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Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK


Burns wins Acropolis Rally

Richard Burns: Maiden victory for his new team

British driver Richard Burns claimed his first victory since switching to the Subaro team when he triumphed in the Acropolis Rally in Greece.

Sam Lloyd: "It was a drive of grit and determination"
Overnight leader Burns finished clear of second-placed Spaniard Carlos Sainz in a Toyota, while reigning world champion Tommi Makinen of Finland was third in his Mitsubishi.

Makinen, seeking a fourth successive world title, leads the overall standings after eight legs of the World Championships.

Victory takes Burns to joint fourth place in the title race, alongside compatriot Colin McCrae, who was forced out of the Acropolis Rally with transmission failure on Tuesday.

Sainz stalled

Sainz's attempt to close in on Burns on the final day of the rally fell apart early on the third leg when he lost more than 30 seconds with suspension problems.

Makinen also encountered suspension trouble and lost three minutes on the day's opening two stages to drop to fourth behind Mitsubishi team-mate Freddy Loix.

But the order was reversed on the final stage as the reigning champion clinched third.

And they proved valuable points for Makinen, who regained his overall lead ahead of French driver Didier Auriol.

Auriol, who had been level with Makinen in the championship standings going into the event, had dropped out earlier in the race.

Final positions after 21 stages:
1 Richard Burns (GB) Subaru 4 hours 21 mins 21.2 secs
2 Carlos Sainz (Spain) Toyota 1 minute 1.3 secs behind
3 Tommi Makinen (Finland) Mitsubishi 3:40.0
4 Freddy Loix (Belgium) Toyota 4:12.4
5 Markko Martin (Estonia) Toyota 8:41.5
6 Leonidas Kirkos (Greece) Ford 13:56.5
7 Luis Climent (Spain) Subaru 14:03.9
8 Abdullah Bakhashab (Saudi Arabia) Toyota 14:57.3
9 Toshihiro Arai (Japan) Subaru 15:44.4
10 Frederic Dor (France) Subaru 17:55.2

Drivers' championship standings:
1 Tommi Makinen (Fin) 36pts
2 Didier Auriol (Fra) 32
3 Carlos Sainz (Spa) 29
4 Colin McRae (GB), Richard Burns (GB) 23
6 Philippe Bugalski (Fra) 20
7 Juha Kankkunen (Fin) 18
8 Jesus Puras (Spa), Freddy Loix (Bel) 6
10 Thomas Radstrom (Swe) 5
11 Francois Delecour (Fra), Ian Duncan (Ken), Bruno Thiry (Bel) 3

Constructors championship standings:
1 Toyota 73pt
2 Mitsubishi 48
3 Subaru 46
4 Ford 35
5 SEAT 8
6 Skoda 3

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