Rallying: Gronholm wins Swedish

2003-02-10 16:57

Gronholm's Peugeot 206 started the final day of the event ahead of Tommi Makinen's Subaru Impreza,Burns's Peugeot, Markko Martin's Ford Focus, Colin McRae's Citroen Xsara and Petter Solberg's Subaru, and that's the order in which they finished.

Margins altered during the day, of course, and by the end of the rally Solberg was just 3.3s behind McRae, but the only leaderboard place change came after the top six.

Monte Carlo winner Sébastien Loeb moved his Citroen up from tenth to seventh, which allowed him to keep his WRC lead, although he's now on the same points as team-mate McRae.

Toni Gardemeister's Skoda, Carlos Sainz's Citroen and Freddy Loix in the quickest Hyundai finished eighth to tenth.

There was a grandstand finish in the FIA Production Car Championship, for which Sweden was the opening round.

Toshihiro Arai retired the leading Subaru when his engine failed between stages, and veteran Stig Blomqvist, in a similar car, took over.

Going into the final stage, he was 5.8s up on Janusz Kulig's Mitsubishi, but the Pole turned the tables and came out the Production winner by 3.3s.

Karamjit Singh's Proton was third in the Production class, Martin Rowe and Possum Bourne fourth and fifth in Subarus.

There was another late change in the rally's Group N category, where the leaders were outpacing the WRC Production drivers.

Stig-Olov Walfridson's Mitsubishi went out with engine trouble, and Kenneth Backlund moved up to give Mitsubishi the class win.