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   Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 14:00 GMT
Gronholm wins in Sweden
Marcus Gronholm in the Peugeot in Sweden
Gronholm dominated in the slushy conditions
Click here for results and standings

Marcus Gronholm won the Rally of Sweden after the third and final day on Sunday.

The Finn beat last year's winner Harri Rovanpera into second place while Spain's Carlos Sainz clinched the final podium place in the Ford Focus.

Afterwards he said: "I was under no pressure at all, we had done all of the hard work on the first two days and had enough of a lead over Harri.

"We attacked on Saturday, but today (Sunday) we just decided to stay in the middle of the road to make sure we won."

Richard Burns
Burns fell eight seconds short of third place

The 2000 world champion added: "I'm very happy with this year and I hope it will continue this way."

Gronholm's victory took the Finn to the top of the drivers' standings and continued Scandanavian domination on the icy terrain.

No-one from outside Scandanavia has ever won the event.

Sainz came closest this year but was nearly two-and-a-half minutes off the pace.

Richard Burns, meanwhile, managed fourth.

The defending world champion had come close to clinching the final podium place at the end of the third day.

He set the fastest time on Sunday's opening stage to climb one place into fourth.

But the Briton's chances were scuppered when the 13th stage of the day was cancelled because of the treacherous conditions of the track as a result of melting snow.

Despite the cancellation, he crept closer with another win on special stage 14 at Vargasen.

And he was just 12.5 seconds behind Sainz going into the final stage, with Gronholm and Rovanpera well ahead in first and second.

Colin McRae produced a late bid for a top-six finish but to no avail
Colin McRae finished behind brother Alister

But he was unable to overhaul Spain's former world champion, who had only once failed to finish in the top three in Sweden in the previous five years.

Burns ended the three days just eight seconds behind Sainz.

Briton Colin McRae won stage 15 from Burns and Gronholm to climb up the standings.

McRae finished in seventh behind brother Alister, but both were promoted a place after Finn Janne Tuohino accepted a time penalty.

Tuohino, driving a privately-entered Ford, was originally classified fifth, but took a 10-second penalty for arriving late at time control.

Tuohino said: "I'm delighted to help. I'm still so happy to finish this high."

Tommi Makinen, who won the only other rally so far this season in Monte Carlo, ended the rally out of the points.

He was forced to retire on Friday after his Peugeot collided with a snow wall.


Final results from the Rally of Sweden (top seven):

1 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Peugeot three hours seven minutes 28.6 seconds
2 Harri Rovanpera (Fin) Peugeot at one minute 24.5 seconds
3 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Ford Focus 2:25.8
4 Richard Burns (GB) Peugeot 2:33.9
5 Alister McRae (GB) Mitsubishi Lancer 4:14.7
6 Colin McRae (GB) Ford Focus 4:15.0

7 Janne Tuohino (Fin) Ford Rs 4:23.4*
* Accepted 10-second time penalty to promote Colin McRae into the points

Drivers world championship leading standings (after two events):

1 Gronholm (Fin) 12pts
2 Tommi Makinen (Fin) Subaru 10
3 Sainz (Spa) 8
4= Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen 6
4= Rovanpera (Fin) 6
6= McRae (GB) 3
6= Burns (GB) 3

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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Greg Strange - BBC Five Live
"This is a hugely challenging rally"
 Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm-BBC WS
"There are a lot of drivers who can win the title"
World Rally Championship
This year's rallies:

TOP TEAMS AND DRIVERS

 
 
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