV        1:21:03,9
2 Puhakka        Mit Lancer Evo IV        1:21:07,1
3 Paasonen        Mit Carisma GT                1:22:07,3                

Group N:

1 Eriksson        Hyundai Coupe                1:22:04,3
2 Svan                Opel Astra Kit Car        1:22:40,3
3 A.McRae        Hyundai Coupe                1:22:49,7

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Stage Winners: SS1 - Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla WRC SS2 - Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI SS3 - Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI SS4 - Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla WRC SS5 - Thomas Radstom, Ford Focus SS6 - Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla WRC SS7 - Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla WRC SS8 - Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI

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SS 1 Malta, 11.88km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz        Toyota Corolla        5:56,8
2 Radstrom        Ford Focus                5:58,7
3 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        5:58,8
4 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                6:03,0
5 McRae                Ford Focus                6:06,2

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SS 2 Sunnemo, 30.87km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        15:17,0
2 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                15:19,5
3 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                15:25,2
4 Radstrom        Ford Focus                15:27,6
5 McRae                Ford Focus                15:30,9

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SS 3 Hamra, 30.69km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        16:30,9
2 Radstrom        Ford Focus                16:34,9
3 Sainz        Toyota         Corolla                        16:36,4
4 McRae                Ford Focus                16:41,1
5 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                16:43,0

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SS 4 Torsby(Vassjon), 2.79km (was 4.00km)

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                2:13,4
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        2:13,9
3 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                2:14,4
4 Radstrom        Ford Focus                2:16,5
5 McRae                Ford Focus                2:17,3

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SS 5 Bjalverud, 21.58km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Radstrom        Ford Focus                11:07,8
2 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                11:08,9
3 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                11:11,6
4 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        11:11,9
5 McRae                Ford Focus                11:24,0

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SS 6 Mangen, 22.09km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                12:30,8
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        12:33,1
3 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                12:34,3
4 Radstrom        Ford Focus                12:34,5
5 Burns                Subaru                        12:56,0

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SS 7 Langjohanstorp, 19.44 km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                10:00,7
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        10:01,9
3 McRae                Ford Focus                10:04,3
4 Radstrom        Ford Focus                10:07,1
5 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                10:09,3

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SS 8 Kalvholmen, 2.10 km

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        1:48,2
2 McRae                Ford Focus                1:49,8
3 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                1:50,1
4 Hagstrom        Toyota Corolla                1:50,3
4 Radstrom        Ford Focus                1:50,3

"Cynan 'Dusty' Rhodes" <cynan@harvestroad.com.au>