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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 14:55 GMT
Gronholm retains lead
McRae spun on the first corner of stage two
McRae spun on the first corner of stage two
Finnish drivers dominated the first day of the Swedish Rally with last year's winner Marcus Gronholm earning a 27-second lead over Tommi Makinen.

Leading times (after day one)
1 Gronholm (Fin) Peugeot 48min 54.1 seconds
2 Makinen (Fin) Subaru 27 seconds behind
3 Burns (GB) Peugeot 30.8
4 Rovenpera (Fin) Peugeot 36.2
5 Pykalisto (Fin) Peugeot 59.3
6Gardemeister (Fin) Skoda 1:03.9

The rally was halted during the fifth stage after Ford's Belgian driver Francois Duval crashed heavily.

Peugeot's Richard Burns was one of only five cars to have completed the stage, before the accident and the Briton had set the fastest time.

Rally organisers were expected to give all those behind Duval, including race leader and world champion Marcus Gronholm of Finland, a nominal time for the stage.

The Finn, winner in Sweden last year, dominated the first day's action on snowy roads in western Sweden.

Fellow Finn Makinen, holds second place in his Subaru ahead of Gronholm's British team-mate Richard Burns.

Colin McRae's chances of winning the event were all but lost on the first corner of the second speed test after he spun his Citroen into a snow bank and lost nearly a minute to Gronholm.

The Peugeots of Harri Rovanpera and Juuso Pykalisto hold fourth and fifth place with Toni Gardemeister's Skoda in sixth.

World Rally Championship
This year's rallies:

TOP TEAMS AND DRIVERS

 
 
 
See also:

06 Feb 03 | World Rally
05 Feb 03 | World Rally
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