Toni Gardemeister continued along in the Grifone run Peugeot, which has now outlasted all other 206's by a full seven stages, and was holding down seventh overall while the oft-maligned Freddy Loix dropped from a points scoring position down to eighth in the second Mitsubishi after incurring several costly road penalties, one for a broken wishbone.
Day one hero Olivier Burri found the pace a little too hot on day two and fell to ninth overall, commenting that he would have preferred to ride his bicycle along several stages such was his difficulty in finding traction in his Toyota Corolla. Completing the top ten was the impressive Bruno Thiry, who continued to recover well from his day one difficulties albeit slightly off the pace of his team-mate. What is significant is that Ford and Mitsubishi aside, Skoda are the only factory team to have both cars still running, a sign of the work that the Czech team have done over the winter.
In Group N, overnight leader Manfred Stohl encountered turbo problems on the day's second stage and lost four minutes, dropping to sixth in class at one point. That left the door open for Olivier Gillet and Gianluigi Galli to take centre stage in their Mitsubishi's and the pair finished the day eleventh and twelfth overall, one minute apart.
Problems solved for Stohl, the Austrian set about regaining his class lead and although he was back up to third by the day's end he was still two and a half minutes down on Gillet.
Tomorrow's final day comprises just four special stages totalling just under 100-kilmetre competitive stage miles. Can Makinen find four seconds over that distance or will McRae stay ahead and fire the first title warning of the 2001 WRC season? And don't forget the Skoda for if any of the top three hit trouble, Armin Schwarz will be there to capitalise.