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Greg Strange reports
"Burns drove like a champion - this could be his year"
 real 28k

Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 13:21 GMT
Burns wins safari rally
Richard Burns
It was Burns' first win of the season
Britain's Richard Burns powered to glory in the Safari Rally ahead of his team-mate Juha Kankkunen.

Burns finished four minutes and 32 seconds ahead of the Finn in his Subaru Impreza while and France's Didier Auriol, driving a Seat Cordoba, was third, 22 minutes adrift.

Ford pair Carlos Sainz and Petter Solberg were fourth and fifth.

Burns was helped by the retirements of Britain's Colin McRae, who recently finished third in Sweden, and four-time champion Tommi Makinen.

Makinen, whose Mitsubishi was forced out during the first day's competition on Friday, retains his lead in the world championship standings ahead of Burns.

This was Burns' first win of the season and sixth of his career in this rally, which is nearly three times longer than any other rally on the 2000 calendar.

Over the tough terrain, only 17 cars among 51 that started finished the race.

Burns dominated from the second special stage to put behind him his poor start to the season where he retired in Monte Carlo and grabbed only fifth spot in Sweden.

Results:

1 Richard Burns (Gbr) Subaru Impreza WRC 8hr 33min 13sec
2 Juha Kankkunen (Fin) Subaru Impreza WRC 4:37
3 Didier Auriol (Fra) SEAT Cordoba WRC 22:44
4 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Ford Focus WRC 28:18
5 Peter Solberg (Nor) Ford Focus WRC 31:27
6 Toshihiro Arai (Jpn) Subaru Impreza 44:53.

7 Armin Schwarz (Germany) Skoda 58:58
8 Luis Climent (Spain) Skoda 1:18:00
9 Claudio Menzi (Argentina) Mitsubishi 2:05.54
10 Roberto Sanchez (Argentina) Subaru 2:23.52

World drivers' championship standings:
1 Tommi Makinen (Finland) Mitsubishi 16 points
2 Richard Burns (Britain) Subaru 12
3 Juha Kankkunen (Finland) Subaru 11
4 Marcus Gronholm (Finland) Peugeot 10
5 Carlos Sainz (Spain) Ford 9
6 equal Colin McRae (Britain) Ford 4
6 equal Didier Auriol (France) SEAT 4

Manufacturers' standings
1. Subaru 25 points
2. Mitsubishi 18
3. Ford 13
4. Peugeot 11
5. SEAT 7
6. Skoda 4

Main retirements:
Stage two
Tommi Makinen (Fin) Mitsubishi Lancer, Toni Gardemeister (Fin) SEAT Cordoba WRC

Stage four
Gilles Panizzi (Fra) Peugeot 206 WRC

Stage seven
Freddy Loix (Bel) Mitsubishi Carisma GT

Stage eight
Colin McRae (Gbr) Ford Focus WRC and Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Peugeot 206 WRC

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See also:

26 Feb 00 | Motorsport
Burns stretches Safari lead
13 Feb 00 | Motorsport
Gronholm wins Swedish rally
12 Feb 00 | Motorsport
Flying Finn retains his lead
11 Feb 00 | Motorsport
Gronholm sets Swedish pace
22 Jan 00 | Motorsport
Makinen wins in Monte Carlo
20 Jan 00 | Motorsport
Brits eye title glory