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Sunday, November 22, 1998 Published at 22:16 GMT


McRae moves ahead in UK rally

Colin McRae ploughs through the tricky terrain

Colin McRae took command of the Network Q rally after world champion Tommi Makinen crashed out in controversial circumstances after six stages.

Jonathon Ledgard reports (BBC Radio 5 Live)
The Finn's spin and collision, after hitting oil dumped on the road by an historic rally car that had gone through the same Millbrook stage an hour earlier, resulted in him smashing into a concrete block, and possibly out of the world title race.

Makinen was caught out by a patch of oil left by an old Hillman Imp, part of the Historic Rally which precedes the main event.

He skidded, ripping the right rear wheel off his car.

It was to prove impossible to continue on three wheels.

Richard Burns: Keen to help team mate Makinen win
Makinen was stopped as he headed for the public roads by a policeman who deemed his car unfit for Her Majesty's Highways.

"It happened on the first left-hand bend of the stage," said a tearful Makinen.

"There was black stuff on the surface and it just threw me completely. I'm very upset - I've thrown the championship away."

Terrific display

McRae gave an awesome display of speed, particularly over the first six stages where the Scot was never once outpaced as he built up a lead of 20 seconds.

His first `defeat' came on the Silverstone Superspecial where the Spaniard Sainz was Quickest.

A collapsed front wheel which damaged the suspension was McRae's only real problem, his advantage being cut to less than half-a-second by Sainz's French colleague Didier Auriol on stage 10.

But Auriol slipped back to end the day fourth, just behind McRae's brother and temporary team-mate Alister, who impressed in his one-off appearance with the Subaru team.

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