Gardemeister said: ''It's been a difficult event. We've had a few problems but also it's been hard to get a good set-up for the sort of mixed conditions that you get here in Corsica. We've learnt some things about the suspension and the differentials and hopefully we can build on that.''
Roman Kresta noted: ''I'm just glad to get a finish here. This is my first time in Corsica and I've had to learn how the car behaves on the roads here, and try to guess what settings to take in the changing weather. It's been good experience for me.''
Of the other entries Philippe Bugalski continued to experiment with his privately-run Xsara WRC today, as the double Corsica winner tried to find a satisfactory dry-weather set-up in preparation for the Catalunya Rally. He lost confidence in the car's handling this morning and dropped behind Colin McRae into fifth, but a change of settings brought improved performance over the last pair of stages and fastest time in the closing test - plus McRae's retirement - brought him fourth overall at the finish.
In the Group N category for more standard vehicles, Peru's Ramon Ferreyros was a comfortable class winner in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7. He finished more than three minutes clear of the similar car of Dimitar Iliev, with Jean-Marie Santoni third in another E7 Lancer. The Frenchman was not registered for the Production Car World Championship, though, so fourth-placed Martin Rowe (driving an older Evo 6 model Mitsubishi) claimed third-placed points in the series.
Rally Statistics - Leg three:
43 cars (21 Group A and 22 Group N) restarted the rally
McRae (GB), Eriksson (S), Duval (B) & three other drivers
Today - Sunday 10 March:
Leg 3 started from Ajaccio at 08h20 and covered 230.37km, including 112.00km on four special stages.
Stage by stage summary - Leg three:
SS13 Coti Chiavari (24.21kms):
1. McRae (GB) Ford 15m 11.1
2. Burns (GB) Peugeot 15m 15.4
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 15m 16.0
3. Sainz (E) Ford 15m 16.0
Leaders after SS13:
1. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 3h 00m 41.8
2. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 01m 23.1
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 01m 39.7
SS14 Pont de Calzola (31.79kms):
1. Burns (GB) Peugeot 17m 50.1
2. McRae (GB) Ford 17m 50.5
3. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 17m 50.7
Leaders after SS14:
1. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 3h 20m 18.4
2. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 20m 49.6
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 21m 03.6
SS15 Coti Chiavari (24.21kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 15m 10.4
1. Panizzi* (F) Peugeot 15m 10.4
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 15m 11.2
3. Bugalski (F) Citroen
*time allocated by stewards after stage was stopped due to accident
Leaders after SS15:
1. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 3h 35m 28.8
2. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 36m 00.0
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 36m 15.3
SS16 Pont de Calzola (31.79kms):
1. Bugalski (F) Citroen
2. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 19m 11.5
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 19m 17.4
Leaderboard in Ajaccio after SS16:
1. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 3h 54m 40.3
2. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot +40.5
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot +52.4
4. Bugalski (F) Citroen
5. Solberg (N) Subaru +2m 28.2
6. Sainz (E) Ford +2m 32.8
7. Delecour (F) Mitsubishi +5m 07.8
8. Martin (EE) Ford +5m 20.0
9. Loix (B) Hyundai +6m 13.8
10. A. McRae (GB) Mitsubishi +6m 32.5
Group N Leaderboard after SS16:
1. Ferreyros (PE) Mitsubishi 4h 17m 24.9
2. Iliev (BL) Mitsubishi +3m 11.9
3. Santoni (F) Mitsubishi +3m 41.3
4. Rowe (GB) Mitsubishi +7m 23.4
5. Trelles (E) Mitsubishi +9m 10.7
6. Harrach (A) Mitsubishi +12m 11.3
Final rally statistics:
The rally covered 937.83km, including 357.70km on 16 special stages (eight, all run twice). All stages were on asphalt roads closed to other traffic.
61 cars (27 Group A and 34 Group N) started the rally
37 cars (17 Group A and 20 Group N) finished the rally
Panizzi (SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS7, SS8, SS11, SS12)
Solberg (SS6, SS10)
Grönholm (SS5, SS15)
Burns (SS9, SS14)
C. McRae (SS13)
FIA World Championships (provisional standings)
FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (after 3 of 14 rounds):
Grönholm (FIN) 18, Mäkinen (FIN) & Panizzi (F) 10, Sainz (E) 9, Burns (GB) 7, Loeb (F) & Rovanperä (FIN) 6, C. McRae (GB) 4, Bugalski (F) & Solberg (N) 3, A. McRae (GB) 2.
FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers (after 3 of 14 rounds):
Peugeot 36, Ford 20, Subaru 16, Mitsubishi 5, Hyundai 1.
FIA Junior World Rally Championship (after 1 of 6 rounds, this event not counting):
Duval (B) 10, Caldani (I) 6, Feghali (RL) 4, Carlsson (S) 3, Doppelreiter (A) 2, Schelle (D) 1.
FIA Production Car World Championship (after 2 of 8 rounds):
Sohlberg (FIN) & Ferreyros (PE) 10, Arai (J) & Iliev (BL) 6, Rowe (GB) 5, *Ipatti (FIN) 4,*Fiorio (I) & Trelles (E) 3, *Girdauskas (LIT) & Harrach (A) 2, Marrini (I) 1.
*pending exclusion from championship
Next event: March 21-24, 2002: Rallye Catalunya/Costa Brava - Rallye de España.