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Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK


Surprise Citroen wins in Spain

Auriol: Second place in race and championship

France's Philippe Bugalski is the surprise winner of the Rally of Catalunya in Spain.

Sam Lloyd: "Shock victory in Spain"
Britain's best challenger following Colin McRae's retirement with turbo trouble was Richard Burns, who was fifth in a Subaru.

Bugalski was driving a Citroen Kit Car, a lightweight two-wheel drive version of the rally cars used by the other teams.

He held off 1998 winner Didier Auriol in a Toyota Corolla by 31 seconds, almost double his overnight advantage over his compatriot.

[ image: Makinen: Up to third after Sainz puncture]
Makinen: Up to third after Sainz puncture
Defending world champion Tommi Makinen was third in a Mitsubishi Lancer two minutes 21 seconds off the pace.

The Finn moved ahead of Spain's Carlos Sainz after the Toyota driver suffered a puncture two kilometres into the race.

Local favourite Sainz eventually trailed in ninth on a bad day for his championship challenge.

Makinen leads the title chase by three points from Auriol and is six ahead of third-placed McRae.

Auriol believes Bugalski could eventually cost him the championship.

"I tried everything I could but Philippe drove well and deserves the victory," said the 1994 champion.

[ image: Carlos Sainz: Disappointment for local fans]
Carlos Sainz: Disappointment for local fans
"But they have taken points from the drivers championship and that is not right. They only do a few rallies and they could end up taking the title from me."

The 35-year-old reigning French rally champion was clearly delighted.

"When I started the rally I knew we would be quick, but to have held off the championship regulars is thanks to Citroen. I only drove the car," said an emotional Bugalski.

"Starting this morning's last stages I was very nervous. I hardly slept last night but I needn't have worried.

"The weather stayed dry and the car performed brilliantly. Now I will have to see if I can do the same in Corsica next month."


1. Philippe Bugalski (Fra) Citroen Xsara Kit Car 4h 13min 45.6sec
2. Didier Auriol (Fra) Toyota Corolla at 31.8 sec
3. Tommi Makinen (Fin) Mitsubishi Lancer EV5 at 2:21.1
4. Freddy Loix (Bel) Mitsubishi Carisma GT at 2:35.4
5. Richard Burns (Gbr) Subaru Impreza at 4:01.9
6. Juha Kankkunen (Fin) Subaru Impreza WRC at 4:47.3
7. Bruno Thiry (Bel) Subaru at 5:01.3
8. Oriol Gomez (Spa) Renault Maxi Megane at 5:48.7
9. Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toyota Corolla at 6:20.0
10. Luis Climent (Spa) Subaru Impreza WRC at 6:28.8

Drivers' World Championship standings

1. Tommi Makinen (Fin) 26pts
2. Didier Auriol (Fra) 23
3. Colin McRae (Gbr) 20
4. Carlos Sainz (Spa) 16
5. Philippe Bugalski (Fra) 10
6. Juha Kankkunen (Fin) 8
7. Richard Burns (Gbr) 7
8. Thomas Radstrom (Swe) 4
9. François Delecour (Fra) 3
. Ian Duncan (Ken) 3
. Bruno Thiry (Bel) 3

Contsructors title

1. Toyota 44pts
2. Mitsubishi 32
3. Ford 26
4. Subaru 18
5. SEAT 7

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