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Old 03-10-2002, 20:49   #1 (permalink)
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Rally of France: Panizzi wins! C.McRae crashes out on penultimate stage!!

Rallye de France - 46th Inmarsat Tour de Corse
http://www.rallyedefrance.com/
Round 3 of the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship
8-10th March 2002


- Unofficial Final Results
- Championship Points
- Stage Winners
- Leading Retirements
- FIA Press Release
- Subscription Details

__________________________________________________________________

OUTRIGHT

1 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 3:54:40,3
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:55:20,8
3 Burns Peugeot 206 WRC 3:55:32,7
4 Bugalski Citroen Xsara WRC 3:56:42,5
5 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 3:57:08,5
6 Sainz Ford Focus WRC 3:57:13,1
7 Delecour Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 3:59:48,1
8 Martin Ford Focus WRC 4:00:00,3
9 Loix Hyundai Accent WRC 4:00:54,1
10 A.McRae Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 4:01:12,8


GROUP N

1 Ferreyros Mitsubishi Lancer Ev7 4:17:24,9
2 Iliev Mitsubishi Lancer Ev7 4:20:36,8
3 Santoni Mitsubishi Lancer Ev7 4:21:06,2
4 Rowe Mitsubishi Lancer Ev6 4:24:48,3
5 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer Ev7 4:26:35,6

__________________________________________________________________

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers:
Grönholm (FIN) 18
Mäkinen (FIN) 10
Panizzi (F) 10
Sainz (E) 9
Burns (GB) 7
Loeb (F) 6
Rovanperä (FIN) 6
C.McRae (GB) 4
Others

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Peugeot 36
Ford 20
Subaru 16
Mitsubishi 5
Hyundai 1
Skoda 0

FIA Junior World Rally Championship (after 1 of 6 rounds):
Duval (B) 10
Caldani (I) 6
Feghali (RL) 4
Carlsson (S) 3
Doppelreiter (A) 2
Schelle (D) 1

FIA Cup for Drivers of Production Cars (after 2 of 8 rounds):
Sohlberg (FIN) 10
Ferreyros (PE) 10
Arai (J) 6
Iliev (BL) 6
Rowe (GB) 5
Others
__________________________________________________________________

STAGE WINNERS

Panizzi 1,2,3,4,7,8,11,12
Solberg 6, 10
Grönholm 5, 15
Burns 9,14
C.McRae 13
Bugalski 16

__________________________________________________________________

LEADING RETIREMENTS

SS15 - C.McRae Ford Focus WRC Accident
SS14 - Eriksson Skoda Octavia WRC Accident
SS14 - Duval Ford Focus WRC Accident
SS10 - Makinen Subaru Impreza WRC Accident
SS3 - Sohlerg Mitsubishi Carisma GT Accident
SS2 - Kuchar Hyundai Accent WRC Mechanical

__________________________________________________________________

Extract from Official FIA Press Release
http://www.fia.com

Sunday, 10th March 2002

Peugeot's Gilles Panizzi has claimed the fourth world championship
rally win of his career on the Tour de Corse, the third round of the
FIA World Rally Championship, which finished in Corsica today. The
Frenchman and his navigator, brother Hervé, finished more than 40
seconds clear of team-mates Marcus Gronholm/Timo Rautiainen as their
Peugeot team celebrated a one-two-three result. Reigning world champion
Richard Burns and navigator Robert Reid completed the formation finish.

Today's final four stages were held on predominantly dry conditions
in contrast to the rain and mist of yesterday. But there was still
plenty of late drama on the mountain roads east of Ajaccio. Philippe
Bugalski claimed fourth overall in his privately-entered Citroen,
but only after Ford's Colin McRae crashed heavily in the penultimate
stage. The 1995 world champion was taken to hospital suffering from
concussion and a suspected broken finger on a bad afternoon for
Ford - Carlos Sainz lost out to a charging Petter Solberg in the
closing stages too.


PEUGEOT

Technical: All three 206 WRCs continued to suffer from brake fade
today, but that aside, the cars of Gilles Panizzi, Marcus Grönholm
and Richard Burns ran without major mechanical problems.

Sporting: Gilles Panizzi consolidated his overnight lead on this
morning's opening stages to stifle any possibility of a late charge
from either of his team-mates. But then Colin McRae's penultimate
stage accident forced the Frenchman to accept a 'notional' time, given
by the event stewards. He used Peugeot's split time boards in the
last test to make sure that even if he was given the slowest time
possible, he'd still finish ahead of Marcus Grönholm and claim his
fourth world championship rally win. He had more than 40 seconds in
hand at the finish. Grönholm was more concerned with the progress of
Richard Burns, since a slightly softer tyre had given the Englishman
enough extra speed to narrow the gap between the pair in this morning's
stages. But on the return visit to the tests this afternoon, Grönholm
fought back by setting fastest time in the day's penultimate test.
He eventually finished second, around 12 seconds clear of the reigning
world champion.

Quotes: Gilles Panizzi said: "I'm really happy. This is the best
victory of my career because we've led right from the start and we've
been quick in wet and dry conditions. Apart from the small brake
problem we've had such a good set-up that I've been able to attack
everywhere. I can't wait for Catalunya now!"

Marcus Grönholm said: "The main aim for me today was to make sure
that I got second, because it's very useful for my world championship
situation. But it's an amazing rally for Peugeot - to get the top
three positions like this is a great result."

Richard Burns said: "It would have been nice to have been challenging
Marcus but with the brake problem I wasn't really able to be consistently
quick. It's my first podium finish for Peugeot, though, so I'm
relatively pleased."


SUBARU

Technical: The sole remaining Impreza WRC2002 of Petter Solberg has
been reliable today.

Sporting: Petter Solberg's hopes of charging clear of Colin McRae
and Carlos Sainz appeared to have taken a knock this morning - the
young Norwegian chose too soft a tyre for the opening pair of stages
and he entered the repeat run in seventh. But third fastest time in
the penultimate stage and then fifth fastest in the last test were
enough to haul him clear of Sainz and with McRae crashing out in SS15,
Solberg thus finished fifth to claim four manufacturers' points for
Subaru.

Quotes: Petter Solberg said: "I lost some time this morning because
I played safe and went for a wet set-up for the opening two stages.
The car was fine but I also think I went a little too soft on tyre
choice and I had to think about it over both stages. If you look back
at some of the problems we've had - the punctures yesterday, my spin
on Friday - then we clearly lost about a couple of minutes, which
could have had us right up fighting for podium places. I'm really
encouraged by how the rally's gone for us - we've made big improvements
over last year and the new Impreza has been very reliable for its
first event."


FORD

Technical: The Focus RS WRC02s of Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz and
Markko Martin have been reliable today.

Sporting: Colin McRae expected to struggle against the Xsara WRC of
Philippe Bugalski in this morning's predominantly dry conditions,
but the Scot moved ahead over the first pair of stages to start the
final two tests in fourth overall. But five kilometres into SS15, he
was caught out by mud on the entry to a third-gear right-hand bend
and slid sideways into a tree. A dazed McRae remained in the car for
some time after the accident, before he was airlifted to hospital
suffering from concussion and a suspected broken finger on his left
hand. Navigator Nicky Grist escaped with just a sore head. Carlos Sainz,
meanwhile, lost out to Petter Solberg in this afternoon's final two
stages - the Spaniard tried everything to keep the young Norwegian at
bay but ultimately he had to settle for sixth and three manufacturers'
points. The third Focus driver, Markko Martin, has suffered badly from
'flu today but the Estonian still managed to overhaul Armin Schwarz
and finish eighth, scoring a manufacturers' point for Ford. Young
Belgian François Duval started today's stages in 10th overall but in
SS14, a tyre exploded and he slid off the road.

Quotes: Carlos Sainz said: "It was a tough fight this afternoon. We
have to find out why our package is not so good in the dry as it is
in the wet - I think the driver can make a bigger difference in the
wet but there must be something else. I had quite a big moment at the
same corner as Colin's accident - it was slippery and I slid very wide
but I got away with it."

Nicky Grist said: "It was a third-gear left-hand bend followed
immediately by a right, and I think some mud had been pulled out into
the road. When we tried to go for the right-hander there was clearly
still some mud on our tyres and the car just understeered to the
outside of the bend. There was a tree there and it hit the left-hand
side of the car pretty hard."


MITSUBISHI

Technical: François Delecour's Lancer Evo WRC has been reliable today,
but Alister McRae has continued to struggle with overheating brakes
in his car. He also lost time with an ATS mousse insert break-up in
the final stage. Both drivers believe the Lancer needs more work to
fine-tune handling on the bumpier roads.

Sporting: François Delecour started the closing four stages with little
to gain, but he had to fend off Armin Schwarz if he wanted to make
eighth place - and a manufacturers' point - his own. He effectively
achieved that in the first two stages by extending his advantage over
the German to more than half a minute; then Colin McRae's retirement
promoted him to seventh and two manufacturers' points. Alister McRae
continued to struggle with brake problems today and he lost out to
Freddy Loix in the closing stages. The Scot eventually finished 10th.

Quotes: François Delecour said: "Today we found that a slightly softer
construction of tyres actually helps our car, because it allows us to
keep better contact with the road on the bumpier sections. We still
have to find a lot more speed but it's encouraging that we've found
an improvement. I'm happy to get a finish in the top ten, though, and
to get manufacturers' points for Mitsubishi."

Alister McRae said: "We've still had problems with the brakes today.
Although we haven't had as much fade as we did on Friday, I've been
modifying my own driving style to try to make things better. But at
the end of fast sections when you really need stopping power, I can
feel that the brakes aren't quite as strong as I'd like. Obviously
we've got a lot of work to do before Catalunya to keep improving our
performance."


HYUNDAI

Technical: Freddy Loix felt that his Accent WRC3 was handling badly
under braking on this morning's opening stage. Armin Schwarz suffered
excessive right-front tyre wear on both SS13 and SS14, meanwhile. He
then had to complete the last 31.79km stage with no power steering
after it failed just before the start.

Sporting: Armin Schwarz started today's final four stages with hopes
of catching François Delecour but instead, an overheating right-front
tyre blistered and cost him time on this morning's first two tests.
The German tried to find a solution to the problem (it had already
occurred earlier in the event) but he'd already lost too much time to
Delecour. Then power steering failure for the last stage cost him
chunks of time, dropping the former European Champion to 13th at the
finish. Freddy Loix lost confidence in his Accent under braking this
morning, but the Belgian concentrated on finding a good dry weather
set-up for the car

Quotes: Freddy Loix said: "It was strange this morning. The car felt
quite unstable under braking from virtually the first corner of the
first stage. It's easier to set good times with the car in the wet
than it is in the dry. It's a shame that we haven't finished in the
points with the car on its debut but we've still got a lot to learn
about setting it up. I'm hopeful that things will be better in Catalunya."

Armin Schwarz said: "The power steering failed just before the last
stage and it was very, very hard work. Of course I'm disappointed to
lose so much time near the finish because up to that point, the car
had been pretty reliable on its debut. We've still got a lot to learn
but I'm pleased at some of the progress that we've made here. Hopefully
we can make further improvements to the set-up before Catalunya."


SKODA

Technical: Kenneth Eriksson had to retire his Octavia WRC from the
event on today's second stage with gearbox failure. Toni Gardemeister
suspected that his differentials weren't working perfectly but that
aside, his and Roman Kresta's Octavias ran without major problems.

Sporting: Neither Toni Gardemeister or Roman Kresta had much chance
of breaking into the top ten today, so both consolidated their positions
and tried to find better set-ups instead. Gardemeister eventually
finished 12th, with Kresta more than seven minutes further back in
14th. Kenneth Eriksson retired his Octavia this morning with gearbox
failure.

Quotes: Toni Gardemeister said: "It's been a difficult event. We've
had a few problems but also it's been hard to get a good set-up for
the sort of mixed conditions that you get here in Corsica. We've
learnt some things about the suspension and the differentials and
hopefully we can build on that."

Roman Kresta said: "I'm just glad to get a finish here. This is my
first time in Corsica and I've had to learn how the car behaves on
the roads here, and try to guess what settings to take in the changing
weather. It's been good experience for me."


OTHER ENTRIES

Philippe Bugalski continued to experiment with his privately-run
Xsara WRC today, as the double Corsica winner tried to find a
satisfactory dry-weather set-up in preparation for the Catalunya Rally.
He lost confidence in the car's handling this morning and dropped
behind Colin McRae into fifth, but a change of settings brought
improved performance over the last pair of stages and fastest time
in the closing test - plus McRae's retirement - brought him fourth
overall at the finish.

In the Group N category for more standard vehicles, Peru's Ramon
Ferreyros was a comfortable class winner in his Mitsubishi Lancer
Evo 7. He finished more than three minutes clear of the similar car
of Dimitar Iliev, with Jean-Marie Santoni third in another E7 Lancer.
The Frenchman was not registered for the Production Car World
Championship, though, so fourth-placed Martin Rowe (driving an older
Evo 6 model Mitsubishi) claimed third-placed points in the series.
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Old 03-10-2002, 21:29   #2 (permalink)
 
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Bit of a shame that. Those pugs have got their act together
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