WRC

Safari Rally: End of Leg 2

1999 Safari Rally Kenya Official Site: http://www.safarirally.co.ke Unofficial Site: http://www.thesafarirally.com/ Round 3 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 25-28 February 1999 Results at the end of Leg 2 Today's action saw four fast...

1999 Safari Rally Kenya Official Site: http://www.safarirally.co.ke Unofficial Site: http://www.thesafarirally.com/ Round 3 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 25-28 February 1999

Results at the end of Leg 2

Today's action saw four fast and brutally rough sections up and down the walls of the Great Rift Valley and was run in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Dramas of all sorts for everybody but it is Colin McRae in the Ford Focus who will lead into tomorrow's final stages. The sections have been extremely rough causing a lot of punctures and mechanical problems. Also there has been no wind, so that drivers are driving in thick dust, making catching and overtaking difficult. As an indication of just how bad these roads are, CS 6 is called "The road to hell"!

McRae has yet to win a section, but has a commanding 15 minute lead over Tommi Makinen. His only problems today were two punctures and a spin. "We took a big gamble with our tyre selection on the final section," said McRae. "We used tyres fitted with Michelin's puncture resistant mousse, despite worries that it would be too hot for the mousse. Even though we lost time with a puncture, I think it was the right choice and I'm sure we would have had more punctures if it hadn't been for the mousse tyres. We just had to drive carefully so as not to overheat them". Fellow Ford driver Petter Solberg maintained 7th position.

Richard Burns retired after a front suspension bolt snapped. Burns and co-driver Reid worked furiously for almost an hour in the section, rebuilding the suspension with parts borrowed from elsewhere on the Impreza with instruction from the team’s airborne management. It was to no avail and they retired. "I know I had the car, the notes, the tyres and the capability to win here. I have driven well within myself all rally, and it was down to the others to take the chances. But whatever your battleplan, you always need a little luck" said Burns

Makinen set the pace today despite catching the dust of several cars and having some minor technical problems including a broken driveshaft which caused excessive tyre wear. His spotter helicopter also got lost on one section!

Sainz had a disasterous day. On the first section, he had two simultaneous punctures forcing him to stop and change them and then a third meaning that he had to complete with stage with a left rear puncture. Then on the 2nd last section, a smashed rim detroyed a shock absorber and he drove for 60km with the damage. The bonnet also came loose on CS 6, smashing the windscreen.

Auriol: "I cannot believe it - three punctures despite driving to avoid everything in the road! It was so rough, just impossible. There is everything still to fight for, but we won’t be risking anything"

Duncan had a good day but lost time when he caught Piero Liatti and suffered slight handling problems when the suspension went soft in CS8.

The Seats again had a lot of problems today. Liatti drove for 80kms with no brakes broke a shock aborber and had a puncture. Rovanpera had power steering failure, intermittent brake failure, overheating problems and several punctures!

Group N leader, Al-Wahaibi: "I really pushed yesterday, but now I am taking it carefully and I’m planning to cruise to the finish. This is a hard rally for any car, even a Mitsubishi!"

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Unofficial results at end of Leg 2:

1 McRae                        Ford Focus                6:18:45,5
2 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI                6:33:31,9
3 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                6:37:54,5
4 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla                6:42:20,7
5 Liatti                Seat WRC                6:45:15,6
6 Duncan                Toyota Corolla                6:46:14,3
7 Solberg                Ford Focus                6:56:23,9
8 Dor                        Suabru Impreza                 7:07:55,3
9 Rovanpera                Seat WRC                7:12:55,8
10 Al-Wahaibi                Mit. Carisma GT                7:32:18,5

Group N:

1 Al-Wahaibi                Mit. Carisma GT                7:32:18,5
2 Climent                Mit. Lancer                7:34:07,4
3 Miyoshi                Subaru Impreza                7:54:56,4

Formula 2:

1 Kimhati Hyundai Coupe 9:49:27,8

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Competitive Section Winners:

CS 6  Richard Burns, Subaru Impreza
CS 7  Didier Auriol, Toyota Corolla
CS 8  Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI
CS 9  Carlos Sainz, Toyota Corolla

Overall Section Winners: Burns - 3, Sainz - 2, Makinen - 2, Kankkunen - 1

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CS 6, Marigat - Gari Ya Moshi 129,11 km

Notes: This particular section runs over bits of the infamous "road to hell". The climb up the escarpment is rocky and rutty with ditches and wasaways not in short supply. Naturally, the climb is noted for its degree of difficulty with dips and blind hazard adding to the challenge.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Burns                        Subaru Impreza                42:56,2
2 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI                43:03,1
3 McRae                        Ford Focus                43:20,9
4 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                43:25,4
5 Liatti                Seat WRC                44:21,7

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CS 7, Elmenteita - Olenguruone 89,13 km

Notes: A real drivers section through smooth, twisty, relatively narrow road. The famous 21 hairpins of the Flourspan descent is a real highlight. At the 60 K mark, there is a scenic point where the road narrows through a gorge to a ridge with steep drops on either side. The local inhabitants call it "Gods Bridge".

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                56:15,9
2 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla                56:26,9
3 McRae                        Ford Focus                57:19,3
4 Rovanpera                Seat WRC                57:22,7
5 Duncan                Toyota Corolla                57:29,2

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CS 8, Nyaru - Eldarama Ravine 87,59 km

Notes: The opening bit of this section is fairly smooth. It then starts to get bumpy and rough as one approaches Elementeita. Then it's through private farmland all the way to Mbaruk.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI                41:03,0
2 McRae                        Ford Focus                41:43,6
3 Auriol                Toyota Corolla                43:27,4
4 Duncan                Toyota Corolla                44:17,1
5 Rovanpera                Seat WRC                44:38,8

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CS 9, Morendat - Mbaruk 81,40 km

Notes: Very fast over loose rocks in unbearable temperatures initially. There a number of drifts and bare river crossing all the way to the junction at Kisanaana. It gets smoother and relatively twistier over very scenic backdrops as one approaches the end of the competitive section.

Stage Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Stage Time:

1 Sainz                        Toyota Corolla                1:01:03,9
2 Makinen                Mit. Lancer VI                1:03:48,4
3 Liatti                Seat WRC                1:04:15,9
4 McRae                        Ford Focus                1:04:19,3
5 Duncan                Toyota Corolla                1:04:52,9
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"Cynan 'Dusty' Rhodes" <cynan@harvestroad.com.au>

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen , Carlos Sainz , Richard Burns , Didier Auriol , Petter Solberg , Piero Liatti