WRC

Rallye De Portugal: End of Leg 1

1999 Rally De Portugal Official Site: http://www.tap-rallyedeportugal.pt Round 4 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 20-24 March Colin McRae/Ford Martini lead the Rallye De Portugal by 49 seconds at the end of the Leg 1. Colin pushed...

1999 Rally De Portugal Official Site: http://www.tap-rallyedeportugal.pt Round 4 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 20-24 March

Colin McRae/Ford Martini lead the Rallye De Portugal by 49 seconds at the end of the Leg 1. Colin pushed very hard on the first two stages this morning and then controlled things from the front.

McRae: "It's been a superb day for me and the Ford Martini team. After our pre-rally tests we knew the Ford Focus would be quick on this type of surface but I'm surprised just how quick it's been today. I don't think running first through tomorrow's stages will be a problem because the roads are not too dusty and loose," he said.

2nd is Richard Burns in the Subaru Impreza how is in a close battle with Sainz. "I hope I'm demonstrating a good tactical approach. I think I could find more time today, but it is probably too early to take big risks, so I am saving something for tomorrow"

Both the Toyota's are only seconds behind Burns - Sainz: "The Corolla has been running well, but Colin (McRae) is really flying. To win in Portugal you have to be quick everywhere and have a car that is good in all the conditions - it has been quite rough in places so maybe that has been better for Colin. We bent a left rear wheel hub in stage 6, but the conditions have been cleaner and faster second time through the stages this afternoon. Everything is fine and we are in a good position to attack, but we are further behind Colin than I would have liked."

Tommi Makinen is well down in 9th position due to differential problems. "It has not been such a good day for us, but the car felt better on the last few stages and I am sure it will be good tomorrow. There is a long way to go yet," Makinen commented.

But stand in team mate Marcus Gronholm has driven superbly all day despite this being only his first event in the car. "It's quite OK. The car is so easy to drive and you do not need to spend much time learning it. We have had no problems apart from sliding a bit wide on one corner of stage six," Gronholm said.

The Seats had a battle between themselves with Rovanpera maintaining the edge over Liatti to finished in 8th and 9th respectively. No major problems for the Seats.

Skoda's Armin Schwarz and Emil Triner are both out after clutch problems led to retirement, Schwarz on the startline of the final stage and Triner before the start of that last test. Schwarz was running approximatley 12th when he retired.

Formula 2

The Hyundai World Rally Team ended the first full day of the 1999 Tap-Rallye de Portugal in a dominant position, with Alister McRae leading Formula 2 by 18.6 seconds from his team-mate Kenneth Eriksson. Eriksson: "Alister's in front of me but a Hyundai one/two is an excellent place to be. I'm really pleased with the way the car's going and it's looking promising for tomorrow."

Elsewhere in Formula 2, an early challenge from Adruzilio Lopes diminished as the Portuguese national champion suffered several problems, including suspension failure and ended the day outside the top five. Tapio Laukannen retired with suspension failure while the Seats of Gardemeister and Canellas also retired with transmission and engine failure respectively.

Group N Mitsubishi drivers have waged a thrilling battle for the Group N production class, which is traditionally dominated by Lancer Evolutions and Carisma GTs. Portuguese driver Miguel Campos leads Jouko Puhakka by nearly one minute. With Gustavo Trelles in third Mitsubishi hold the top three place.

Teams Cup

Having dominated the FIA Teams Cup so far this season, the Allstars team today suffered two leading retirements. Both Krzysztof Holowczyc and Toshihiro Arai retired after sustaining accidents on SS3, the Ponte De Lima stage. This passes the Teams Cup lead to the French Subaru driver, Freddy Dor, who lies in 30th position overnight

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Unofficial results at the end of Leg 1:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        1:49:45,0
2 Burns                Subaru Impreza                1:50:34,2
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                1:50:35,1
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                1:50:39,5
5 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                1:50:58,5
6 Kankkunen                Subaru Impreza                1:50:25,6
7 Rovanpera                Seat WRC                        1:51:40,9
8 Liatti                Seat WRC                        1:51:43,4
9 Makinen                Mit Lancer Evo VI                1:51:46,1
10 Thiry                Subaru Impreza                1:52:17,5

Group N:

1 Campos                Mit Carisma                        1:56:36,9
2 Puhakka                Mit Lancer Evo IV                1:57:33,0
3 Trellles                Mit Lancer Evo V                1:57:45,4        

Formula 2:

1 A.McRae                Hyundai Coupe Evo II        1:57:23,6
2 Eriksson                Hyundai Coupe Evo II        1:57:42,2
3 Carlos                Renault Megane Maxi        1:58:12,7

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CS 2, Ponte de Lima Este 23.64 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        15:38,2        
2 Burns                Subaru Impreza                15:51,0
3 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                15:56,5
4 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                15:58,8
5 Kankkunen                Subaru Impreza                16:01,6

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CS 3, Ponte de Lima Oeste 25.84 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        18:39,2
2 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                18:52,4
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                18:58,2
4 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                18:59,8
5 Burns                Subaru Impreza                18:59,8

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CS 4, Fafe / Lameirinha 1 15.20 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                10:06,5
2 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                10:10,3
3 McRae                Ford Focus                        10:11,3
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                10:12,8
5 Burns                Subaru Impreza                10:13,0

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CS 5, Fafe / Luilhas 1 10.55 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        7:51,7
1Burns                Subaru Impreza                7:51,7
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                7:52,6
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                7:53,6
5 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                7:54,5

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CS 6, Cabreira 1 27.60 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        18:11,1
2 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                18:15,6
3 Burns                Subaru Impreza                18:18,3
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                18:23,1
5 Liatti                Seat WRC                        18:24,6

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CS 7, Fafe / Lameirinha 2 15.20 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                10:03,5
2 Burns                Subaru Impreza                10:04,2
3 McRae                Ford Focus                        10:05,0
4 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                10:06,0
5 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                10:07,0

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CS 8, Fafe / Luilhas 2 10.55 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Burns                Subaru Impreza                7:45,9
2 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                7:46,7
3 Sainz                Toyota Corolla                7:48,8
4 Gronholm                Mit Carisma GT                7:48,9
5 Thiry                Subaru Impreza                7:51,2

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CS 9, Cabreira 2 27.60 Km

Notes:

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 McRae                Ford Focus                        18:03,9
2 Makinen                Mit Lancer Evo VI                18:09,9
3 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                18:10,9
4 Burns                Subaru Impreza                18:13,5
5 Kankkunen                Subaru Impreza                18:14,8

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Miguel Campos , Colin McRae , Toshihiro Arai , Richard Burns , Marcus Gronholm , Alister McRae , Armin Schwarz , Kenneth Eriksson , Gustavo Trelles , Krzysztof Holowczyc
Teams Hyundai Motorsport