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Rallye Catalunya: NewsStandings

Toyota http://www.tte.de Didier Auriol and Freddy Loix scored a Toyota Corolla WRC one-two finish as they stormed home in Rallye Catalunya. Auriol and co-driver Denis Giraudet claimed the lead on the second stage of the rally and pulled...

Toyota http://www.tte.de

Didier Auriol and Freddy Loix scored a Toyota Corolla WRC one-two finish as they stormed home in Rallye Catalunya. Auriol and co-driver Denis Giraudet claimed the lead on the second stage of the rally and pulled away from the star-studded field. The third works Corolla WRC of Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya suffered misfortune on the last day as a tyre explosion dropped them from third place to seventh position.

Auriol's victory was his first since Corsica in 1995. "I am delighted, of course. I had a difficult start to the year, but always felt that I could still win. All through this rally I felt very relaxed and the car did not have a single problem. For the last day I decided to keep some pressure on myself, because it could have been easy to back off and lose concentration. With Freddy in second it is a great result for Toyota. Now that the next rally, in Corsica, is only two weeks away, I am very confident for my chances there" said the 1994 World Champion.

Carlos Sainz finished his native event with the lead of the Drivers' series, but had problems on the final morning. "We had a tyre explosion on SS16 - the tyre also damaged the wing and bumper, and we finished the stage on the wheel rim. I thought it might be possible to score a point but seventh place was the only possibility. This is my home rally but it isn't kind to me" he said at the finish.

"Of course, I am delighted with this result. Didier is in a superb frame of mind for Corsica and reminded everybody why he was World Champion in 1994. Freddy again showed speed and maturity with his driving, but Carlos was unlucky to be denied third place. The team produced three very competitive cars and we are very encouraged about our chances in Corsica next month" said Ove Andersson, President of Toyota Motorsport.

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Mitsubishi http://www.mitsubishi-motors.co.jp/motorsports

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart’s new Lancer Evolution and Carisma GT made a fine start to their rally career with third and fourth places on the fifth round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, Spain’s Catalunya Rally. Strong performances from Tommi Makinen, Richard Burns and Uwe Nittel have given Mitsubishi a clear lead in the World Championship for Manufacturers, while Burns holds second place in the drivers’ title race. Mitsubishi not only brought three cars into the top 10 places, but took the top three positions in the Group N production class.

“I feel much more comfortable now with this car. We have scored some useful points here and I think with a bit of luck, we could have been second. It was a good result, but we could do better!” stated Makinen.

British star Richard Burns, co-driven by Robert Reid, drove superbly considering his comparative lack of experience of asphalt rallies to be one of the leaders throughout. Fourth place promoted him to second in the World Championship and confirmed the potential of the Carisma GT after a faultless performance.

“I know there are a few places where I could have been faster, but I’m very happy to be second in the World Championship. I’m pleased with the new car and this is a very good result for the team,” declared Burns.

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Subaru http://www.speedmedia.com (media access only)

"It has just been one of those rallies where nothing has gone as we planned," said the Scot. "The car had really run faultlessly but we have had other difficulties throughout the event. We then had a problem with the rear left drive-shaft before the opening stage this morning and then the output shaft in the first kilometre of the following section. It’s one of those things that could have been patched together to finish the rally, but we had dropped so much time that it seemed silly to risk anything more, especially from a safety point of view," said a disappointed Colin.

"The whole event has been a bit of a surprise. We knew the Formula 2 cars would be competitive, especially as it has been dry, but we have always run well in Spain and the team has probably one of the best records out of the current manufacturers. It’s one of those events we have to put behind us and learn from, but it is obviously a massive disappointment after winning in Portugal and renewing our Championship hopes.

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1998 FIA World Rally Championship Standings for Drivers

Carlos Sainz                22
Richard Burns                18
Juha Kankkunen        16
Colin McRae                14
Tommi Makinen                14
Didier Auriol                14
Freddy Loix                10

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1998 FIA World Rally Championship Standings for Manufacturers

Mitsubishi                32
Toyota                        31
Ford                        23
Subaru                        21

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Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Colin McRae , Carlos Sainz , Freddy Loix , Richard Burns , Didier Auriol , Juha Kankkunen , Robert Reid , Luis Moya , Uwe Nittel