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Ford Focus WRC Driver.
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Rallye Sanremo
Round 11 of the FIA World Rally Championship
4-7th October 2001

Gilles Panizzi Wins!

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

Extract from Official FIA Press Release

Sunday 7th October

Peugeot driver Gilles Panizzi has won the 11th round of the FIA World
Rally Championship, the Sanremo Rally in northern Italy. The Frenchman,
navigated by his brother Herve, finished more than ten seconds clear
of Citroen's Sebastien Loeb after three days of intense competition
in the mountains above the Mediterranean coast. Today's four stages
were held in mixed conditions, with some drivers rating the final
pair of tests - run in thick mist with standing water and soaking
leaves on the road - as the hardest they'd faced all season. But
although Panizzi allowed Loeb to eat into his 40-second overnight
advantage, he matched his young rival's pace in the last stage to
secure his third WRC rally win.

Panizzi's team-mate Didier Auriol claimed third on an all-French
podium and since Citroen is not eligible for manufacturers points,
Peugeot scored a maximum 16 points from the event to move into
third in the makes' series. There was less movement in the drivers
rankings, however, since title hopefuls Colin McRae and Tommi Mäkinen
both failed to score points. The only real beneficiary was Carlos
Sainz, whose drive to fourth overall inched him past Richard Burns
and into third place in the title race.


Technical: The 206 WRCs of Gilles Panizzi and Didier Auriol have
been reliable today. Marcus Grönholm was not so fortunate, however -
the reigning world champion's car lost its power steering 10km into
the opening stage, and he lost around two minutes as a result.

Sporting: Gilles Panizzi kept his concentration and didn't allow a
rapidly-closing Sebastien Loeb to force him into a mistake during
today's four stages. Overnight leader Panizzi admitted that he was
perhaps too cautious in the penultimate stage, where Loeb scythed
more than 20 seconds out of his advantage, but he increased his pace
again for the last test and won the event by more than 10 seconds.
With Loeb not registered for manufacturers' points, Didier Auriol
had little to gain from chasing after the Citroen driver, so the
1994 world champion backed off to secure third overall and a maximum
points haul for his team. Marcus Grönholm's hopes of even keeping
Auriol in his sights this morning were destroyed when his 206 WRC's
power steering failed on the first test of the day and he lost two
minutes. The world champion recovered in the last pair of stages but
he couldn't catch François Delecour and had to settle for seventh.

Quotes: Gilles Panizzi said: "It was really difficult today because
the roads were in a very slippery condition and of course, I knew
Sebastien would be closing on me. I was a bit too cautious in the
stage before last but running first on the road wasn't easy. I was
finding all of the slippery bits underneath the trees and on the
leaves, and it would have been easy to slide off the road. I'm
delighted with the result - it's good for me to win again and Didier's
finish means it's a fantastic day for Peugeot. I can't wait for

Didier Auriol said: "I've never seen stages like the ones this
afternoon. I don't like fog normally but it was worse than ever -
and the road surface was incredible. There were leaves, big puddles
of water and even some chestnut shells that made it all very greasy.
I'm just glad to get to the finish - it's no secret that this car,
with the five-speed gearbox, wasn't exactly how I wanted it but it's
been very reliable and it's clear that we're competitive."


Technical: The sole remaining Xsara WRC of Sebastien Loeb has been
reliable today.

Sporting: Sebastien Loeb maintained his pace during today's four
stages, but the Xsara's apparent strength on the longer test (25km)
allowed him to eat into leader Gilles Panizzi's advantage. On the
penultimate test, the runaway FIA Super 1600 Cup leader scalped
more than 20 seconds from his rival to enter the last stage just
11.8 seconds adrift, but when Panizzi responded Loeb settled for
second on his first world championship outing in the Xsara WRC. He
must return to his 1600cc Saxo for the next event in Corsica, though.

Quotes: Sebastien Loeb said: "I wasn't really thinking of victory
this morning - I was just trying to keep a good speed and not make
any mistakes in the difficult conditions. That's all I've been trying
to do all event, especially after Philippe (Bugalski) and Jesus
(Puras) retired. It's obviously a fantastic result for me on my first
world championship rally with the Xsara, but it's also a good result
for everyone in the Super 1600 championship because it shows what
can happen. I hope that I get another chance in this car soon so I
can get more experience, because that was the most difficult thing
for me."

Citroen Sport boss Guy Frequelin said: "What Sebastien has achieved
here is exceptional. He started well enough but he seemed to get
better as the rally went on. We all knew before the rally started
that this was a good opportunity for Sebastien to show what he can
do and I believe he's succeeded. We're also pleased that his car
worked without any real problems - that's a good sign to the team
that we're working in the right direction."


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

Sporting: Carlos Sainz pushed hard in this morning's changeable
conditions to quickly overhaul Italian privateer Renato Travaglia
and move into fifth overall. It then became fourth when Marcus
Grönholm's hopes were hit by power steering problems. Sainz fended
off Travaglia during this afternoon's stages to hold his position
to the finish and score three points in the world drivers' championship.
He now moves into third in the series, seven points behind joint
leaders Tommi Mäkinen and Colin McRae. McRae also put in a charge,
passing Simon Jean-Joseph's privately-run Peugeot and then
overhauling Petter Solberg's Subaru to score a potentially crucial
extra manufacturers' point for Ford. His eighth overall did not bring
him any drivers' series points, though. François Delecour was
promoted to sixth by Grönholm's problems and the Frenchman set
fastest time on the last stage of the rally to ensure that he held
onto the last points placing.

Quotes: Carlos Sainz said: "If you'd said before the start of this
rally that we'd end up scoring three points, we'd probably have doubted
it, so we have to say we're reasonably pleased to take something away.
We took a lot of risks today and it paid off - now we have to see how
the package works in Corsica."

Colin McRae said: "This afternoon wasn't a good time to chase after
places and points - in some places it was pretty dangerous. The fog
on the penultimate stage was so bad that you couldn't even see where
the water was running across the road. It obviously hasn't been that
good a rally for us but once we got the differential problem sorted
we were at least able to set respectable times. I don't know if that
will be enough for us to stand `a chance of getting a point in
Corsica, though."


Technical: The Impreza WRC2001s of Petter Solberg and Markko Martin
were reliable today.

Sporting: Petter Solberg tried to keep hold of his overnight eighth
place today but the charging Colin McRae sneaked past the Norwegian
in this afternoon's tricky conditions so he had to settle for ninth.
The result bagged two points for Subaru in the manufacturers' series,
though. Team-mate Markko Martin crashed out heavily on the penultimate
stage when his Impreza aqua-planed on a high-speed section, hit a
wall and rolled.

Quotes: Petter Solberg said: "The final couple of stages were really
difficult, with a lot of standing water and slippery leaves on the
road. But I can take a lot of good experience from this rally and I'm
encouraged at some of the times I've been able to set."

Markko Martin said: "When the car hit the wall it flipped upside
down and from that point on we were just passengers. It's been a
disappointing event for us so I'm going to forget it and start again
in Corsica."


Technical: Tommi Mäkinen's Lancer Evolution WRC was basically reliable
on this morning's first two stages but on the third test the Finn
clipped a wall and ripped off the left-front wheel. Freddy Loix's
Lancer was also reliable, although the Belgian was troubled by a badly
steamed-up windscreen in the wet conditions this afternoon.

Sporting: Tommi Mäkinen continued to experiment with springs and
damper settings this morning as he tried to rebuild confidence after
a high-speed 'moment' on yesterday's final stage. But on today's third
test, the Finn hit a patch of standing water and hit a wall, ripping
off the left-front wheel and retiring on the spot. Freddy Loix tried
different settings as well, and eventually finished in 12th.

Quotes: Tommi Makinen said: "It's been a difficult rally for us,
because it's clear the car needs a lot more work in various areas.
The accident was down to the conditions, because the fog meant that
I couldn't really see the water on the road and we lost traction
when we hit a stream of water. We have lots of things that we want
to try for Corsica but there isn't much time before then."

Freddy Loix said: "We had a lot of water in the car for the last
two stages and the windscreen steamed up, so we backed up to make
sure we reached the finish. We've learnt a lot and played around
with the settings but I've been involved with a brand new rally car
before and it always takes time to get the car up to speed."


Technical: The Octavia WRC of Bruno Thiry was reliable today, apart
from a slightly soft brake pedal towards the end of the first test.
Roman Kresta retired his example on the last stage with engine
problems, though.

Sporting: Bruno Thiry maintained his steady approach to keep his
Octavia just outside the top ten, and the Belgian eventually finished
13th. Team-mate Roman Kresta's debut run in a works World Rally Car
ended on the last stage with engine problems.

Quotes: Bruno Thiry said: "The car's been basically reliable and
we've found some good settings, but it's clear we need a bit more
performance yet. Corsica will be difficult but we are making some


Technical: Alister McRae retired late yesterday afternoon, when a
soft brake pedal meant it would have been unsafe for him to tackle
the day's final stage.


In the FIA Super 1600 Cup section, local driver Andrea Dallavilla
continued his dominance to claim the category spoils in his Fiat
Punto. The Italian eventually finished more than four minutes clear
of François Duval's Ford Puma, with Larry Cols's Peugeot 206 in

Two privateer crews scored top-ten finishes in the overall classification
- Renato Travaglia benefited from Marcus Grönholm's problems to
finish fifth in his 206 WRC, while Simon Jean-Joseph's similar machine
arrived back in Sanremo in 10th. The FIA Teams Cup section was
dominated by Henrik Lundgaard and the reigning European champion
eventually finished 15th overall.

Alex Fiorio claimed victory in the Group N category for more standard
machinery, but second in the class was more than enough for Argentina
Gabriel Pozzo to mathematically secure his victory in the FIA World
Cup for Drivers of Production Cars.




1 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 4:05:49,5
2 Loeb Citroen Xsara WRC 4:06:00,9
3 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 4:06:44,4
4 Sainz Ford Focus WRC 4:07:01,4
5 Travaglia Peugeot 206 WRC 4:07:21,6
6 Delecour Peugeot 206 WRC 4:08:18,1
7 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 4:08:36,8
8 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 4:09:43,2
9 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 4:09:49,4
10 Jean-Joseph Pegueot 206 WRC 4:09:51,0


1 Fiorio Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:28:20,3
2 Pozzo Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:33:29,0
3 De Dominicis Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:35:39,0

SUPER 1600

1 Dallavilla Fiat Punto 4:24:14,8
2 Robert Peugeot 206 4:28:42,1
3 Cols Peugeot 206 4:29:28,9


1 Lungaard Toyota Corolla WRC 4:14:44,2
2 Papadimitriou Subaru Impreza WRC 4:34:39,1
3 Blomqvist Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:46:13,0


CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after 11 of 14 rounds)

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers:
Mäkinen (FIN) 40
McRae (GB) 40
Sainz (E) 33
Burns (GB) 31
Rovanperä (FIN) 27
Grönholm (FIN) 16
Panizzi (F) 16
Delecour (F) 15
Auriol (F) 15
Solberg (N) 9
Loix (B) 9

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Ford 83
Mitsubishi 67
Peugeot 60
Subaru 48
Skoda 15
Hyundai 10

FIA World Cup for Drivers of Production Cars:
Pozzo (RA) 65
Trelles (ROU) 26
Ligato (RA) 22
Stohl (A) 22
Blomqvist (S) 14

FIA Teams Cup (after 5 of 6 rounds):
Lundgaard (DK) 30
Hagstrom (FIN) 20
Bakhashab (SA) 15
Papadimitriou (GR) 14
Blomqvist (S) 10

FIA Super 1600 Cup (after 4 of 6 rounds):
Loeb (F) 30
Dallavilla (I) 24
Stenshorne (N) 7
Cols (B) 7
Basso (I) 6
Fontana (I) 6
Duval (F) 6


SS13 - Loeb, SS14 - Sainz, SS15 - Loeb, SS16 - Delecour


SS15 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Lost Wheel
SS15 Martin Subaru Impreza WRC Accident
SS15 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Accident

SS12 McRae Hyundai Accent WRC Brake Failure
SS8 Bugalski Citroen Xsara WRC Accident
SS7b Puras Citroen Xsara WRC Accident
SS7 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC Lost wheel

SS1 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC Off road
SS1 Liatti Hyundai Accent WRC Off road
SS1 Schwarz Skoda Octavia WRC Alternator

SS 13, San Romolo 1 28.64km
1st Car: 08:32

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Loeb Citroen Xsara WRC 19:04,7
2 Travaglia Peugeot 206 WRC 19:06,2
3 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 19:10,3
4 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 19:12,4
5 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 19:15,6

SS 14, Colle d'Oggia 1 15.19km
1st Car: 09:45

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Sainz Ford Focus WRC 10:04,3
2 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 10:04,9
3 Martin Subaru Impreza WRC 10:05,3
4 Loeb Citroen Xsara WRC 10:11,6
5 Travaglia Peugeot 206 WRC 10:15,5

SS 15, San Romolo 2 28.64km
1st Car: 12:33

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Loeb Citroen Xsara WRC 20:20,6
2 Sainz Ford Focus WRC 20:21,1
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 20:27,4
4 Travaglia Peugeot 206 WRC 20:30,7
5 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 20:35,7

SS 16, Colle d'Oggia 2 15.19km
1st Car: 13:46

Pos/ Driver/ Car/ Time

1 Delecour Peugeot 206 WRC 10:13,0
2 McRae Ford Focus RS WRC 10:13,4
3 Jean-Joseph Pegueot 206 WRC 10:20,3
4 Thiry Skoda Octavia WRC 10:20,4
5 Sainz Ford Focus WRC 10:20,5
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