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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

- FIA Press Release
- Stage Itinerary

Extract from Official FIA Press Release

Thursday 4th October

FIA World Rally Championship leader Tommi Mäkinen must rely on an
unknown quantity as he aims to get his title bid back on track on
the 11th round of the series, the Sanremo Rally, which starts in
northern Italy tomorrow. The Finn has failed to score on his last
two outings, allowing Ford's Colin McRae to draw level on points.
And although Mäkinen has won on the Sanremo asphalt before (in 1999),
his chances will depend on the performance and reliability of a brand
new Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car, which makes its debut in Italy.

Mäkinen, McRae and other title hopefuls Carlos Sainz (Ford) and
Richard Burns (Subaru) face stiff opposition from a host of asphalt
experts, including last year's winner Gilles Panizzi (Peugeot) and
the Citroens of Philippe Bugalski, Jesus Puras and Sebastien Loeb.

FORD (1st - 76 points)

Technical: Ford introduces a number of small revisions to the Focus
RS WRC01 for this event. In particular, the three factory cars will
all be fitted with a modified camshaft and further engine tweaks,
designed to improve top-end power. The cars' suspension geometry
has also been changed after considerable testing and discussions
with tyre supplier Pirelli.

Sporting: Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae are nominated for manufacturers'
points, with Francois Delecour eligible for drivers' points only.

Quotes: Colin McRae said: "We've made progress with Pirelli since
Catalunya in April but I'm not sure if it's enough. Until we get a
few stages under our belt we won't know how much everyone else has
improved. I'm sure they haven't been standing still. If we get some
rain here it'll make things unpredictable, because the roads can get
quite dirty too."

Francois Delecour said: "I think some rain would help us because it
would make conditions cooler and we've had some concerns about tyre
wear in the pre-event tests. But we have done a lot of work on asphalt
since Catalunya and I'm sure we'll be more competitive here than
we were there."

MITSUBISHI (2nd - 66 points)

Technical: This event marks the debut of Mitsubishi's first World
Rally Car. The Lancer Evolution WRC makes use of the regulations to
improve suspension travel and weight distribution over its predecessor.
Its wheelbase is 90mm longer than the old model, a factor Ralliart
is expecting to improve high-speed stability. Ralliart engineers
have also made adjustments to the engine position and angle, and
lightened the flywheel in an attempt to improve throttle response.
The car has conducted extensive testing, since it must carry both
Mäkinen's and Mitsubishi's hopes through to the end of the season.

Sporting: Mitsubishi reverts back to a two-car line-up after Toni
Gardemeister's appearances in Finland and New Zealand. Accordingly,
Freddy Loix is nominated for manufacturers' points alongside Tommi

Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen said: "If it's down to our performance I'm
sure we'll do very well. The car's done a total of two and a half
weeks' testing and the first signs are quite encouraging, but it's
hard to say until we can compare times with the others. So far my
feeling with the new car is good and I'm glad to say that we've
found no really major problems in the testing either."

Freddy Loix said: "The initial feeling with the new car is that it's
much easier to drive than the old model and that'll be useful to me
here because a lot of this event is new to me. In terms of performance
we haven't done a back-to-back test but the handling is better and
the engine feels stronger. I'm optimistic."

SUBARU (3rd- 46 points)

Technical: Subaru has long since ironed out the transmission glitches
that hampered Richard Burns on the Impreza WRC2001's last asphalt
outing in Catalunya. That aside, changes to the four works cars (for
Burns, Petter Solberg, Markko Martin and Toshihiro Arai) are minimal.
All four cars will be fitted with the revised, lighter airbox that
Burns used in New Zealand, however. Subaru squeezed in an extra three
day Sanremo test near Pisa last week.

Sporting: Richard Burns and Petter Solberg are nominated for
manufacturers' points, leaving Markko Martin and Toshihiro Arai
eligible for drivers' points only.

Quotes: Richard Burns said: "We did our championship chances the
power of good by winning in New Zealand, but this will be another
hard event. We were quite pleased by the Pirelli tyres in pre-event
testing though and the package has definitely moved on since Catalunya.
I've got plenty of confidence."

Petter Solberg said: "I know this rally pretty well now and I finished
ninth here last year. I'll be disappointed if I don't finish higher
than that because I've been able to do a lot of asphalt testing.

PEUGEOT (4th - 44 points)

Technical: Peugeot brings three brand new 206 WRCs to this event
for Marcus Grönholm, Didier Auriol and last year's winner Gilles
Panizzi. Auriol's 206 is fitted with mechanical differentials at
the front and rear, while the cars used by Panizzi and Grönholm are
equipped with 'active' hydraulic diffs instead. All three 206s will
use the five-speed gearbox instead of the oft-tried six-speed unit.

Sporting: Peugeot has nominated Catalunya Rally winner Didier Auriol
and last year's winner in Italy, Gilles Panizzi, for manufacturers'
points. Reigning world champion Marcus Grönholm is eligible for
drivers' points only, as is Peugeot's other regular driver Harri
Rovanperä, who uses a 206 WRC run by Italian private team Grifone.

Quotes: Didier Auriol said: "My feeling with the car is good, but
I'd rather we were using the six-speed gearbox instead of the five
speed. For my style of driving, the six-speed is definitely faster.
But we still have a very good chance here, although there are probably
six or eight drivers who can fight for the win."

Gilles Panizzi said: "This is the first time I've competed with the
evolution of the 206 WRC and I prefer it to the old car. I'm hopeful
we can repeat the result we got here last year, but the stages are
quite different. Last year everything was dry but now it's very
slippery in places, especially under the trees where the leaves
have kept the water. It will be difficult to find a speed on Friday

SKODA (5th - 15 points)

Technical: Skoda has made a few small modifications to the
specification of the Octavia WRC. Armin Schwarz's car features a
revised centre differential designed to make tyre wear more consistent
through stages. Slight alterations to the differential mapping have
also made the car more progressive and slightly quicker to react to
changes of direction. Skoda is also using an improved specification
of shock absorber.

Sporting: Armin Schwarz and Bruno Thiry are nominated for manufacturers'
points as usual, but Skoda is also running a third Octavia for rising
Czech star Roman Kresta.

Quotes: Armin Schwarz said: "A top ten finish will be a good result
for us here. There's a very good entry but if the roads are slippery,
then I'm more optimistic."

HYUNDAI (6th - 10 points)

Technical: Hyundai has made few changes to the Accent WRC2s beyond
the minor engine modifications that were introduced on the last
round in Finland. The only notable difference is a new front suspension
upright that gives a larger range of set-up options and anti-roll
bar settings.

Sporting: Regular Accent driver Alister McRae is joined in the team
by Italian asphalt expert Piero Liatti. The former Monte Carlo winner
replaces Kenneth Eriksson for Sanremo and the following asphalt rally,
Corsica, before the Swede returns for Australia and Great Britain.

Quotes: Piero Liatti said: "If it rains all day, every day, it'll be
alright with me! The stages here are nice but under the trees, it's
very slippery when you drive over the leaves. It's hard to say what
result we can aim for."


Technical: The three Xsara WRCs will run in essentially the same
specification that Philippe Bugalski used to win the non-championship
Rally Deutschland in July. However, the cars of both Jesus Puras
and Sebastien Loeb will use water-cooled brakes to compensate for
the drivers' use of left-foot braking.

Sporting: Citroen is not eligible for manufacturers' points following
an agreement with the FIA and fellow manufacturers earlier this
season. For its third world championship outing of the year, the
French manufacturer has entered regular Xsara WRC pilots Philippe
Bugalski and Jesus Puras, and runaway FIA Super 1600 Cup leader
Sebastien Loeb. Loeb has been granted dispensation to move up from
the 1600cc category for this event only (he'll return to his regular
Saxo for Corsica).

Quotes: Philippe Bugalski said: "The roads weren't completely dry
during the recce so it's going to be difficult. The grip level will
change from corner to corner, depending on whether it's under trees
or on leaves or not. But of course I'm confident. We showed in
Catalunya that the car is competitive on asphalt and that we are
competitive on asphalt too."


Sanremo is the fourth round of the inaugural FIA Super 1600 Cup, a
cost-controlled series designed to introduce new, young talent into
the world championship. Current series leader Sebastien Loeb has
already reaped the benefits of winning all three opening rounds,
as the Frenchman has been granted permission to step up from his
regular Citroen Saxo to a Xsara WRC for this event only. With the
dominant force absent, a fresh winner in the category is guaranteed
and competition is likely to be extremely close between drivers like
Andrea Dallavilla (Fiat), Francois Duval (Ford), Patrick Magaud
(Ford) and Niall McShea (Citroen).

The event is also a round of the FIA Teams Cup, where Toyota drivers
Henrik Lundgaard and Pasi Hagstrom will each be aiming to make
the series lead their own. And the situation is even more finely
balanced in the Group N category for more standard cars - Argentine
driver Gabriel Pozzo can clinch the world title here in Italy.



GMT +2

Leg 1, Friday 5th October (523.91km)

08:24 SS1 Coldirodi 1 12.41km
09:12 SS2 Langan 1 25.29km
09:51 SS2b Rezzo 1 12.29km
11:50 SS3 San Bernardo 1 19.44km
12:45 SS4 Nava 1 19.03km
15:50 SS5 Coldirodi 2 12.41km
16:38 SS6 Langan 2 25.29km
17:17 SS6b Rezzo 2 12.29km

Leg 2, Saturday 6th October (520.35km)

08:07 SS7 Passo Teglia 1 14.32km
08:32 SS7b Molini 1 25.29km
09:35 SS8 Perinaldo 1 12.16km
11:52 SS9 San Bernardo 2 19.44km
12:47 SS10 Nava 2 19.03km
15:35 SS11 Passo Teglia 2 14.32km
16:00 SS11b Molini 2 25.29km
17:03 SS12 Perinaldo 2 12.16km

Leg 3, Sunday 7th October (381.71 km)

08:32 SS13 San Romolo 1 28.64km
09:45 SS14 Colle d'Oggia 1 15.19km
12:33 SS15 San Romolo 2 28.64km
13:46 SS16 Colle d'Oggia 2 15.19km
16:00 Finish of the rally in San Remo
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