Mitsubishi Motors drivers fill most of the leading positions in the Group N category on the Cyprus Rally, the third round of the 2002 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship.

Bulgarian Dimitar Iliev has put in a stunning drive to hold second in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, behind Proton driver Karamjit Singh, with Uruguayan veteran Gustavo Trelles third in another Lancer Evolution.

Dimitar Iliev started the rally aiming to learn, as he has never previously competed on loose surfaces, but the young Bulgarian has exploited his Lancer Evolution to great effect to hold an impressive second place.

"It's been very difficult today in these conditions, but the important thing for me is to gain experience, because this is all new. I am just aiming to keep the same speed tomorrow," Iliev said.

Gustavo Trelles had a chance of winning until he became one of the many victims of the rally's longest stage, Foini, when he lost five minutes changing a puncture on his Lancer Evolution, although he is still third.

"We didn't have so much luck today, but a lot of other drivers have also had problems, so to be third tonight is not so bad. I think in these conditions, anything can still happen," Trelles predicted.

Lithuania's Saulius Girdauskas has climbed to fourth in his Lancer Evolution and is only a few seconds behind Trelles, but he is also under pressure from Italy's Luca Baldini. Norway's Bernt Kollevold completes the points-scoring positions in his Mitsubishi Carisma GT.

All of the Mitsubishi drivers are also vying for the Mitsubishi Trophy, which will offer the victor a prize of 5,000,000 yen at the end of the season. Tough conditions have led to a ferocious retirement rate, the victims including overnight lead Luis Perez-Companc, whose Lancer Evolution slipped off the road.

Overall Group N after SS14 - Leg two:

1.Karamjit SinghProton Pert3hrs 28mins 59.6secs2.Dmitri IlievMitsubishi Lancer Evo VII+06mins 44.9secs3.Gustavo TrellesMitsubishi Lancer Evo VII+07mins 46.7secs4.Saulius GirdauskasMitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+07mins 59.4secs5.Luca BaldiniMitsubishi Carisma+08mins 02.6secs6.Bernt KollevoldMitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+15mins 36.4secs7.Dmitris KounelisMitsubishi+21mins 07.6secs8.Rami ShiohatovichMitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+22mins 12.2secs9.Charalambos TimotheouMit. Lancer Evo VI+26mins 15.7secs10.Natalie BarrattMitsubishi Lancer Evo VI+28mins 02.2secs