WRC

Rallye Catalunya - Story, Team Notes, Champ Points

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 ----------------------------------------------------------- In the 35th ...

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

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In the 35th Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava, Rallye de España, fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Frenchmen Philippe Bugalski and co-driver Jean Paul Chiaroni guided their front-wheel drive, non turbocharged Citroen Xara Kit Car to victory, profiting from the weight advantage of their car through the flowing stages of the Catalan mountains, to stay clear of the turbocharged, four-wheel drive, but 300 kg heavier 'World Rally Cars'.

Although the Citroen racer is considered by some to be a car developed for specialist asphalt events, while its counterpart, the World Rally Car, must perform in a wide variety of conditions around the world, Bugalski has deserved the respect of his rivals, winning 6 of the 19 stages of the event, to score his and the manufacturer's first ever world championship win. Citroen led the rally from start to finish, first with Spaniard Jesus Puras, whose engine failed to fire up in parc ferme at the start of Leg Two, then with his team-mate Bugalski.

"It is a fabulous feeling to have won my first world championship event," said the Frenchman.

"We have shown that we are to be counted for good results on the other two asphalt event we will enter, the Tour de Corse and the Rally Sanremo."

Second placed was Toyota's Didier Auriol, Bugalski's most pressing chaser, who finished only 31,8 seconds behind him, while third place finally fell to Finn Tommi Makinen, who improved his pace as the rally progressed and succeeded to maintain his drivers' championship lead.

The FIA World Rally Championship contenders now head to Corsica for one of the most unpredictable asphalt events in the series. (6-9 May). The Rally de France - Tour de Corse will be the first event to have the final stage televised live, with the competitors fighting for bonus points.

Mitsubishi

Tommi Makinen won today's first two stages to grab third place and to maintain his lead in the drivers' championship.

"This rally has been really tough and I'm very pleased to get third place," said the Finn. "The car and the team have been really good."

Freddy Loix scored a well earned fourth place and his first points, driving at a steady but rewarding pace. "My experience on asphalt with the Lancer is not very great, so I'm happy with the result," declared the young Belgian. "This said , we have to keep our feet on the ground and find some more speed."

Seat

After improving his suspension set-up and scoring some good time during today's last leg, SEAT Sport's Piero Liatti placed tenth overall and sixth among the nominated drivers, scoring one championship point. "It was important to finish this rally and collect as much information as possible to develop the car for asphalt," said the Italian "and this is what we achieved. Scoring one point was a great reward for the team's hard work." Finn team-mate Harri Rovanpera finished in fourteenth.

Subaru

The demise of Carlos Sainz promoted Richard Burns to fifth place, while team-mates Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Thiry fought to the very last kilometre of the rally for sixth position, the Finn eventually getting the better of the Belgian, slowed by power steering problems.

"There have been flashes of what we could achieve during the rally," said Burns, "specially today and on the long stage yesterday. We need to solve our problems and to build on the progress we have made."

While Juha Kankkunen was satisfied of his day, Thiry commented bitterly: "I did not need to suffer with a power steering problem just when it mattered and so lose a place to Juha (Kankkunen).

Toyota

Didier Auriol hoped in rain to aid his chances of catching Bugalski, but the rally roads remained dry today and, despite fastest time on the last stage, the Frenchman was powerless to improve his position. "It was just not possible to catch Bugalski," said Auriol. "As Citroen is not taking place in the championship, he is free to take all the risks, with nothing to lose, while we have to drive more conservatively."

Spaniard Carlos Sainz suffered a couple of punctures and a damaged fan belt, which finally forced him into retirement on the road section back to Lloret de Mar. "There is nothing more to say," commented bitterly the Spaniard. "luck again has not been on our side. We went from third to nowhere."

Other Teams Although Bugalski was first of the 2-Litre cars with his Citroën Xsara Kit Car, the scoring car for the FIA 2-Litre World Cup for Manufactures, was the Renault Maxi Megane of Spaniard Oriol Gomez, eight overall.

Spaniard Luis Climent ended in ninth place overall in a Subaru Impreza WRC, and brought to his tea Valencia Terra y Mar 10 precious points for taking the lead in the FIA Teams' Cup.

Mitsubishi filled the first four places of Group N category, with Oman's Hamed Al Wahaibi leading home Italian Giovanni Manfrinato and triple world champion Gustavo Trelles of Uruguay.

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1999 FIA World Rally Championship: Drivers Classification after Rallye Catalunya

Makinen                26
Auriol                23
McRae                20
Sainz                16
Bugalski        10
Kankkunen        7
Burns                5

1999 FIA World Rally Championship: Manufacturers Classification after Rallye Catalunya

Toyota                43
Mitsubishi        32
Ford                28
Subaru                18
Seat                8

1999 FIA World Rally Championship: Drivers of Production Cars Classification after Rallye Catalunya

Al Wahaibi        26 
Trelles                22
Campos                13
Duez                13 
Puhakka                13 

1999 FIA World Rally Championship: 2L World Cup for Manufacturers Classification after Rallye Catalunya

Renault         37
Hyundai         26
Volkswagen         16

1999 FIA World Rally Championship: FIA Teams Cup Classification after Rallye Catalunya

Valencia Terra Mar(E)                 20
Toyota Mobil Team Turkey (TR)         16
F. Dor Rally Team (F)                 14 

----------------------------------------------------------- Full Results

1 BUGALSKI/CHIARONI        Citroën Xsara Kit Car  1/A        4:13:45.6
2 AURIOL/GIRAUDET        Toyota Corolla WRC  2/A                4:14:17.4
3 MAKINEN/MANNISENMAKI        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo  3/A        4:16:06.7
4 LOIX/SMEETS                Mitsubishi Carisma GT  4/A        4:16:21.0
5 BURNS/REID                Subaru Impreza WRC99  5/A        4:17:47.5
6 KANKKUNEN/REPO        Subaru Impreza WRC99  6/A        4:18:32.9
7 THIRY/PREVOT                Subaru Impreza WRC99  7/A        4:18:46.9
8 GOMEZ/JULI*                Renault Maxi Megane  8/A        4:19:34.3
9 CLIMENT/ROMANÖ        Subaru Impreza WRC  9/A                4:20:14.4
10 LIATTI/CASSINA        Seat Cordoba WRC  10/A                4:20:53.0
11 ISIK/BODUR                Toyota Corolla WRC  11/A        4:25:39.5
12 MONZON/DENIZ                Peugeot 306 Maxi  12/A                4:26:52.5
13 BAKHASHAB/PARK        Toyota Corolla WRC  13/A        4:26:58.8
14 ROVANPERA/PIETILAINEN Seat Cordoba WRC  14/A                4:28:49.8
15 GUIXERAS/MERCADER        Citroën Saxo Kit Car  15/A        4:31:05.6
16 AZCONA/NAZABAL        Peugeot 106 Maxi  16/A                4:32:48.2
17 AL WAHAIBI/SIRCOMBE        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 1/N        4:36:18.3
18 MANFRINATO/CONDOTTA        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 2/N        4:36:41.2
19 HOLDERIED/FRANÇOIS         Toyota Corolla WRC  17/A        4:38:45.7
20 TRELLES/CHRISTIE        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 3/N        4:39:21.8
21 ARAI/FREEMAN                Subaru Impreza WRC98  18/A        4:39:39.7
22 GARGULµK/MALCÖ        Mitsu Carisma GT Evo 4/N        4:42:53.3
23 MAGAUD/BRUN                Ford Puma  19/A                        4:43:31.8
24 VERICEL/DUCHER        Citroën Saxo Kit Car  20/A        4:44:13.1
25 VINYES/LORZA                Citroën Saxo Kit Car  21/A        4:45:21.3
26 GUEST/GREEN                Subaru Impreza WRX  5/N                4:46:22.0
27 JONES/BULT                Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V        6/N        4:47:24.4
28 FONTANA/PELLICCIONI        Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V        7/N        4:48:06.4
29 VIDAL/LEMA                Peugeot 106 Rallye        8/N        4:51:38.6
30 FONT/SUREDA                Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V        9/N        4:51:58.4
31 SABAN/OCARIZ                Peugeot 106 Rallye  10/N        4:52:20.5
32 BLAZQUEZ/SANCHEZ        Peugeot 106 Rallye  11/N        4:52:51.5
33 CABO/RODRIGUEZ        Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V  22/A        4:53:23.7
34 SOLIS/ALVAREZ        Peugeot 106 Rallye  12/N        4:54:06.5
35 KANGAS/OVASKAINEN        Subaru Impreza 555  13/N        4:54:33.2
36 ALONSO/PEREZ                Peugeot 106 Rallye  14/N        4:57:41.6
37 COMPTE/ESTAPER        Mitsu Lancer Evo V  15/N        4:58:09.9
38 VALLIN/ESCOLANO        Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V  23/A        4:58:50.3
39 CAÑELLAS/DEL BARRIO        Seat Ibiza 2.0 16 V  24/A        4:59:25.6
40 SOLA/MARTINEZ        Peugeot 106 Rallye  16/N        5:00:30.7
41 SANFILIPPO/MEDINA        Mitsu Carisma Evo IV 17/N        5:00:46.5
42 JUANEDA/GUIRRO        Peugeot 106 Rallye 18/N                5:01:07.0
43 DE MIGUEL/CABEZAS        Peugeot 106 Rallye 19/N                5:01:59.7
44 ROIG/PAZ                Peugeot 106 Rallye 20/N                5:02:17.6
45 PEÑALVA/CASTRO        Peugeot 106 Rallye 21/N                5:03:02.2
46 ENTRECANALES/COBO        Peugeot 106 Rallye 22/N                5:05:23.9
47 SEGURA/MUÑOZ                Peugeot 106 Rallye 23/N                5:06:10.4
48 KAHLFUSS/BAUER        Toyota Celica GT Four  24/N        5:07:53.9
49 GERPE/OMS                Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V 25/A                5:08:26.3
50 VIDAL/ROIG                Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V 26/A                5:09:41.4
51 FREIRE/VEIGA                Toyota Celica Gt Four  25/N        5:15:22.1
52 NICOLAS/PUIG                Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V 27/A                5:19:14.6
53 PRESSWELL/SAUNDERS        Vauxhall Astra GSI 28/A                5:27:47.5
54 DARNE/DARNE                Peugeot 106 Rallye 26/N                5:32:46.2
55 DIEGO/CABALLERO        Seat Ibiza 2.0 16V 29/A                5:35:37.6
56 HENDERSON/HOPEWELL        Citroën Saxo 27/N                5:54:45.2

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

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Carlos Sainz , Freddy Loix , Richard Burns , Harri Rovanpera , Didier Auriol , Philippe Bugalski , Juha Kankkunen , Gustavo Trelles , Piero Liatti , Giovanni Manfrinato
Teams Citroën World Rally Team