Tuesday, November 24, 1998 Published at 14:18 GMT
Burns wins but Sainz goes down in flames
Richard Burns (right) celebrates with co-driver Robert Reid
Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who only had to finish in the top four to overtake Tommi Makinen and clinch the title, looked to be coasting to the crown on the final stage of the event.
Burns in seventh heaven
Oxfordshire driver Burns won the rally in his Mitsubishi with a clean sweep of all seven stages on the final day.
It was a day of double delight for Mitsubishi - the team behind both Burns' and Makinen's victories.
But team boss Andrew Cowan was in humble mood: "I've been in rallying for 30 years but I've never known an occasion like this," he said.
"I feel very sorry for Carlos and the Toyota team - they must be devastated."
Lady luck shines on Makinen
Burns was delighted with his home success: "It's gone superbly today," he said.
"And Tommi (Makinen) must be so happy. It's a just reward for what happened to him on the first day, which was very unfair. There will be an even bigger party tonight!"
Sainz though was simply inconsolable after his last-gasp retirement. "The engine blew. It couldn't have been a worse end," was all he could say.
More dismay for McRaes
Earlier, there had been more bad news for the McRae family when Alister followed brother Colin out of the event on stage 22, when holding second place.
The younger McRae, 27, had problems with his fog lights and had to drive the stage virtually blind in pitch dark.
He went off in his Subaru one and a half miles from the end of the St Gwynno section, but he and co-driver David Senior escaped without injury.
Result after 28 stages: