The Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart crew of Tommi Makinen and Risto Mannisenmaki continue to suffer for leading the 2001 FIA World Rally Championship. The Finns, who are running first on the road in the opening leg of Rally New Zealand, are acting as road sweepers for the crews behind and the quantity of loose gravel on the surface is severely hampering any hopes of competitive times today.

"There is absolutely no grip at all", stated Makinen. "There is about one inch of dry gravel on the roads, the car is sliding around all over the place and it's impossible to slow down. I've never seen it like this before and it is very unfair. We are losing so much time because I can't put the power on and we're having to brake so early to avoid going off".

The Finns currently hold 13th position after four of today's eight special stages.