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Ford Focus WRC Driver.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Propecia Rally New Zealand
Official Site:
Round 10 of the 2001 FIA World Rally Championship
20-23rd September 2001

Burns Wins!

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


Official FIA Press Release

Sunday 23rd September

Richard Burns has scored his first victory of the 2001 FIA World Rally
Championship on the tenth round of the series, the Rally New Zealand.
The Subaru driver and navigator Robert Reid sprayed the champagne at
the finish on the outskirts of Auckland after a tense final leg, held
on sweeping fast stages to the south of the city. Burns came under
pressure from Colin McRae this morning, but he staved off the Ford
driver's advances and when the Scot spun on the penultimate stage,
it increased Burns's winning margin to nearly 45 seconds.

McRae's spin almost cost the 1995 world champion second as well as
his hopes of a win, but he did just enough to hold off Harri Rovanperä's
Peugeot and move level with Tommi Mäkinen in the drivers' championship.
Carlos Sainz claimed fourth after a last-stage spin, although reigning
world champion Marcus Grönholm would have finished ahead of the
Spaniard and Rovanperä had he not jumped the start on the same test.

Technical: The Impreza WRC2001s of Richard Burns, Petter Solberg and
Toshihiro Arai have been reliable today.

Sporting: Richard Burns admitted that he hadn't expected Colin McRae
to take such a chunk out of his overnight lead on today's opening
stage but after the second, longer test, the Englishman steadied the
ship to stave off the Scot and score his first victory of the year.
Petter Solberg, meanwhile, took time out of four-times world champion
Tommi Mäkinen on all of today's stages and finally overhauled the
Mitsubishi driver on the last test to finish seventh and score another
manufacturers' point for Subaru. The pair's efforts were enough to
lift the Japanese manufacturer to third in the makes' series. Toshihiro
Arai started today's stages under no threat from any rivals and he duly
finished 14th.

Quotes: Richard Burns said: “Colin took a bit more time than I'd
expected on that first stage today but apart from that, I was reasonably
confident. I think it showed, though, that to decide to stick with
running first on the road with any less of an advantage would have
been foolhardy. I'm delighted, of course. I always knew a win would
come sometime this year but it's still nice to get it! The result
certainly opens up the championship for us - we're now only nine
points off the lead and as we've seen here, rallies can be won and
lost by very small things.”

Petter Solberg said: “Today's been great. I'm still learning more
about the car and I don't have complete confidence or a perfect feeling
with it in the narrow bits of road, but we had a chance to go after
Tommi and we did. Not many people can say they've hunted down Tommi
Mäkinen over a day, but we managed it! There were a few interesting
moments because we were pushing right at the maximum, but I'm glad
we did. It's also good to get another manufacturers' point for Subaru
- that gave me extra motivation.”

Technical: The three Focus RS WRC01s of Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz
and Francois Delecour have been reliable today.

Sporting: Colin McRae charged on this morning's first couple of stages,
slashing Richard Burns's overnight lead from 42 seconds to just 22 in
only 35 kilometres. But the final six stages weren't expected to punish
the first car on the road to the same extent and sure enough, McRae
found it harder to cut into the deficit. By the penultimate test he'd
already elected to settle for second but he then spun and stalled,
kick-starting a last-stage charge to safeguard the runners-up spot.
He managed that and now sits alongside Tommi Mäkinen at the head of
the drivers' standings. Carlos Sainz moved ahead of Harri Rovanperä
on the day's longest stage, but the Spaniard struggled badly with
punctures this afternoon and then in the final test - less than a
kilometre before the finish - he spun. As a result, he dropped behind
Rovanperä and Marcus Grönholm, although he was promoted back up to
fourth when Grönholm's jump-start penalty was applied. The third Focus
WRC of François Delecour was pushing towards a top ten placing before
the Frenchman spun and stalled in SS18. His time loss was then compounded
when the car refused to re-start for around half a minute.

Quotes: Colin McRae said: “Richard's won the rally but he was hardly
put under much pressure today. It hasn't been a fair fight. On the
penultimate stage I'd already decided that it wasn't going to be
possible to win but I got caught out on the loose gravel and had a
half-spin. The problem was the car then stalled, and second place was
looking a bit shaky for a while. It was a quiet car on the way back
to final service as we waited to hear the other times! In terms of
the championship it's another good step forward for us - now we just
have to get the right car and tyre package for the next two asphalt

Carlos Sainz said: “The spin was about three corners before the end
of the last stage, so it's quite frustrating. I just went into the
corner too quickly and the car got onto the loose gravel on the
outside and spun. I had to select first gear and turn around - it
must have cost between 10 and 12 seconds.”

Technical: The three 206 WRCs, driven by Marcus Grönholm, Harri
Rovanperä and Didier Auriol have all been reliable today.

Sporting: Harri Rovanperä started today's stages in third but he
struggled on the morning's tests, dropping behind Carlos Sainz and
coming under increasing pressure from team-mate Marcus Grönholm.
However, he moved back ahead of Sainz when the Spaniard spun in the
last stage and when Grönholm was penalised for a jump start, Rovanperä
was promoted into third overall. Marcus Grönholm set a number of
fastest times as he closed down on Sainz and Rovanperä - he passed
his team-mate in the penultimate test, then cleared Sainz in the
final stage, but he'd jumped the start in the latter and the resulting
10s penalty dropped him to fifth. The third 206 WRC of Didier Auriol
enjoyed a troublefree day, as he comfortably fended off the scrapping
Tommi Mäkinen and Petter Solberg to claim the last drivers' point,
and two for Peugeot in the manufacturers' series.

Quotes: Harri Rovanperä said: “The result is okay with me. We made
some mistakes earlier in the rally and it was always going to be hard
to fight back from that. Today was hard for me because although I've
done New Zealand before, I haven't seen today's stages before. Next
year will definitely be easier for me!”

Marcus Grönholm said: “This has been a strange rally. The car has
been fantastic - fast and reliable - and the tyres have worked well
too. Without the mistakes on the first day we could have been fighting
for the win, I'm sure of that. But we made them and sometimes that
happens, so we ended up fighting for points, not the victory. I knew
instantly on the last stage that I had jumped the start but I kept
trying anyway.”

Technical: The Lancer Evolutions of Tommi Mäkinen, Toni Gardemeister
and Freddy Loix have enjoyed troublefree action today, although the
young Belgian continued to be less than happy with his car's handling.
Sporting: Tommi Mäkinen might have started today's stages with faint
hopes of a point but instead, his task turned into a battle to keep
a charging Petter Solberg at bay to secure the final manufacturers'
point for Mitsubishi. A slow puncture for most of the day's longest
stage didn't help and in the end, even the four-times world champion
was unable to hold off the young Norwegian. Mäkinen eventually finished
eighth, missing out on any points for either himself or Mitsubishi on
the last outing for the current Lancer Evolution. Freddy Loix felt he
was lacking confidence in his Mitsubishi's handling, but the Belgian
brought his car home in 11th. Toni Gardemeister's rally had been
ruined by his gearbox problems on the opening day but the young Finn
concentrated on building experience of the car and New Zealand stages
anyway. He finished 15th.

Quotes: Tommi Makinen said: “This has been a very frustrating event
for us - basically we never stood a chance to fight for victory because
we were running first on the road on the opening day. Colin's now got
the same number of points as me in the championship, but it could have
been worse - he might have won! The new Lancer Evolution World Rally
Car makes its debut on the next round, Sanremo, and I'm looking forward
to it. The car has felt very encouraging in testing.”

Freddy Loix said: “We really couldn't do much about our position today.
I've had a strange feeling with the car on this rally - it started
with a centre differential problem yesterday - and it's never really
changed. Even though the handling was better today there were still
some moments where I wasn't comfortable. All we can do is look forward
to Sanremo and the new car, which has been good so far.”

Technical: The Accent WRC2s of Kenneth Eriksson and Alister McRae
have been reliable today.

Sporting: Alister McRae knew he had little chance of catching Petter
Solberg or Tommi Mäkinen today, but the Scot persevered anyway. The
dry conditions didn't favour his Accent, though, since they compounded
tyre wear problems that had troubled him from the start. He eventually
finished ninth, more than a minute behind Mäkinen. Kenneth Eriksson -
back on cleaner roads after his decision to lead the field yesterday
- posted more respectable times today. The Swedish veteran pronounced
himself happy with the Accent's handling as he bagged 10th overall.

Quotes: Alister McRae said: “It's been a tricky event. Obviously we
benefited from the first day when the roads were being swept clean
but ideally, we then needed it to rain so we could have stayed out
in front. As it's turned out, the tyre wear's been pretty bad in
places and that's compromised some of our set-ups. At least the car
has been completely reliable, which gives me confidence that we can
gain more knowledge of the Accent on asphalt in Sanremo next month.”

Kenneth Eriksson said: ”The handling and performance of the car have
been really good today, and I still don't regret staying in the lead
at the end of the first day. It was good for Hyundai and I to be at
the head of the field. I'm missing Sanremo and Corsica but I know
when I come back in Australia that the package is good enough for a
decent result.”

Other teams
Local Subaru Impreza WRC driver Possum Bourne finished 13th, not helped
by the first event in living memory where not a single manufacturer
entry retired. In the Group N category for more standard cars, Austrian
Manfred Stohl claimed a comfortable victory ahead of Argentine driver
Gabriel Pozzo. With Gustavo Trelles and Marcos Ligato non-scoring,
Pozzo now holds a sizeable advantage in the FIA World Cup for Drivers
of Production Cars and he could clinch the title in Sanremo next month.




1 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 3:47:28.0
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 3:48:12.6
3 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC 3:48:18.1
4 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 3:48:20.2
5 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:48:20.2
6 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 3:48:39.3
7 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 3:49:43.8
8 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer 3:49:49.0
9 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 3:51:01.8
10 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 3:51:49.9


1 Stohl Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3:58:33.1
2 Pozzo Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:01:24.5
3 Nutahara Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:03:22.2


CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after 10 of 14 rounds)

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers:
Mäkinen (FIN) 40
McRae (GB) 40
Burns (GB) 31
Sainz (E) 30
Rovanperä (FIN) 27
Grönholm (FIN) 16
Delecour (F) 14
Auriol (F) 11
Solberg (N) 9
Loix (B) 9

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Ford 76
Mitsubishi 66
Subaru 46
Peugeot 44
Skoda 15
Hyundai 10

FIA World Cup for Drivers of Production Cars:
Pozzo (RA) 59
Trelles (ROU) 26
Ligato (RA) 22
Stohl (A) 22
Blomqvist (S) 11

FIA Teams Cup (after 4 of 6 rounds, this event not counting):
Hagstrom (FIN) 20
Lundgaard (DK) 20
Bakhashab (SA) 13
Papadimitriou (GR) 8
Barratt (GB) 7

FIA Super 1600 Cup (after 3 of 6 rounds, this event not counting):
Loeb (F) 30
Dallavilla (I) 14
Stenshorne (N) 7
Basso (I) 6
Fontana (I) 6



SS17 - Gronholm, SS18 - Sainz, SS19 - Gronholm, SS20 - Solberg,
SS21 - Gronholm, SS22 - Solberg, SS23 - Solberg, SS24 - Solberg



SS16 Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX Accident

SS5 Ligato Mitsubishi Lanver Evo Accident
SS4 Wearden Peugeot 206 WRC Fuel Pressure

SS 17, Otorohea Trig 5.50km
1st Car: 08:38

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:06,0
2 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 3:07,0
3 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 3:07,1
4 Gardemeister Mitsubishi Lancer 3:07,9
5 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 3:08,4

SS 18, Te Akau South 31.24km
1st Car: 09:06

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 18:45,0
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 18:45,1
3 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 18:48,5
4 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 18:50,8
5 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 18:51,1

SS 19, Ridge 1 8.53km
1st Car: 11:14

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 4:47,1
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 4:48,0
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 4:48,7
4 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 4:49,0
5 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC 4:49,8

SS 20, Campbell 1 7.44km
1st Car: 11:27

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 3:55.7
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 3:57.4
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 3:58.3
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:58.7
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC

SS 21, Ridge 2 8.53km
1st Car: 11:45

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 4:41.4
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 4:43.4
3 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 4:43.7
4 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 4:43.7
5 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 4:43.9

SS 22, Campbell 2 7.44km
1st Car: 11:58

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 3:50,9
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 3:51,5
3 Delecour Ford focus RS WRC 3:52,0
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:52,1
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 3:52,3

SS 23, Fyfe 1 10.60km
1st Car: 12:41

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 5:42.6
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 5:43.0
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 5:45.3
4 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 5:45.7
5 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 5:45.8
5 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer 5:45.8

SS 24, Fyfe 2 10.60km
1st Car: 12:54

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 5:32.6
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 5:34.3
3 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC 5:36.7
4 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 5:38.3
5 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer 5:39.3

Ford Focus WRC Driver.
761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If McRae hadn't spun on the second last stage, who knows what could've happened?!?!

But this is such a reversal of fortune for McRae compared to the first few rallies of the year when he was almost at the point of quitting Ford. Guess a few of the team got off their butts and took his threats seriously to make his car almost bullet-proof!
He's still my choice for driver's champion! GO McRAE!!!! :D :D:D
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