WRC

Swedish Rally - Team Reports and Standings

The International Swedish Rally 1999 Official Site: http://www.swerally.se Round 2 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 12-14 February 1999 ----------------------------------------------------------- Mitsubishi Marlboro Mitsubishi ...

The International Swedish Rally 1999 Official Site: http://www.swerally.se Round 2 of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship 12-14 February 1999

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Mitsubishi

Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart has won the Swedish Rally, the second round of the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship. Tommi Makinen’s victory has given Mitsubishi its sixth World Rally victory in a row – a remarkable achievement in global motorsport. With two wins out of two Makinen has made the perfect start to his title defence.

"It was harder than last year – I feel quite tired. It was just flat out all the time. Although I had a good lead, I had to keep concentrating today. The car has been excellent, with not one problem at all. I am very pleased to give Mitsubishi its sixth victory. Maybe we can take some more but winning is never easy," said Makinen.

"Tommi has been superb. His car control is second to none in difficult conditions and his ability to judge a rally is excellent. It’s all down to a good car and a good team. Freddy has done exactly what we wanted and gained useful experience in these conditions," said Marlboro Mitsubishi team manager Phil Short.

In Group N, rising Finnish star Jouko Puhakka held off Swedish hero and fellow Mitsubishi driver Stig-Olov Walfridsson to score a conclusive victory in the category with his Carisma GT. Mitsubishi dominated the top eleven places in this competitive production car category.

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Toyota

With everything to play for on the final stages of the Swedish Rally, the Toyota Castrol Team drivers fought to the last kilometre of this 384 competitive kilometre event. Carlos Sainz and co-driver Luis Moya finished a superb second overall in the Toyota Corolla WRC – the fourth consecutive year the Spaniards have adorned the podium in this position. Team-mates Didier Auriol and Denis Giraudet however provided the excitement of the day, narrowing the gap on Radstrom to so nearly take third position. Finishing fourth, an agonisingly close 2.5 seconds behind, the French pair nevertheless recorded their highest-ever finish in Sweden after a highly competitive outing.

"Second is a very good result for us, although I had my sights set on victory and that would have been fantastic for us," said Carlos. "We had no problems at all today and were pushing as hard as we could, but it seems that the Scandinavians are determined to hold on to their unbeaten record."

Auriol: "We kept the pressure up and attacked Thomas (Radstrom) all day - I could not have driven any faster, we tried very very hard. There was no way we were going to throw away fourth position, but we had a chance to fight for third so although we took some risks we did not do anything silly. The last couple of stages were very fast and tricky in places and I said to my gravel crew to check everywhere where we could cut, cut, cut. If I went back through the last stage now, I don’t think I would believe where I put the wheels! They did a fantastic job for us. We just did as much as we could and with another couple of kilometres we would have done it.

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Ford

The new Ford Focus World Rally Car scored its first podium finish on only its second rally when Thomas Rådström and co-driver Fred Gallagher finished a superb third on the Swedish Rally which ended in Karlstad this afternoon.

The Ford Martini team gave Rådström every assistance to hold off former world champion Auriol by removing the jack, spare wheel, tool kit and even the drinks bottles from the Ford Focus before the final test in a bid to make the car as light as possible.

I was quite nervous before the start of the final stage but I decided I had to drive harder than I had on any other stage because I knew Didier would, said Rådström. The car was right on the limit throughout the stage and has been a pleasure to drive all rally. Our Michelin tyres have been ideal for the conditions and I just feel fantastic.

Delighted team director Malcolm Wilson was full of praise for Rådströms performance. Its hard to believe that this was his first rally in a Ford Focus. Hes driven superbly and looking at the commitment on his face when he left the service park for the final stage I just knew there was no way he was going to allow Didier to beat him.

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Subaru

Despite unseasonally mild weather affecting the tyre performance of the Subaru World Rally Team over the duration of the 48th International Swedish Rally, the partnership of Finn Juha Kankkunen and Britain’s Richard Burns employed shrewd tactics to secure valuable championship points here, as the team now looks forward to the challenge of the Safari Rally at the end of this month. "I have competed and won in Sweden before. However, to be a good tactical driver, I accept that I cannot win every battle, and it is more important to drive wisely to win the war," said a philosophical Juha Kankkunen on his return to Karlstad this afternoon. "Now the plan is to look forward to a strong campaign in Africa," concluded the Finn

Burns: "There were places where I was absolutely flat out, and for me personally it is a substantial achievement to stay ahead of Juha - albeit only just - on only my second visit here"

Bruno Thiry was also pleased to have gained experience of the event itself, and has made substantial improvements on his competitiveness here since last year. "Plenty of practice is the only way to ever win this specialist event, so I’m learning and improving every time I compete here," he said.

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Seat Sport:

Ever since the fuel contamination problems on Leg 1 - which cost Rovanperä nine minutes and caused the retirement of team-mate Marcus Grönholm - SEAT Sport has used the event wisely to continue to test and develop its SEAT WRC.

Rovanperä said: "We were disappointed to lose so much time on the opening two stages, but since then we have been very fast and competitive. Contesting this year's Swedish Rally was a good experience for me, and we have learnt a lot about the SEAT WRC on its first snow rally. I am very confident with the car and this has enabled me to drive very fast. Between stage two and the end of the rally we have moved up 71 places, which is incredible!"

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Hyundai

The Hyundai Motor Sport Formula 2 World Rally Team left Sweden tonight in buoyant mood, in spite of the retirement of both its drivers. Three-time outright winner of the event, Kenneth Eriksson, who was leading the Formula 2 category, was forced to retire on the final stage with engine failure. His team-mate, Alister McRae retired on day two following a minor fire, which incapacitated his car.

Kenneth entered the final stage with a lead of over 30 seconds in class and a distance of just 22.5 kilometres between him and a well-deserved maiden victory for the Hyundai Motor Sport team. However, 1.5 kilometres into the Mangstorp stage, the engine failed, causing the car to stop and the crew to retire. The exact cause for this failure will not become clear until the engine is examined on its return to the UK.

However, Kenneth was reticent about the day's dramas: "The performance was definitely there, what happened was very unfortunate. Looking forward to Portugal, we know that we can be in a position to win."

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1999 FIA World Rally Championship: Manufacturers Classification after the International Rally of Sweden

Mitsubishi        20
Toyota                13
Subaru                10
Seat                5
Ford                4

1999 FIA World Rally Championship: Drivers Classification after the International Rally of Sweden

Makinen                20
Auriol                7
Kankkunen        7
Sainz                6
Radstrom        4
Delecour        3
Burns                2
Thiry                2
Liatti                1

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Full Unofficial Results List

1 MÄKINEN          Mitsubishi FIN          A8  3:29:15.6
2 SAINZ          Toyota  E                  A8  3:29:33.7
3 RÅDSTRÖM          Ford  S                  A8  3:29:53.4
4 AURIOL          Toyota  F                  A8  3:29:55.9
5 BURNS          Subaru  GB                  A8  3:35:04.9
6 KANKKUNEN          Subaru  FIN                  A8  3:35:10.0
7 HAGSTRÖM          Toyota  FIN                A8  3:37:39.6
8 MÄRTIN          Ford  EE                A8  3:38:57.6
9 LOIX          Mitsubishi  B                  A8  3:39:21,8
10 THIRY          Subaru  B                A8  3:39:48.9
11 SOLBERG          Ford  N                        A8  3:40:02.4
12 KRUSE         Toyota  S                A8  3:42:28.1
13 PUHAKKA          Mitsubishi  FIN                N4  3:44:48.5
14 WALFRIDSSON  Mitsubishi  S                N4  3:44:59.9
15 HOLOWCZYC          Subaru  PL                A8  3:45:13.7
16 ROVANPERÄ          SEAT  FIN                A8  3:46:35.9
17 PAASONEN          Mitsubishi  FIN                N4  3:46:58.7
18 STOHL          Mitsubishi  A                N4  3:49:07.4
19 KARLSSON          Mitsubishi  S                N4  3:49:33.8
20 TRELLES          Mitsubishi  ROU                N4  3:50:01.5
21 SVAN          Opel  S                        A7  3:50:10.8
22 JOKI          Volkswagen  S                A7  3:51:20.1
23 GALLI          Mitsubishi  I                N4  3:51:35.3
24 NILSSON          Opel  S                        A7  3:52:10.0
25 CLIMENT          Mitsubishi  E                N4  3:53:15.8
26 AL WAHAIBI          Mitsubishi  OM                N4  3:53:51.5
27 VIITA          Ford  FIN                A8  3:55:45.0
28 CARLSSON          SEAT  S                        A7  3:57:26.2
29 ROSENBERGER  Mitsubishi  A                N4  3:59:23.5
30 EKSTRÖM          Mitsubishi  S                N4  4:03:29.3
31 BLOMQUIST          Peugeot  S                N3  4:04:31.0
32 RICHARDT          Mitsubishi  DK                N4  4:05:20.3
33 GARDEMEISTER SEAT  FIN                A7  4:05:33.0
34 ERIKSSON          Volkswagen   S                A7  4:05:48.1
35 ELJAS          Toyota  S                A8  4:12:01.1
36 JONSSON          SEAT  S                        N3  4:14:19.8
37 ANDERSSON          Opel  S                        A6  4:14:43.2
38 TRONRUD          Mitsubishi  N                N4  4:15:35.3
39 LINDROOS          Opel  FIN                N3  4:17:05.1
40 CARLSSON          Opel  S                        N3  4:19:16.6
41 COLSOUL          Mitsubishi  B                N4  4:21:51.9
42 ROMAN          Mitsubishi  S                N4  4:22:05.1
43 LINDBLOM          Citroen  S                N1  4:22:09.6
44 CAILLET          Peugeot  F                N3  4:23:51.0
45 MARTY         Peugeot  F                N2  4:23:55.4
46 CANELLAS PUJALS  SEAT  E                A7  4:24:07.6
47 KOBAYASHI          Mitsubishi  J                N4  4:31:16.1
48 ARONSSON          Opel S                        N3  4:31:39.3
49 OLOFSSON          Suzuki  S                N1  4:32:04.1
50 STORM          Citroen  S                N1  4:32:28.0
51 WÄNN          Suzuki  S                N1  4:32:34.5
52 JOHANSSON          Opel  S                        N3  4:34:00.0
53 WALTHER          Mazda  D                N4  4:34:27.1
54 BARRATT          Mitsubishi  GB                N4  4:34:41.1
55 JONSSON          Suzuki  S                N1  4:35:27.4
56 PATRUCCO          Honda  I                N3  4:37:33.5
57 GLEIZES          Citroen  F                N1  4:40:27.4
58 FLORÉN          Volkswagen  S                N3  4:41:40.3
59 SALMÉN          Mercedes  FIN                A8  4:42:40.7
60 DUTERTE          Peugeot  F                N1  4:46:09.3
61 MAYR          Suzuki  D                N1  4:52:38.1
62 SELLBERG          Suzuki                        N1  5:03:53.4
63 HERMANSSON          Renault  S                N3  5:14:55.3
64 BRUNKEN          Ford  D                        A8  5:16:28.2

From: "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 , Marcus Gronholm , Alister McRae , Thomas Radstrom , Juha Kankkunen , Kenneth Eriksson , Luis Moya , Denis Giraudet , Malcolm Wilson
Teams Citroën World Rally Team