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   Sunday, 24 March, 2002, 16:56 GMT
Panizzi triumphs in Catalunya
Panizzi on his way to his second consecutive rally win
Panizzi is now one point off the championship lead
Click here for final standings

Gilles Panizzi has powered his way to victory in the Rally of Catalunya.

The French Peugeot driver, who dominated the event throughout, held off the challenge of team-mate Richard Burns, who had to make do with second place.

Drivers Championship
1 Gronholm 21
2 Panizzi 20
3 Burns 13
4 Makinen 10
5 Sainz 9
6 Bugalski 7
7 Loeb & Rovanpera 6
9 C McRae & Solberg 5
11 A McRae 2

Sunday's result marked Panizzi's second consecutive victory following his win in Corsica earlier in the month.

And afterwards the 36-year-old asphalt specialist said: "I'm delighted to have won the event and I was able to stop pushing on the final day.

"I had to make sure that I kept my concentration on the last few stages and stay on the road but we drove well and it is another good result for the team."

With Peugeot taking the top two spots, Citroen's Philippe Bugalski beat Marcus Gronholm into third place.

But Gronholm, the 2000 world champion, leads the current championship standings with Panizzi just one point back in second.

Gronholm had profited from the departure of Sebastien Loeb, who was forced to drop out of the rally while lying in fourth place after spectacularly rolling his Citroen on the final day.

Colin McRae receives treatment for his damaged hand
McRae struggled with his hand injury

The Frenchman damaged his car's suspension and was unable to continue as a result.

Britain's Colin McRae benefited following Loeb's withdrawal, earning himself a point in sixth place.

The Scot had been forced to overcome the pain barrier throughout the entire event, driving with heavily strapped fingers.

And he said: "We've scored points in both championships and that makes all the effort and the pain worthwhile.

"My hand was particularly bad on the second leg but, once it had been restrapped at the service park, it didn't cause me too many problems."

The world championship next moves to Limassol for the Cyprus Rally on 19 April.


Rally of Catalunya final standings:

1 Gilles Panizzi (Fra) Peugeot three hours 34 minutes and 9.0 seconds
2 Richard Burns (GB) Peugeot at 37.3 seconds
3 Philippe Bugalski (Fra) Citroen 1:13.5
4 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Peugeot 1:42.7
5 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 2:01.6
6 Colin McRae (GB) Ford 3:27.3
7 Harri Rovanpera (Fin) Peugeot 3:40.1
8 Markko Martin (Est) Ford 3:43.9
9 Francois Delecour (Fra) Mitsubishi 5:28.6
10 Freddy Loix (Bel) Hyundai 5:30.6

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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Greg Strange
"A second win in two weeks for Panizzi"
World Rally Championship
This year's rallies:

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