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Tuesday, April 20, 1999 Published at 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK


McRae pulls out

McRae's Ford Focus in action in Portugal

Britain's Colin McRae set two fastest stage times in his Ford Focus before pulling out of the Rally of Catalunya at the end of day two.

Sam Lloyd reports for BBC Radio 5 Live
The Scot declared Tuesday a test day after losing seven minutes to turbo problems on Monday.

He lost a further five minutes with a puncture on day two and was 18th, almost 14 minutes off the lead, held by Frenchman Philippe Bugalski.

Richard Burns of Britain is sixth in his Subaru after being penalised a minute for jump-starting a stage.

Surprise leader

Bugalski gained the lead at the start of the day after his Citreon team-mate Jesus Puras suffered an embarrassing mishap.

His Xsara would not start, handing Bugalski the chance of a record victory on Wednesday.

The Xsara is a Kit Car - a special lightweight two-wheel-drive version of the rally cars used by the other teams.

On dry asphalt these machines are quicker than four-wheel-drive cars such as the Focus and the Subaru.

Bugalski finished Tuesday's six stages south of Barcelona with a lead of 17 seconds from fellow Frenchman Didier Auriol.

Auriol's Toyota team-mate and local hero Carlos Sainz is third.

"I didn't think I could hold off the World Rally Cars today," admitted Bugalski.

"The stages were rough and should have been better for the others, but I'm happy to be leading.

"I just hope now it doesn't rain on the final day. That will lose me a lot of time."

Finns Hari Rovanpera in a SEAT and world champion Tommi Makinen in a Mitsubishi suffered the same punishment as Burns.

Makinen is fourth behind his Belgian team-mate Freddy Loix.

Leaderboard after day two

1. Philippe Bugalski (France) Citroen 3 hrs 14 mins 33.1 secs
2. Didier Auriol (France) Toyota 17.7 seconds behind
3. Carlos Sainz (Spain) Toyota 1 min 43.5 secs behind
4. Freddy Loix (Belgium) Mitsubishi 1:48:6 behind
5. Tommi Makinen (Finland) Mitsubishi 2:09.2
6. Richard Burns (Britain) Subaru 3:17.6
7. Juha Kankkunen (Finland) Subaru 3:25.8
8. Bruno Thiry (Belgium) Subaru 3:42.0
9. Oriol Gomez (Spain) Renault 4:30.6
10. Luis Climent (Spain) Subaru 4:56.0

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