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  Sunday, 4 November, 2001, 07:03 GMT
Gronholm seals victory
Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm in action
Gronholm finished comfortably ahead of Burns
Click here for final positions

World champion Marcus Gronholm won his second successive Telstra Rally Australia on Sunday.

The flying Finn finished in a time of three hours, 17 minutes and 1.3 seconds - an advantage of 40.4s over Richard Burns.

Subaru's Burns finished almost 40 seconds ahead of third-placed Didier Auriol.

Burns banked six championship points to bring him within two points of championship leader Colin McRae.


Marcus was a bit too fast for us
Subaru's Richard Burns

McRae heads the championship race with 42 points after finishing fifth. The Ford driver won three of Sunday's four stages, ahead of title-chasing rival Tommi Makinen.

Makinen goes into the final race of the season, The Network Q Rally of Great Britain, one point adrift of the Scotsman.

McRae admitted it had been a disappointing weekend for the Ford team, but remained confident about his title chances.

"We still have everything to go for in Britain and with three drivers separated by just two points it's going to be fun.

"It's simple - the winner takes all."

Ford's Colin McRae
McRae still leads the drivers' championship
But McRae's British rival Burns was also pleased to be in the hunt for the drivers' championship.

"The championship battle is as close as it's ever been now and I've put myself right up there," he said.

"It's going to be a hard fight but I know that if I win the job will be done."

Peugeot driver Gronholm revealed he will be going all out for success in Britain despite the retention of his world title being beyond him.

"It will be difficult with Richard and Colin in the field but I would like to win in Britain to get points for the manufacturers' title," he said.

With second scoring driver Harri Rovanpera finishing in fourth, Peugeot now lead the manufacturers' table with 90 points.

Ford are five points behind.


Final positions

1 Marcus Gronholm, Finland, Peugeot, 3 hours, 17 minutes, 1.3 seconds.
2 Richard Burns, England, Subaru, 3:17.41.7.
3 Didier Auriol, France, Peugeot, 3:18.21.4.
4 Harri Rovanpera, Finland, Peugeot, 3:18.32.2.
5 Colin McRae, Scotland, Ford, 3:18.41.3.
6 Tommi Makinen, Finland, Mitsubishi, 3:20.04.0.
7 Petter Solberg, Norway, Subaru, 3:20.45.5.
8 Carlos Sainz, Spain, Ford, 3:22.00.5.
9 Gilles Panizzi, France, Peugeot, 3:22.10.3.
10 Alistar McRae, Britain, Hyundai, 3:24.33.0.

Championship standings:

McRae 42 points
Makinen 41
Burns 40
Sainz 33
Rovanpera 30
Gronholm 26
Auriol 23
Panizzi 22
Delecour 15
Solberg 11.

Manufacturers standings:

Peugeot 90 points
Ford 86
Mitsubishi 69
Subaru 62
Skoda 15
Hyundai 13.

Back to top

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Greg Strange
"A moment of disaster cost McRae"
Second placed Richard Burns
"The next few weeks are going to be very tense"
Championship leader Colin McRae
"Winning the title is all I'm thinking about"
World Rally Championship


 
 
Links to more World Rally 2001 stories are at the foot of the page.


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