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Jonathan Legard reports
"It was Monte Carlo or bust for McRae and Burns"
 real 28k

Saturday, 22 January, 2000, 18:38 GMT
Makinen wins in Monte Carlo
Tommi Makinen: Started where he left off last year
Tommi Makinen made the perfect start to his bid for a fifth world title by winning the Monte Carlo rally for the second year running.

It is great to start the new season with a win

Tommi Makinen
The Mitsubishi driver finished the race with a comfortable lead of one minute and 24.9 seconds over three times winner Carlos Sainz of Spain.

Veteran Finn Juha Kakkunen, driving a Subaru, was third.

More disappointment for Colin McRae
Makinen's main rivals, Briton Richard Burns and Frenchman Gilles Panizzi, were forced to throw in the towel without even competing on Friday after their cars failed to start.

It was the turning point of the race as the ambitious Burns, last year's championship runner-up for Subaru, was trailing the Finn by only 12 seconds after Thursday's first stage.

Makinen's victory was made even easier when former world champion Colin McRae was forced out of the race with engine problems in the very last timed stage.

Past winner
2000 - Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi
1999 - Tommi Makinen, Mitsubishi
1998 - Carlos Sainz, Toyota
1997 - Piero Liatti, Subaru
1996 - Patrick Bernardini, Ford
1995 - Carlos Sainz, Subaru
Makinen, who set six fastest times out of a possible 16, said: "It is great to start the new season with a win.

"I could drive cautiously considering my large lead and I wanted to be careful because of the large crowd."

McRae was visibly upset with his withdrawal.

"I am gutted," he said. "Third place would have been an excellent start for me.

"I had hoped that the new year would bring a change of luck after what happened last season, but that's not been the case. It's clear me and good luck do not go together at the moment.

"There had been no indication that we had a problem with the engine.

"But suddenly it started misfiring and when the oil warning light came on I knew that was it and all I could do was park the car."

Final standings

1. Tommi Makinen (Finland) Mitsubishi Lancer Four hours 23 minutes and 35.8 seconds
2. Carlos Sainz (Spain) Ford Focus 1:24.9 behind
3. Juha Kankkunen (Finland) Subaru Impreza 3:21.4
4. Toni Gardemeister (Finland) Seat Cordoba 3:45.1
5. Bruno Thiry (Belgium) Toyota Corolla 4:48.4
6. Freddy Loix (Belgium) Mitsubishi Lancer 7:04.1
7. Armin Schwarz (Germany) Skoda Octavia 9:48.3
8. Olivier Burri (Switzerland) Toyota Corolla 10:41.4
9. Manfred Stohl (Austria) Mitsubishi Lancer 20:41.8
10. Luis Climent (Spain) Skoda Octavia 20:49.5

Timed stages winners:

TS 1: Gilles Panizzi (France), Peugeot 206
TS 2: Makinen
TS 3: Richard Burns (Britain), Subaru Impreza
TS 4: Makinen
TS 5: Makinen

TS 6: cancelled
TS 7: Kankkunen
TS 8: Makinen
TS 9: Colin McRae (Britain), Ford Focus
TS 10: Makinen

TS 11: McRae
TS 12: Makinen
TS 13: Kankkunen
TS 14: Sainz
TS 15: Sainz

A total of 1,468.57 kms including 381.31 kms of timed stages.

Drivers championship

1 T Makinen (Fin, Mitsubishi) 10pts
2 C Sainz (Spa, Ford) 6
3 J Kankkunen (Fin, Subaru) 4
4 T Gardemeister (Fin, Seat) 3
Thiry (Bel, Toyota) 2

Manufacturers' Championship:

1 Mitsubishi 12
2 Ford 6
3 Subaru 4
4 Seat 3
5 Skoda 1.

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See also:

21 Jan 00 | Motorsport
Finn flies after Burns' car trouble
20 Jan 00 | Motorsport
Brits eye title glory