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Old 04-21-2002, 18:00   #1 (permalink)
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[WRC] Cyprus Rally: Final report.

Cyprus Rally 2002
http://www.cyprusrally.org.cy/
Round 5 of the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship
19-21 April 2002

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

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__________________________________________________________________


UNOFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS

OUTRIGHT

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 4:21:25,7
2 Burns Peugeot 206 WRC 4:22:22,5
3 Makinen Subaru Impreza WRC 4:22:24,7
4 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC 4:22:44,4
5 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 4:23:43,6
6 McRae Ford Focus WRC 4:24:11,2
7 Schwarz Hyundai Accent WRC 4:24:13,1
8 Martin Ford Focus WRC 4:25:48,3
9 Eriksson Skoda Octavia WRC 4:28:43,4
10 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 4:29:37,9

GROUP N

1 Singh Proton Pert 4:52:17,9
2 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer 4:57:59,4
3 Baldini Mitsubishi Lancer 4:59:10,7
4 Dimitar Mitsubishi Lancer 5:00:06,0
5 Girdauskas Mitsubishi Lancer 5:03:08,5

__________________________________________________________________

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers:
Grönholm (FIN) 31
Panizzi (F) 20
Burns (GB) 19
Mäkinen (FIN) 14
Rovanperä (FIN) 9
Sainz (E) 9
Bugalski (F) 7
Solberg (N) 7
Loeb (F) 6
C. McRae (GB) 6
A. McRae (GB) 2

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Peugeot 68
Subaru 27
Ford 27
Mitsubishi 6
Hyundai 2
Skoda 0

FIA Junior World Rally Championship (after 2 of 6 rounds):
Duval (B) 11
Sola (E) 10
Caldani (I) 6
Dallavilla (I) 6
Basso (I) 4
Feghali (RL) 4
Others

FIA Cup for Drivers of Production Cars (after 3 of 8 rounds):
Sohlberg (FIN) 10
Ferreyros (PE) 10
Singh (MAL) 10
Iliev (BG) 9
Trelles (ROU) 9
Arai (J) 6
Others.
__________________________________________________________________

STAGE WINNERS

Solberg SS 4,10,11,12,13,18
Mäkinen SS 5,9,16,17,19
C.McRae SS 1,6
Sainz SS 7,8
Duval SS 2
Martin SS 3
Rovanperä SS 15
Burns SS 20

__________________________________________________________________

LEADING RETIREMENTS

SS12 A.McRae Mitsubishi Lancer WRC No Drive
SS12 Loix Hyundai Accent WRC Mechanical
SS12 Kresta Skoda Octavia WRC Mechanical
SS9 Duval Ford Focus WRC Mechanical
SS8 Paasonen Mitsubishi Lancer Hit rock

SS4 Kankkunen Hyundai Accent WRC Sump
SS1 Arai Subaru Impreza Mis-fire
__________________________________________________________________

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

Sunday, 21 April 2002

Peugeot driver Marcus Grönholm has scored his second victory in this
year's World Rally Championship on the fifth round, the Cyprus Rally,
which finished in Limassol this afternoon. After an exciting final
day's action, the Finn and navigator Timo Rautiainen led home team
mates Richard Burns and Robert Reid to secure Peugeot's fourth
straight one-two finish. Overnight leaders Colin McRae and Nicky
Grist suffered a disastrous final day, though - they rolled three
times in two separate accidents and had to fight back in the last
stage to secure even a single point.

Like yesterday, the spring Cyprus weather played games with the world's
top rally stars, and the closing loop of stages was hit by occasional
heavy rain showers. Burns's runners-up spot was only secured in the
last test, after he overhauled four-times world champion Tommi Mäkinen.
It was a result that moved him further clear of the Finn in the world
championship standings but he still lies in third, behind his asphalt
specialist team-mate Gilles Panizzi.


PEUGEOT

Technical: The 206 WRCs of Richard Burns, Harri Rovanperä and Gilles
Panizzi have been reliable today. Marcus Grönholm complained of
steering glitches after the opening loop of tests, but his car ran
without problems otherwise.

Sporting: Marcus Grönholm pushed hard on today's opening pair of stages
and when Colin McRae rolled, it handed the 2000 world champion a
decisive advantage that he held until the finish to secure his second
win of the year and extend his world drivers' championship points
advantage. Richard Burns closed down Tommi Mäkinen this morning and
inched ahead after SS18, but then the Finn reclaimed the second
position (after Colin McRae's problems) prior to the final test. Burns
charged again, though, and he passed Mäkinen once more to secure
another one-two finish for Peugeot. Harri Rovanperä relied heavily on
Michelin's ATS mousse system as he suffered four punctures on this
morning's opening three stages. The former Swedish Rally winner
controlled his pace in the tricky conditions this afternoon to finish
fourth. Peugeot's fourth driver Gilles Panizzi finished 10th as he
continued to gain more experience of the 206 WRC on loose surfaces.

Quotes: Marcus Grönholm said: "I wasn't sure if we could pass Colin
this morning, although when we took so much time in the opening stage
I thought it might be possible. I attacked again but then he made a
mistake, so we had a good lead after that and it was just about not
making any mistakes. I'm really happy with the result, because it shows
the 206 can win rallies on rough surfaces."

Richard Burns said: "I didn't think I'd get past Tommi in the last
stage, really. He should have had a better tyre choice for the drier
conditions. But we pushed again and I think he made a small mistake,
so it worked out well. I've still been learning the 206 on gravel on
this event, but we've come away with six more points and the car has
been proven on the rougher surfaces. It's been a great rally for the
whole team."

Harri Rovanperä said: "Of course I think I could have been on Richard's
pace and closer to him in the results, but we had some problems in
the rain yesterday. If you look at the times I think it would have
been possible but then, it's always easy to say that after the rally.
I think the 206 has shown that it can be quick and strong on the
rougher roads now, and with Argentina next I'm feeling quite confident
about the rallies in the next few months."


SUBARU

Technical: The Impreza WRC2002s of Tommi Mäkinen and Petter Solberg
have been reliable today.

Sporting: Tommi Mäkinen expected a battle with Richard Burns today
and he got it - and the pair were ultimately fighting over second
place once Colin McRae had crashed for the second time. Mäkinen
looked to have done enough on the penultimate stage but on the final,
drier test he had to reverse and restart after a half-spin. The time
loss was enough to allow Burns into second overall and demote Mäkinen
to the final podium place. Petter Solberg, meanwhile, finished fifth
as he concluded a strong recovery after his first-day problems. The
young Norwegian suffered a quick roll on SS17 but then he benefited
from McRae's problems. He also passed both Kenneth Eriksson and
Markko Martin as he moved into the points placings. Solberg has now
scored points on each of the last three events.

Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen said: "We didn't have much luck with tyre choice
today. I'm sure if we'd gone for tyres for wetter conditions this
afternoon we could have made things much more difficult for Richard.
But we went for drier rubber and then it started to rain very heavily!
In the last stage I just got one wheel too much on the inside of a
slow corner and the back end of the car came around - we had to
reverse and then start again, and I'm sure that cost us enough time
for Richard to get past. It's a little disappointing when we could
have had second overall but we've learnt a lot about the car and our
tyre choices here."

Petter Solberg said: "I'm delighted with my fightback here. We had an
awful first day but we got back into the car yesterday and charged,
and it's paid off. Of course I feel that we could have done even
better if we'd had no problems on Friday so that means I'm not totally
happy, but yesterday and today have been very good. It was seriously
slippery this morning and I made that small mistake which meant we
rolled, but otherwise it was an excellent day."


FORD

Technical: Colin McRae's Ford Focus WRC was generally reliable today -
its only real problem was power steering failure, but that came as a
result of the Scot's accident in SS16. He then suffered a loss of
windscreen wipers in his second accident in SS19, hampering him in
the prevailing rain. Markko Martin, meanwhile, lost his power steering
and damaged the steering rack in his own accident (at the same SS16
corner that claimed McRae). It was, in fact, a bad morning for Ford's
steering - Carlos Sainz's system failed in this morning's first stage.

Sporting: Colin McRae had to fight off Marcus Grönholm this morning
but confusion over split times shown to the Scot in the day's opening
stage meant that he backed off and lost nearly 13s to his rival. He
tried to respond in SS16, but around a kilometre from the finish he
cut a corner and clipped a concrete block hidden in some bushes. The
car rolled and even though it ended up back on its wheels, the car's
power steering was damaged and by the time McRae had returned to
Limassol service, he was nearly 50s behind Grönholm. The 1995 world
champion regrouped for the afternoon tests but in SS18, he rolled again,
dropping out of the top six. A fightback over the final couple of tests
was enough for him to pass Armin Schwarz and finished sixth, gaining
a potentially crucial drivers' point. Markko Martin's hopes of a points
finish effectively ended on today's second stage, when the Estonian
was caught out at the same left-hand corner as McRae and also rolled,
damaging his own power steering. He recovered in the afternoon but
eventually finished eighth. Carlos Sainz suffered more power steering
problems today as he continued to fight back after his first-day dramas.
The Spaniard finished in 11th.

Quotes: Colin McRae said: "I'm gutted. We basically had two really
good days and then one really awful one. This morning I got given the
wrong split time in the opening stage so I backed off a bit too much,
allowing Marcus to really close in. Then we were trying harder in the
next stage and I cut a corner a bit too much. There was a concrete block
hidden in bushes and it put the car right over and back onto its wheels.
But the power steering was broken so we lost more time on the next stage.
We tried to fight back this afternoon but the roads were very slippery
and I got caught out on some mud and rolled again."


HYUNDAI

Technical: The remaining Accent WRC3 of Armin Schwarz ran without
major problems today, although the German did suffer from three
punctures in this morning's opening loop of stages. The former European
Champion also continued to complain of softening shock absorbers in
the rougher stretches of the Cyprus stages. Tomasz Kuchar's Accent
WRC2 was basically reliable, though, since the team had cured the
overheating problems that had hampered the young Pole for the opening
two days.

Sporting: Armin Schwarz had to watch Petter Solberg pull away from
him this morning, but he moved back past his Norwegian rival when he
rolled in SS17. Solberg responded again in the final group of stages
and Schwarz entered the penultimate test effectively resigned to
seventh. That aim quickly became sixth when he heard that McRae had
rolled again, but Schwarz was unable to fight off the resurgent Ford
driver in the very last stage and he missed out on the final drivers'
point by just under two seconds. Tomasz Kuchar, meanwhile, finished
in 14th after an outing designed to boost his experience of the Accent.
Quotes: Armin Schwarz said: "I'm annoyed to miss out on the drivers'
point by such a small margin because if I'd known a bit earlier, I'm
sure we could have been at least five seconds quicker in SS19. As it
was, I didn't push too hard in the rough stuff."


SKODA

Technical: Kenneth Eriksson lost some time with a broken brake pipe
this morning, but his Octavia was generally reliable otherwise. Toni
Gardemeister, meanwhile, felt that his Octavia was too stiffly sprung
for this morning's stages.

Sporting: Kenneth Eriksson's brake problems cost the Swede crucial
seconds this morning, and he was unable to halt a slide down the top
ten as a result. The former Asia-Pacific champion eventually claimed
ninth in his Octavia. Team-mate Toni Gardemeister knew that he'd
struggle to break into the top ten after his catalogue of problems
yesterday and so it proved - the young Finn enjoyed a relatively
troublefree day (although he complained of too stiff a suspension set-up
this morning) but he couldn't better 15th overall.

Quotes: Toni Gardemeister said: "This morning was really difficult
for me. The car was bouncing around everywhere and it felt like I had
absolutely no traction coming out of the corners. It's been a hard
event for everyone, including the whole Skoda team, but I think we've
come through it pretty well.""


MITSUBISHI

Technical: The sole remaining Lancer Evo WRC of François Delecour has
been reliable today.

Sporting: François Delecour enjoyed solid reliability today, but the
Frenchman decided not to take too many risks when conditions worsened
this afternoon. He experimented with the Lancer's set-up throughout
the final day and eventually finished in 13th overall.

Quotes: François Delecour said: "This has been a really hard rally
for everyone, but it's a shame for us that we lost so much time on
Friday and in the rain yesterday. Without the wipers and driveshaft
problems we'd have been able to get into the same sort of position
as the Skoda and the Hyundai, and that would have allowed us to possibly
fight for a point when things went a bit crazy at the front of the
field today. But again, we've learnt a lot and now we have to look
forward to Argentina."


OTHER ENTRIES

Proton driver Karamjit Singh made a good start to his campaign in
the World Championship for Drivers of Production Cars by winning the
Group N category in Cyprus. Uruguayan Gustavo Trelles finished second
in his Mitsubishi, while Italian Luca Baldini secured the final
podium place, ahead of Bulgarian Dimitar Iliev.
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