WRC

Wales Rally GB summary, reflections

Results and Reflections. Finland's Marcus Gronholm gave BP-Ford their first Rally of Great Britain victory for 27 years ending the 2006 World Rally Championship (WRC) with eight outright wins for the Ford Focus RS WRC and the FIA Manufacturers...

Results and Reflections.

Finland's Marcus Gronholm gave BP-Ford their first Rally of Great Britain victory for 27 years ending the 2006 World Rally Championship (WRC) with eight outright wins for the Ford Focus RS WRC and the FIA Manufacturers Championship.

Austria's Manfred Stohl achieved his best result of this year's 16 round WRC with second place in his OMV Peugeot 307, 20 seconds ahead of four times Rally GB winner, Petter Solberg partnered by Welshman Phil Mills in their Subaru Impreza WRC 2006.

Estonian Jaan Molder won the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) category in a Suzuki but the overall junior title was claimed by Sweden's Patrick Sandell, despite finishing 33rd in his Renault Clio. Scotland's Barry Clark finished 30th overall, first in both his capacity class and the Fiesta Sporting Trophy International. This performance assured him of the "Rookie" title in the JWRC.

Finland's Anton Alen (23), son of rallying legend, Markku, finished 13th overall and won the Production Category in his Subaru Impreza.

Wales Rally GB was the sixth and final round of the Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship which also incorporated the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge. Gwyndaf Evans (Dolgellau) won the six-round Mitsubishi series, earning a prize-drive in the 2007 British Rally Championship.

The mix of Nationalities amongst the major award winners reflected the popularity of Wales Rally GB, which attracted competitors from 32 countries and an entry of 118 cars -- the largest in this year's WRC and the best UK total for five years.

Wales Rally GB -- the 62nd edition - returned to Cardiff on Sunday (December 3rd) on scheduled time after all 17 special stages were completed without disruption or serious accidents.

Alister McRae, younger brother of 1995 World Champion Colin, debuted the Toyota Super 2000R, a four-wheel-drive version of the Toyota Corolla.

Of the 111 official starters, 82 were classified as finishers.

Spectator attendances also reflected the events popularity. Over 12,000 people visited the Swansea Service Park on Friday and Saturday and an estimated 25,000 were seated in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the second running of the world's first indoor special stage.

Better value spectator tickets resulted in Friday and Sunday day passes selling out.

The 2007 Wales Rally GB is scheduled to be based in Cardiff with the ceremonial start on Thursday 29th November.

-credit: www.walesrallygb.com

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Series WRC
Drivers Marcus Gronholm , Petter Solberg , Alister McRae , Manfred Stohl , Gwyndaf Evans , Barry Clark