Gronholm secures Drivers' title with Rally NZ win.

Of the other entries Finn Kristian Sohlberg started today with high hopes of winning the Group N category for more standard machinery, but his aims were put in jeopardy by rear differential problems. The resulting time loss allowed Kiwi Possum Bourne to move his Subaru ahead of Sohlberg's Impreza, and the local hero held onto the lead to score a popular win on home turf. Sohlberg's disappointment was tempered by the knowledge that Bourne is not registered for the FIA World Production Car Championship. He still took maximum points in that series to move himself into the title reckoning with just one round remaining. Former British champion Martin Rowe took second-placed points while Italian Giovanni Manfrinato claimed third, even though another local non-registered driver, Reece Jones, finished ahead of him in the final results.

Rally statistics - Leg three:

Starters: 46 crews (24 Group A and 22 Group N) started this morning.

Retirements: Solberg (N) + 2 non-seeded drivers.

Today - Sunday 5 October: Leg 3 started from Auckland at 05h00 and covered 421.02km, including 90.19km on eight special stages.

Stage by stage summary - Leg three:

SS19 Otorohea Trig (4.62kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3m 05.6
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3m 07.7
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3m 08.2

Leaders after SS19:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 11m 16.7
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 12m 14.1
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 13m 35.3

SS20 Te Akau South Reverse (32.43kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 18m 43.3
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 19m 12.0
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 19m 18.4

Leaders after SS20:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 30m 00.0
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 31m 26.1
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 32m 53.7

SS21 Ridge 1 (8.53kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 4m 45.8
2. Mäkinen (FIN) Subaru 4m 51.2
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 4m 52.9

Leaders after SS21:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 34m 45.8
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 36m 20.9
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 37m 46.6

SS22 Campbell 1 (7.44kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3m 55.8
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 3m 56.2
3. Mäkinen (FIN) Subaru 3m 58.5

Leaders after SS22:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 38m 41.6
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 40m 20.2
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 41m 42.8

SS23 Ridge 2 (8.53kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 4m 43.4
2. Mäkinen (FIN) Subaru 4m 47.6
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 4m 47.8

Leaders after SS23:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 43m 25.0
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 45m 10.4
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 46m 30.8

SS24 Campbell 2 (7.44kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3m 52.9
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 3m 55.9
3. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 3m 56.1

Leaders after SS24:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 47m 17.9
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 49m 34.5
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 50m 26.5

SS25 Fyfe 1 (10.60kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 5m 47.4
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 5m 49.2
3. Sainz (E) Ford 5m 54.3

Leaders after SS25:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 53m 05.3
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot 3h 56m 08.1
3. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 3h 57m 28.3

SS26 Fyfe 2 (10.60kms):
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 5m 40.1
2. Makinen (FIN) Subaru 5m 43.4
3. Panizzi (F) Peugeot 5m 46.7

Leaderboard in Manukau after SS26:
1. Grönholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 58m 45.4
2. Rovanperä (FIN) Peugeot +3m 47.6
3. Makinen (FIN) Subaru +4m 26.3
4. Sainz (E) Ford +5m 48.9
5. Kankkunen (FIN) Hyundai +7m 10.2
6. Loix (B) Hyundai +7m 52.5
7. Panizzi (F) Peugeot +8m 24.4
8. Gardemeister (FIN) Skoda +8m 56.1
9. Delecour (F) Mitsubishi +10m 43.6
10. Schwarz (D) Hyundai +11m 34.8

Production Car WRC leaders after SS26:
1. Sohlberg (FIN) Mitsubishi 4h 18m 20.5
2. Rowe (GB) Mitsubishi +18.3
3. Manfrinato (I) Mitsubishi +2m 57.2
4. Fiorio (I) Mitsubishi +3m 15.7
5. Ligato (RA) Mitsubishi +4m 17.9
6. Kollevold (N) Mitsubishi +33m 47.8

Final rally statistics:

Event: The rally covered 1792.48km, including 411.40km on 26 special stages (including six run twice). All stages were on gravel roads closed to other traffic.

Starters: 81 crews (42 Group A and 39 Group N) started the rally.

Finishers: 42 crews (21 Group A and 21 Group N) finished the rally.

Stage winners:
Grönholm (SS6-10-12-15 -16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-25-26)
Burns (SS1-2-3-4-9-11-13-14)
Paasonen (SS5)
Solberg (SS7-8)

Rally leaders:
SS1-SS14 Burns
SS15-SS26 Grönholm

FIA World Rally Championships:

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (provisional standings after 12 of 14 rounds): Grönholm (FIN) 67, Burns (GB) 34, C. McRae (GB) 33, Panizzi (F) 31. Sainz (E) 29, Rovanperä (FIN) 24, Solberg (N) 23, Mäkinen (FIN) 19, Loeb (F) 18, Martin (EE) 12, Bugalski (F) 7, Radstrom (S) 4, A. McRae (GB) 2, Gardemeister (FIN) 2, Thiry (B) 2, Kankkunen (FIN) 2, Eriksson (S) 1, Puras (E) 1, Loix (B) 1.

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers (provisional standings after 12 of 14 rounds): Peugeot 147, Ford 89, Subaru 50, Mitsubishi 9, Hyundai 9, Skoda 8.

FIA Junior World Rally Championship (after 5 of 6 rounds, this event not counting): Dallavilla (I) 28, Sola (E) 27, Caldani (I) 13, Tuohino (FIN) 12, Duval (B) 12, Basso (I) 10, Galli (I) 5, Schelle (D) 5, Feghali (RL) 4, Rowe (GB) 4, Carlsson (S) 3, Baldacci (I) 3, Doppelreiter (A) 2, Foss (N) 1, Katajamaki (FIN) 1.

FIA Production Car World Championship (after 7 of 8 rounds): Singh (MAL) 28, Sohlberg (FIN) 26, Ferreyros (PE) 20, Fiorio (I) 16, Arai (J) 12, Trelles (ROU) 12, Iliev (BG) 9, Rowe (GB) 11, others.

Next event - October 31-November 3/2002: Telstra Rally Australia, Perth, Australia.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Propecia Rally of New Zealand winners - Marcus Gronholm and co-driver Timo Rautiainen [Peugeot]
James Grint - Albatec Racing
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Nasser Al-Attiyah - MINI ALL4 Racing
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Petter Solberg celebrates at the 2007 Race of Champions
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Bjorn Waldegard [Pic credit: Race Retro / www.historicmotorsportshow.com]
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)

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