Makinen then will be pinning his hopes on a better day tomorrow, he said “We've got good stages to start tomorrow and those were the ones we were fighting on during the last leg this time last year when we won. We have good memory of them so will be pushing hard.”
Teammate Freddie Loix had his own problems with the Mitsubishi Carisma GT, as he explained “I am not so satisfied with the balance and handling of the car, it's not totally flowing, and we must try and do something about this for tomorrow. Four kilometres into the last stage, turning into a right corner, the power steering locked up and we hit something on the inside of the corner and went into a bank, which pushed us to the other side of the road. Fortunately there was a barrier which kept us on the road, but we damaged the side of the car.”
Didier Auriol, driving the Seat Cordoba achieved some good finishes today, but was not able to be consistently quick “My best times were on the slightly shorter Baiardo-Apricale-Perinaldo section, which was more technical and twisty and suited my driving style better. We had bad luck with the spark plug because without that problem we would now be in the top ten. Our position” he said.
Group N has seen a battle brewing between Alessandro Fiorio and Gianluigi Gialli, with the former having built up a considerable lead in the early stages only for Gialli to come back strongly at the end of the day – finishing just 1.9secs behind.
Fiorio knows that he will have to fight hard to hold on to the lead, but is pleased with the cars abilities.
“I have done only two rallies in the Carisma GT, but it seems very good I must say and we have had a good day. There is a lot of competition though and I think it is going to be really tough tomorrow,” he said.