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McRae wins as Sainz takes orders.

''It was maybe possible to beat Pozzo,'' Trelles admitted, ''but you would have had to take some big risks, and it was better to make sure of a finish. It is always good to finish this rally, and it has been really hard this year.''

McRae's victory, his second of the year, moves him into second place in the championship alongside Acropolis retiree Marcus Gronholm. The pair trail Richard Burns by 14 points - which will guarantee the Subaru driver prime spot even if he fails to finish in New Zealand next month - with Sainz and Tommi Makinen a further point adrift.

''This win has come at exactly the right time because it re-opens the championship,'' McRae added, ''We'll go into the second half of the season with confidence.''

Sainz's actions prevented him from taking his first victory for almost two years, but he will be fired up to beat allcomers on in New Zealand. The rally has always been British territory, however, and with Makinen also looking to kick-start his title defence, the scene is set for another bruising encounter.


Stage winners - Acropolis Rally - Leg Three:

SS13 Pavliani 1 Carlos Sainz 20mins 23.2secs
SS14 Stromi 1 Petter Solberg 18mins 02.9secs
SS15 Paleohori 2 Petter Solberg 7mins 45.9secs
SS16 Gravia 2 Carlos Sainz 18mins 28.0secs
SS17 Elatos 2 Petter Solberg 8mins 46.5secs
SS18 Pavliani 2 Petter Solberg 20mins 16.2secs
SS19 Stromi 2 Petter Solberg 18mins 15.0secs


Result - Acropolis Rally.

1. Colin McRae Ford Focus WRC 04hrs 56mins 54.8secs
2. Carlos Sainz Ford Focus WRC 04hrs 57mins 17.9secs +23.1secs
3. Juha Kankkunen Subaru Impreza WRC2000 05hrs 03mins 33.1secs +6mins 38.3secs
4. Toshiro Arai Subaru Impreza 05hrs 04mins 35.6secs +7mins 40.8secs
5. Armin Schwarz Skoda Octavia WRC 05hrs 06mins 05.8secs +9mins 11.0secs
6. Abdullah Bakhashab Toyota Corolla WRC 05hrs 09mins 49.7secs +12mins 54.9secs
7. Jean-Pierre Richelmi Subaru Impreza 05hrs 10mins 28.1secs +13mins 33.3secs
8. Frederic Dor Subaru Impreza 05hrs 10mins 54.6secs +19mins 59.8secs
11. Francois Delecour Peugeot 206 WRC 05hrs 12mins 07.1secs +15mins 12.3secs
10. John Papadimitriou Subaru Impreza 05hrs 13mins 16.4secs +16mins 21.6secs

11. Gabriel Pozzo Mitsubishi Lancer 05hrs 18mins 51.8secs +21mins 57.0secs
12. Gustavo Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer 05hrs 20mins 04.6secs +23mins 09.8secs
13. Manfred Stohl Mitsubishi Lancer 05hrs 20mins 47.7secs +23mins 52.9secs
14. Ramon Ferreyros Mitsubishi Lancer 05hrs 23mins 17.1secs +26mins 22.3secs
15. Serkan Yazici Toyota Corolla WRC 05hrs 26mins 47.3secs +29mins 52.5secs

Group N

11. Gabriel Pozzo Mitsubishi Lancer 05hrs 18mins 51.8secs +00hrs 21mins 57.0secs

[Times and standings courtesy Mitsubishi]


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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