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BBC World Service's Greg Strange
"Gronholm has waited a long long time for this win"
 real 14k

Marcus Gronholm
"I have tried many years here to win"
 real 14k

Colin McRae
"Finland hasn't been very kind to me in the past"
 real 14k

Sunday, 20 August, 2000, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Gronholm wins in Finland
Marcus Gronholm: Finished ahead of Ford's Colin McRae
Marcus Gronholm: Finished ahead of Ford's Colin McRae
Marcus Gronholm secured top spot in the world championship table after winning the Rally of Finland.

The Peugeot driver finished one minute and six seconds in front of Ford's Colin McRae.

The victory moved Gronholm ahead of Richard Burns, who crashed out on Saturday, in the overall standings.

Finland's Harri Rovanpera clinched third position, despite incurring a 10 second penalty for a time-card infringement.

Gronholm, who also led after Friday's first leg, took full advantage of Burns' misfortune with commanding driving.

"It is great to win my home rally for the first time and take the lead in the world championship," said Gronholm.

Fastest time

"I enjoyed the whole event and once I built up a lead after Richard retired it was just a question of remaining calm and focused to keep the car on the road.

Colin McRae
McRae was happy with his performance

"There are still five events of the season left but I am feeling confident after winning here and in New Zealand."

Gronholm gained a great advantage on the second leg when second-placed Burns rolled his car moments after finishing the 11th stage.

McRae clocked the fastest time on the final 25.4 km 'Vaheri 2' stage to edge Rovanpera back into third by a 3.4 second margin.

"I'm delighted with second place and this result is very important for me in terms of the championship," said McRae.

"We made a bad tyre choice on the penultimate stage but managed to come back strongly on the final run. I'm very happy."

Suspension problem

Current world champion Tommi Makinen suffered from suspension problems during the day but still managed to drive his new Mitsubishi into fourth place, more than 90 seconds adrift.

"We had difficulties every day and sometimes the car was really hard to drive. I was going too high on some of the jumps so fourth is not bad considering the problems we had," said Makinen.

Sebastian Lindholm finished fifth ahead of Peugeot team-mate Francois Delecour.

"I am very happy as I achieved what I set out to do," said Lindholm.

"I was given the chance in a World Rally car and have scored two points for Peugeot."

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See also:

19 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
Gronholm retains Finland lead
18 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
Flying Finn leads home rally
18 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
Finns threaten Burns' lead
04 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
McRae sticks with Ford
16 Jul 00 |  Motorsport
Gronholm wins in NZ
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