WRC

Rally of Great Britain Michelin final report

Peugeot + Gronholm + Michelin: the World Championship winning formula in 2000! In only his first full season at World Championship level, Peugeot-Michelin's Marcus Gronholm has won the 2000 Drivers' crown. His second place this weekend in a ...

Peugeot + Gronholm + Michelin:
the World Championship winning formula in 2000!

In only his first full season at World Championship level, Peugeot-Michelin's Marcus Gronholm has won the 2000 Drivers' crown. His second place this weekend in a particularly wet and demanding Rally Great Britain has put him clear at the top of the points table. He finishes ahead of the only man who could have prevented the crown heading to Finland, Richard Burns.

The Subaru driver took the laurels in his home event but a perfectly measured run from Marcus Gronholm, who simply needed to finish 5th this weekend to secure the crown, wherever Burns finished, took the fast-maturing Peugeot star onto the podium in Cardiff today.

It is a tremendous result for the sport's latest Flying Finn who, at the beginning of the year, wasn't even scheduled to compete in all fourteen of this season's event.

But victory on Round 2 in Sweden, followed by a string of top-two finishes during the spring months, prompted Peugeot to revise its programme and enter Gronholm on every round. Their confidence was rewarded with back-to-back wins for the ever-cool driver in New Zealand and Finland that put him well and truly in the frame in the title chase.

Strong results on the tarmac of Corsica and Sanremo saw him move into the championship lead this Autumn before the issue was practically put beyond doubt when he won two weeks ago in Australia. That result also secured the Manufacturers' crown for Peugeot-Michelin.

Today, with the Drivers' trophy safely in his pocket, Gronholm was able to break open the champagne to celebrate a performance that sees him follow in the footsteps of fellow Finn and four-times World Champion Tommi Makinen.

While Gronholm and Burns focused on the championship fight the past three days, the Welsh forests once again proved a showcase for world class rallying with other battles keeping the suspense going all the way to the final test.

For much of the event, and from the word go, Colin McRae (Ford-Michelin) was in assertive form on his home event. He set four fastest times and enjoyed a fairly comfortable leading margin when he was caught out by a badly rutted corner and rolled on the afternoon of Day 2. There was very little damage to the car itself, but the radiator had been hit and the Scot was forced to park up for good shortly afterwards.

The final step of the podium finally fell to outgoing champ
Tommi Makinen. The Mitsubishi-Michelin driver survived a number of heart-stopping spins during the event, including a brush with a tree that damaged his intercooler, but finally got it together to squeeze past Carlos Sainz (Ford-Michelin) two stages from home.

The Spaniard brought the sole surviving Focus WRC to 4th overall ahead of Juha Kankkunen (5th, Subaru) to claim third in the official 2000 Drivers' championship standings for himself and second in the Manufacturers' series for Ford-Michelin.

The Peugeot-Michelin squad's two French drivers, François Delecour and Gilles Panizzi, finished respectively 6th and 8th, split by Estonian Markko Martin (7th, Toyota-Michelin). Panizzi turned out to be one of the surprises of the event as he quickly got to grips with the ultra-slippery conditions. A number of impressive stage times here in Great Britain have already begun to dispel his reputation as a tarmac driver only.

Victims of the slimy Welsh tracks over the past three days included Mitsubishi-Michelin's Freddy Loix who crashed into a log-pile at high speed on the very first forest stage. He was soon joined on the retirement list by Sweden's Kenneth Eriksson who was sidelined with engine problems. Meanwhile, his Hyundai-Michelin teammate Alister McRae soldiered on to finish just outside the top-ten in 11th position despite a variety of time-consuming troubles early on, while Skoda-Michelins got the cars of both Armin Schwarz and Luis Climent to the flag in 13th and 16th place.

AFTER PEUGEOT SECURED THE MANUFACTURERS' CROWN IN AUSTRALIA.

.NEW CHAMPION GRONHOLM TAKES MICHELIN'S WRC TITLE SCORE TO 30!

Second place for Peugeot-Michelin's Marcus Gronholm on Rally GB has clinched the 2000 Drivers' world title for Michelin. This success comes just two weeks after the Finn's win in Rally Australia that put the Manufacturers' crown beyond doubt with one round to go.

After showing his speed on Day 1 in the forests of South Wales (three fastest times), Gronholm maturely settled into a safe pace to collect six additional points that leave him five points clear of rival Richard Burns.

The result of Rally GB takes Michelin's score to a record 30 world crowns (15 Drivers', 15 Manufacturers', including eight Drivers' and seven Manufacturers' titles in the past ten years), an eloquent pointer to the firm's long-term commitment at the sport's highest level.

This year's success is a reward for the all-round performance of Michelin's range over the full season. Its products have been fastest on over two-thirds of the 2000 World Rally Championship's stages and have won all but four of the calendar's fourteen rounds.

.on all types of terrain: wintry, dry and damp asphalt (Monte Carlo, Catalonia, Corsica, Sanremo), winter gravel (Sweden), smooth gravel (New Zealand, Finland, Australia) and rough gravel (Greece, Cyprus).

.with three different manufacturer partners (Peugeot-Michelin 6, Ford-Michelin 3, Mitsubishi-Michelin 1)

.with five different drivers (Marcus Gronholm 4, Tommi Makinen 1, Colin McRae 2, Gilles Panizzi 2, Carlos Sainz 1).

{TB{ 2000 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - FINAL POSITIONS

DRIVERS MC S EAK P E RA GR NZ FIN CH F I AUS GB Total Marcus Gronholm (FIN) M 0 10 0 6 2 6 0 10 10 0 2 3 10 6 65 Richard Burns (GB) 0 2 10 10 6 10 0 0 0 3 3 0 6 10 60 Carlos Sainz (E) M 6 0 3 4 4 0 6 4 0 10 4 2 0 3 46 Colin McRae (GB) M 0 4 0 0 10 0 10 6 6 6 0 1 0 0 43 Tommi Makinen (FIN) M 10 6 0 0 3 4 0 0 3 2 0 4 0 4 36 François Delecour (F) M 0 0 - 2 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 6 4 1 24 Gilles Panizzi (F) M 0 - 0 - 1 - - - - - 10 10 0 0 21

      MANFACTURERS              MC  S EAK P  E RA GR NZ FIN CH  F  I AUS GB Total
      Peugeot-Michelin M         0 11  0  9  3  6  2 10 13   4 16 16 14   7 111
      Ford-Michelin M            6  4  3  4 14  0 16 10  6  16  4  5  0   3  91
      Subaru                     4  5 16 10  6 13  4  0  2   4  5  1  6  12  88
      Mitsubishi-Michelin M     12  6  0  2  3  6  0  0  4   2  0  4  0   4  43
      Seat                       3  0  4  0  0  0  0  0  0   0  1  0  2   0   1
      Skoda-Michelin M           1  -  3  1  0  -  3  -  -   0  -  0  -   0   8
      Hyundai-Michelin M         -  0  -  0  0  1  0  3  1   -  0  0  3   0   8

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Colin McRae , Carlos Sainz , Freddy Loix , Richard Burns , Gilles Panizzi , Marcus Gronholm , François Delecour , Alister McRae , Armin Schwarz , Juha Kankkunen , Kenneth Eriksson , Markko Martin