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Gronholm wins in Argentina.


Marcus Gronholm staged one of the most astonishing come back drives to win Rally Argentina, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship in his Peugeot 206 WRC.

The Finn started the day 15.2 seconds behind Markko Martin, but was leading when the cars came out of the first stage this morning. The engine failed on Martin's Focus, robbing him of the chance to fight with the reigning world champion over leg three's five stages.

Nobody could match Gronholm's time through the SS21, after which he had a 20.2-second lead over Carlos Sainz. Sainz - who had led the event until confusion between himself and co-driver Marc Marti left him booking into a control early and incurring a one-minute penalty - lost the runners-up spot to Richard Burns, who nosed his Peugeot ahead of the Citroen on the penultimate test, despite problems with the turbo on his 206. Those problems worsened on the final stage, however, dropping him back behind the Citroen.

Some consolation for Burns was that he still leads the driver's championship - by two points from Gronholm - while Peugeot remains at the front of the race for the manufacturer's award.

The Peugeots of Gronholm and Harri Rovanpera ran without any problems during leg three, but Burns' car suffered turbo problems on the final three stages.

Gronholm moved to the head of the field after the opening stage of the day and went into the final loop of stages with an 18.5 second advantage. He maintained that lead through the last loop of stages, winning the event by 26.6 seconds from Carlos Sainz.

Burns ensured that Peugeot held two of the three podium places by bringing his car home third. He was second for one stage, before turbo failure intervened.

Gronholm said: ''I am very happy to have come back and won this rally. When we hit the rock on the first day I thought there was no chance that I could get a result like this. We drove absolutely flat out this morning, but not taking any risks. The Fords have pushed us quite hard in some places, but this is a good result for me and for Peugeot.''

Burns added: ''The anti-lag system on the turbo stopped working for all of the last three stages, but then we had some sort of turbo failure eight kilometres from the finish of the final stage. I was happy to have got ahead of Carlos on the penultimate stage, given that it was difficult to drive the car without the ALS system. I was not happy at falling behind him on the last stage, but leading the championship is some small consolation.''



Related Pictures

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Peugeot`s Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen celebrate victory on the Rally Argentina
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