WRC

Rallye Catalunya: End of Leg 2

1999 Rallye Movistar Catalunya - Costa Brava Official Site: http://www.rallyecatalunya.com/99/indexi.htm Round 5 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 19-21 April End of Leg 2 Great disappointment for Citroën this morning - overnight...

1999 Rallye Movistar Catalunya - Costa Brava Official Site: http://www.rallyecatalunya.com/99/indexi.htm Round 5 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 19-21 April

End of Leg 2

Great disappointment for Citroën this morning - overnight rally leader, Jesus Puras, could not start his car in Parc Ferme due to an ignition pack problem and he did not start todays stages. Jesús Puras (Citroën): "I am very disappointed. I really wanted to obtain a good result. We have tried everything to start the car, but we have not been able to do anything."

But on a lighter side, Citroën team mate Philippe Bugalski extended his lead over the WRC cars of Auriol and Sainz to lead the rally by almost 18 seconds. Bugalski and Auriol have been matching stage times all day.

Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): "Today we did a good job, but tomorrow we will have to continue fighting. If nothing strange happens we will risk ourselves with Auriol. I know he will attack strongly, but if everything goes well, the car will resist".

Sainz had a puncture today which lost him some time and he now battles with Freddy Loix for 3rd place. "The goal is to be third no matter what, and we are very pressured by Freddy Loix. The car goes well and we are on the right track" said Sainz.

Loix is only 5 seconds behind Sainz in 4th: "To be in fourth is nice, but we have some work to do; 60 per cent for me and 40 per cent for the car. I have to change my driving style a bit, which is not so easy", Loix said.

Drama on SS10 this morning when Makinen, Burns and Rovanperä were all penalised for a false start. If it were not for this, Makinen would now be in 3rd place.

McRae's problem yesterday was a valve in the car’s anti-lag system which failed and prevented the turbocharger from developing full boost pressure. Ford are now using Catalunya as a test session for Corsica which is only 2 weeks away. But what a test session - McRae set 2 fastest stage times, a 2nd fastest and a 4th fastest in today's 6 stages! (McRae is now 18th overall). Unfortunately for Ford, Jean-Joseph retired due to an electical problem on SS13.

Skoda had a disappointing day with both cars retiring. Armin Schwarz had engine power and alternator problems.

Lopes retired after crashing.

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Unofficial results at the end of Leg 2:

1 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                3:14:33,1
2 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                3:14:50,8
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                3:16:16,6
4 Loix                Mit Carimsa                3:16:21,7
5 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        3:16:42,3
6 Burns                Subaru Impreza                3:17:50,7
7 Kankkunen        Subaru Impreza                3:17:58,9
8 Thiry                Subaru Impreza                3:18:15,1
9 Gomez                Renault Maxi Megane        3:19:03,7
10 Climent        Subaru Impreza                 3:19:29,1

Group N:

1 Al Wahaibi        Mit Lancer                3:32:02,8
2 Manfrinato        Mit Lancer                 3:32:31,1
3 Trellles        Mit Lancer Evo V        3:36:11,6

Formula 2:

1 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                3:14:33,1        
2 Gomez                Renault Maxi Megane        3:19:03,7
3 Monzon        Peugeot 3O6 Maxi        3:23:26,0

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Stage Winners:

SS9 - Bugalski, SS10 - McRae, SS11 - Auriol, SS12 - Bugalski, SS13 - Bugalski, SS14 - McRae

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SS 9, PRADES 27.60km

Notes:

Didier Auriol (Toyota): "I'm very surprised about Bugalski's time. We will have to play hard. It is clear that the struggle will not be between two drivers, but among many more ".

Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): " Everything went well in this first stage, but now I am very tired. It is a shame that Puras had to retire, since Citroën has lost a great possibility of victory. Now I feel that I have the responsibility to be leader and I will do everything that is possible".

Adruzilo Lopes (Peugeot): "I span near kilometer 8.5 and I lost a lot of time, it is a shame, because up to now everything was going very well".

Freddy Loix (Mitsubishi): "It is a shame for Puras that he could not make the start, the truth is that yesterday he made a very good leg, and he proved that he is a great driver. In regards to today, it is a very tough day, but I really like it".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                8:17,1
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        8:21,5
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                8:21,7
4 Loix                Mit Carimsa                8:22,1
5 Thiry                Subaru Impreza                8:23,7

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SS 10, LA RIBA 32.86km

Notes:

Makinen, Burns, Rovanperä, and Vinyes were penalised for false starts.

Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): "I got to the end of the stage with very worn tires".

Didier Auriol (Toyota): "I cannot run any faster. The pace is very high"

Carlos Sainz (Toyota): "For now, we are not getting closer to Bugalski, in fact, he is getting further away from us".

Richard Burns (Subaru): "I'm pushing the car to the maximum. I had very hard tires, but there is no other option".

Armin Schwarz (Skoda): "In the last kilometers I lost grip and this made me lose many positions".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        20:33,4
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI                20:25,6
3 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                        20:37,0
4 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                        20:43,7
5 Loix                Mit Carimsa                        20:44,7

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SS 11, RIUDECANYES 12.68km

Notes:

Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): "Since it has been a new special stage, I was slower. Besides, our tires were very worn, so we will change them before the next stage".

Freddy Loix (Mitsubishi): "The car slipped a lot because of the gravel on the road".

Adruzilo Lopes (Peugeot): "I'm very satisfied with the result. Things are going very well".

Piero Liatti (Seat): "I have the same problems as yesterday, and the front wheels are more worn than the rear ones".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                8:52,8
2 McRae                Ford Focus                8:53,6
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                8:56,5
4 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        8:56,6
5 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                8:57,8

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SS 12, SANTA MARINA 31.38km

Notes:

Carlos Sainz (Toyota): "In this stage we did poorly. We had problems with the brakes. Right now Auriol is unreachable for us."

Freddy Loix (Mitsubishi): "It has not been easy at all, but I am satisfied with how things are going for us. I notice a lack of competition; there is a big difference between the first three cars and the rest. The time differences are very large".

Armin Schwarz (Skoda): "We have not found the appropriate suspension for this second stage in Tarragona. Besides, after the first 20 kilometers the tires were already destroyed".

Adruzilo Lopes (Peugeot): "The stages are very long and the tires don't resist that much".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                19:18,2
2 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                19:24,1
3 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        19:26,4
4 McRae                Ford Focus                19:26,9
5 Lopes                Peugot 3O6 Maxi                19:31,5

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SS 13, GRATALLOPS-ESCALADEL 45.88km

Notes: Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): "It has been a very difficult stage, since it was very long and it was difficult for the tires".

Didier Auriol (Toyota): "It is a very difficult race. I don't think I will be able to repeat last year's victory".

Carlos Sainz (Toyota): Finished the stage with the front part of the car damaged.

Bruno Thiry (Subaru): "After the first five kilometers, the road was very dirty and it was very slippery. The car was going off in all directions".

Armin Schwarz (Skoda): "I had power problems from the very beginning of the stage and I'm very tired". Finished at almost nine minutes from the best time and he broke the alternator.

Piero Liatti (Seat): Punctured the rear left tire and lost 1'24".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Bugalski        Citroen Xsara                29:08,9
2 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                29:11,7
3 Burns                Subaru Impreza                29:29,1
4 Loix                Mit Carimsa                29:33,7
5 Kankkunen        Subaru Impreza                29:39,7

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SS 14, LA RIBA 32.86km

Notes:

Didier Auriol (Toyota): "Tomorrow we will do everything we can to catch the Citroëns. We will try it in a couple of special stages, if then we are at 5 or 6", we will continue to play hard. Otherwise, we will run to obtains a safe second position".

Philippe Bugalski (Citroën): "Today we did a good job, but tomorrow we will have to continue fighting. If nothing strange happens we will risk ourselves with Auriol. I know he will attack strongly, but if everything goes well, the car will resist".

Carlos Sainz (Toyota): "The goal is to be third no matter what, and we are very pressured by Freddy Loix. The car goes well and we are on the right track".

Colin McRae (Ford): "Everything has already been decided. Tomorrow we will train for Corsica".

Freddy Loix (Mitsubishi): "It will be difficult to obtain the third position. Bugalski and Auriol are being very constant".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                20:37,8
2 Makinen        Mit Lancer Evo VI        20:38,5
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                20:40,3
4 Auriol        Toyota Corolla                20:43,2
5 Loix                Mit Carimsa                20:47,7

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

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Adruzilo Lopes , Colin McRae , Carlos Sainz , Freddy Loix , Richard Burns , Didier Auriol , Armin Schwarz , Philippe Bugalski , Jesus Puras , Piero Liatti
Teams Citroën World Rally Team