C.E. - The Free Weekly Online Car Magazine


April 19-21
Preview - by Murph
This round of the championship gives Toyota the chance to widen the gap at the top of the manufacturers points table. This will be a home event for Sainz who, together with Didier Auriol in the second Toyota Corolla have clocked up significant test mileage in preparation. A win in Catalunya would consolidate Toyota's position at the top and help lift Sainz or Auriol from third and fourth respectively in the drivers' standings. The first chance to drive on real tarmac this season will also be a first for the Martini Ford Focus in the hands of Colin McRae. McRae will be looking for a hat trick on the back of the success of the last two outings. The lighter Focus recently posted faster test times than McRae's Subaru of last season. Simon Jean-Joseph will pilot the second Focus. The Mitsubishi Lancer of Makinen will also be in the fray for top honours. Last year saw F2 cars putting WR cars under severe pressure. The fight will be brought to the WR cars once again this year led by Spanish Rally Champion Jesus Puras. The rally starts on Monday April 19th from Lloret de Mar taking in 84 competitive miles over 8 stages. The winner will arrive back on the podium on Wednesday April 21st at 1530hrs.
Race Review - by S.O'
Well, looks like even Murph can be right some times! Citroen's Philippe Bugalski took a decisive victory in the face of the much more powerful four-wheel drive WRC cars. Spanish Rally Champion Jesus Puras lead on the first day, using the light weight of the Kit Car to his advantage on the twisting Spanish roads. Unfortunately for him (and Citroen), the car would not start on the second day. Obviously his subscription to the RAC had run out....
Bugalski rose to the challenge admirably, mixing with such heavyweights as Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz at the top of the leader board. Citroen's chance at a 1-2 were dashed, but it certainly looked like they were in with a fighting chance of outright victory anyway. By the end of the second day, he was 17 seconds ahead of Auriol's WRC Corolla. McRae posted some fastest times, but a problem on day one with the wastegate had already put him out of contention - Ford instead treating the rally as a test. Toyota, however, were certainly not! With the works drivers seemingly as quick as each other, the battle for second place was frenetic. However, it all went wrong for Sainz with two punctures on the last day, followed by the alternator belt falling off. Didier Auriol gladly took second overall. This increases Toyota's points total to 43, with Mitsubishi next at 32.
Didier Auriol drove superbly to 2nd overall - increasing Toyota's lead in the championship Photograph copyright Toyota Team Europe
The Mitsubishi drivers complained at a lack of outright grip on the tarmac roads - this sounds ridiculous of course with such advanced four-wheel drive chassis, but it must handle more than 300bhp. The best combination on dry tarmac is light weight and a decent power band - as is evident from the Citroen's performance. However, Citroen must be doing something right - the Xsara Kit Car was the only in its class among the top 10. Subaru and Mitsubishi proved consistent, if not consistently fast!

McRae was very quick in the light Focus, but turbo problems prevented Ford from achieving a result. Photograph provided by Ford
Burns drove on the limit to 5th place Photograph provided by Prodrive
Hyundai had a bad weekend in comparison to their anniversary in Portugal when both drivers retired. Alister suffered an accident and then, as a result of this, the clutch became permanently dis-engaged. Kenneth Eriksson had fuel pick-up problems which put him out on day 2.

Click here to view the championship standings to date.
Race No.
1 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen / Risto Mannisenmaki Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart
2 Mitsubishi Carisma GT Freddy Loix / Sven Smeets Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart
3 Toyota Corolla WRC Carlos Sainz / Luis Moya Toyota Castrol Team
4 Toyota Corolla WRC Didier Auriol / Denis Giraudet Toyota Castrol Team
5 Subaru Impreza WRC Richard Burns / Robert Reid Subaru World Rally Team
6 Subaru Impreza WRC Bruno Thiry / Stephane Prevot Subaru World Rally Team
7 Ford Focus WRC Colin McRae / Nicky Grist Ford Motor Co Ltd
8 Ford Focus WRC Simon Jean-Joseph / Fred Gallagher Ford Motor Co Ltd
9 Seat WRC Harri Rovanpera / Risto Pietilainen Seat Sport
10 Seat WRC Piero Liatti / Carlo Cassina Seat WRC
11 Skoda Octavia WRC Armin Schwarz / Manfred Hiemer Skoda Motorsport
12 Skoda Octavia WRC Pavel Sibera / Petr Gross Skoda Motorsport
14 Subaru Impreza WRC 1999 Juha Kankkunen / Juha Repo Subaru World Rally Team
15 Toyota Corolla WRC Henrik Lundgaard / Freddy Pedersen Henrik Lundgaard
16 Citroen Xsara Kit Car Philippe Bugalski / Jean Paul Chiaroni Automobiles Citroen
17 Citroen Xsara Kit Car Jesus Puras / Marc Mati Citroen Hispania
18 Peugeot 306 Maxi Adruzilo Lopes / Luis Lisboa Peugeot Esso Silver Team SG
19 Renault Maxi Megane Oriol Gomez / Oriol Julia Renault Sport Espana
20 Peugeot 306 Maxi Manuel Muniente / Diego Vallejo Peugeot Sport Espana
26 Toyota Corolla WRC Volkan Isik / Erkan Bodur Toyota Mobil Team Turkey
27 Toyota Corolla WRC Isolde Holderied / Catherine Francois Toyota Castrol Team Deutschland
28 Toyota Corolla WRC Adbullah Bakhashab / Michael Park Toyota Team Saudi Arabia

1 Philippe Bugalski / Jean Paul Chiaroni Citroen Xsara Kit Car
2 Didier Auriol / Denis Giraudet Toyota Corolla WRC
3 Tommi Makinen / Risto Mannisenmaki Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
4 Freddy Loix / Sven Smeets Mitsubishi Carisma GT
5 Richard Burns / Robert Reid Subaru Impreza WRC
6 Juha Kankkunen / Juha Repo Subaru Impreza WRC
Portugal Rally Corsica Rally

[Contents] [Home] [News] [Features] [Car of The Week] [Motorsport] [A-Z]

Designed & maintained by caint.com