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Solberg takes Aussie thriller, Loeb second.

Auriol said: "The hydraulic trouble meant we had no differentials, clutch or anything. The problem started just a few kilometres into the first stage this morning. The car was really difficult to drive, very hard work. It's a disappointing end to the event for us."

Gardemeister noted: "I have been pushing harder today and my arm hasn't been causing me any pain. The car was good, but in some of the fast sections on the first loop of stages it felt a little bit down on power – a bit lazy. Maybe this could have been the deep gravel sapping some of the power."

Of the other entries British driver Martin Rowe took his maiden win in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship. The Subaru Impreza driver's only problem was bending the steering on the first loop of stages. He now holds a seven-point lead over Toshi Arai going into the final round of the series.

Karamjit Singh placed his Proton second, while Niall McShea was third in a Mitsubishi Lancer, dropping down a place after a puncture on SS22.



Rally statistics:

Starters: 34 crews (15 Group A and 19 Group N) started this morning.

Top retirements: Martin (EE).

Today - Sunday 7 September: Leg 3 started from Perth at 07h00 and covered 474.61km, including 117.11km on four stages.



Stage by stage summary - Leg 3:

SS21 Bannister North (24.81km):
1. Solberg (N) Subaru 13m 11.9
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 13m 17.6
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 13m 18.5

Leaders after SS21:
1. Solberg (N) Subaru 2h 45m 21.6
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 2h 45m 22.2
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 2h 46m 51.7

SS22 Bannister South (34.16km):
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 16m 00.1
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 16m 02.0
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 16m 09.1

Leaders after SS22:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 01m 22.3
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 01m 23.6
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 03m 00.8

SS23 Bannister West (24.69km):
1. Solberg (N) Subaru 12m 22.6
2. McRae (GB) Citroen 12m 28.1
3. Sainz (E) Citroen 12m 28.6

Leaders after SS23:
1. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 13m 46.2
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 13m 54.2
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 15m 33.5

SS24 Bannister Central (33.45km):
1. McRae (GB) Citroen 18m 10.0
2. Sainz (E) Citroen 18m 14.0
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 18m 20.9

Leaders in Perth after SS24 / Leg 3:
1. Solberg (N) Subaru 3h 32m 07.1
2. Loeb (F) Citroen +26.6
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot +1m 53.0
4. McRae (GB) Citroen +2m 30.7
5. Sainz (E) Citroen +2m 37.2
6. Makinen (FIN) Subaru +3m 01.5
7. Rovanpera (FIN) Peugeot +4m 03.9
8. Loix (B) Hyundai +7m 00.7
9. Hirvonen (FIN) Ford +7m 10.6
10. Duval (B) Ford +7m 46.2

FIA PCWRC leaders after SS24:
1. Rowe (GB) Subaru 3h 22m 24.9
2. Singh (MAL) Proton +1m 57.0
3. McShea (GB) Mitsubishi +2m 39.0
4. Blomqvist (S) Subaru +9m 38.4
5. Sola (E) Mitsubishi +10m 20.5
6. Roman (S) Mitsubishi +27m 42.8



Final rally statistics:

Event: The rally covered 1795.16km, including 386.31km on 24 special stages (including five run twice and one superspecial run 4 times). All stages were on gravel roads closed to other traffic.

Starters: 49 crews (19 Group A and 30 Group N) started the rally.

Finishers: 32 crews (13 Group A and 19 Group N) finished the rally.

Stage winners:
Solberg (SS1-7-8-11-12-14-15-21-23)
Loeb (SS5-6-8-9-13-16-17-18-22)
Martin (SS4-19-20)
Gronholm (SS2-3)
Duval (SS10)
McRae (SS24)

shared times in bold


Rally leaders:
SS1 Solberg
SS2-7 Gronholm
SS8-11 Loeb
SS12 Loeb/Solberg
SS13-20 Loeb
SS21 Solberg
SS22 Loeb
SS23-24 Solberg


FIA World Rally Championships:

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (after 10 of 14 rounds): Burns (GB) 55, Solberg (N) 48, Sainz (E) 48, Loeb (F) 45, Gronholm (FIN) 38, Martin (EE) 37, C. McRae (GB) 33, Makinen (FIN) 21, Rovanpera (FIN) 18, Duval (B) 11, Gardemeister (FIN) 9, Panizzi (F) 6, Auriol (F) 4, Robert (F) 3, A.McRae (GB) 3 Hirvonen (FIN) 3, Schwarz (D) 3, Tuohino (FIN) 2, Loix (B) 1, Ginley (GB) 1, Lindholm (FIN) 1.

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers (after 10 of 14 rounds): Peugeot 110, Citroen 110, Subaru 74, Ford 61, Skoda 20, Hyundai 12.

FIA Junior World Rally Championship(after 4 of 7 rounds, this event not counting): Tirabassi (F) 28, Carlsson (S) 18, Canellas (E) 17, Aava (EE) 16, Wilks (GB) 15, Katajamaki (FIN) 10, Ligato (RA) 10, Broccoli (RSM) 9, others.

FIA Production Car World Championship(after 6 of 7 rounds): Rowe (GB) 37/5, Arai (J) 30/5, Singh (MAL) 30/6, Blomqvist (S) 26/5, Sola (E) 22/5, Ligato (RA) 13/5, McShea (GB) 8, others.


Next event - October 2-5: Rallye Sanremo-Rallye d'Italia.





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