Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Burns Happy to Keep Rally Lead

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Burns Happy to Keep Rally Lead

Article excerpt

Britain's Richard Burns was relieved to maintain his position at the head of the World Rally Championship standings with a hard-fought fourth-place finish in the Acropolis Rally.

Estonia's Markko Martin steered his Ford Focus to victory in Greece, with Spanish Citroen driver Carlos Sainz in second and Norway's Petter Solberg grabbing third in his Subaru.

Burns shrugged off having to drive throughout the final day without second gear in his Peugeot to reel in Finn Tommi Makinen's Subaru before being gifted fourth place when fellow Brit Colin McRae's Citroen hit electronics problems on the penultimate stage and the Scot slipped back down to eighth.

McRae's championship challenge had looked on the rise up until that moment and, while he still gained one championship point, the former World Rally champion will see this as a case of points lost rather than gained.

Meanwhile, Burns continues to lead the series due to his greater consistency and, as his team-mate Marcus Gronholm failed to finish in Greece, Burns' lead has increased to five points over Sainz, with Gronholm slipping to third. …

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