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Cyprus 2000 info
Kurzeme 2000 start
U turn in Liepaja
Neste 1000 lakes info
Vidzeme 2000 info

Rally Cyprus 2000 info

Rally Cyprus finished with great victory of Ford/Martini Team!!!

Carlos Sainz produced a dominant performance to win the first ever FIA World Rally Championship Cyprus Rally. The Spaniard led from start to finish, heading his team mate Colin McRae over the line to bounce right back into the battle for the championship. Four rounds remain and the top four title-chasing crews are covered by just seven points. The FIA World Rally Championship now moves to Corsica (which has moved from its usual May date) and San Remo for a double dose of intense asphalt action before the title battle reaches its climax in Australia and Britain. For the moment, however, Sainz will be concerned only with celebrating his first win since the 1998 Rally of New Zealand and Ford's second 1-2 finish of the year.
I pushed hard on the first stage today but once I saw that I could hold off Colin then I eased back a little, said rally winner Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard has led the Cyprus Rally from the first stage on Friday and now joins Juha Kankkunen at the top of the win list with 23 WRC victories. When he reached the lunchtime regroup in Limassol today the Ford Martini team management issued instructions for its two drivers, holding a comfortable 1-2 position, to not fight between them and risk the result. Team boss Malcolm Wilson said of Sainz, Carlos has really changed his character for this event. He's totally focussed, has been training hard and is really fit. Of the Cyprus Rally he added, Considering this is the first time the organisers have run a full WRC event they must be complimented. If they continue to be receptive to advice and suggestions then the future looks good for the event. Sainz added that he was really enjoying both the event and the island. It's a nice place to bring family and friends to stay and enjoy the rally. The stages certainly have their own character.
Fran ois Delecour decided that tactics were not an issue today. All I am doing is making sure I stay ahead of Richard, he said. The Frenchman was almost a minute behind Colin McRae and, after Burns hit trouble on SS18, over a minute clear of the Englishman so this was not too difficult a quest. Despite team leader Marcus Gronholm's retirement on Friday, Gronholm continues to lead the championship. The next two events, on asphalt in Corsica and San Remo, are not his strongest choices and so he will have to fend off McRae and Burns before he gets onto gravel again for the final two rounds of the season.
There was panic in the Subaru camp at the end of today's opening stage when Richard Burns' car refused to restart at the time control. A misfire on the stage had meant a slow time but it seemed that, for the fourth event in succession, Burns would be forced out in cruel circumstances. However, the crew managed to get the car going again and the problem seemed to have been caused by a loose electrical connection. The next two stages would be tackled with fingers crossed! Frustratingly for Burns he was quickest on each of them and was left to consider what might have been. Everything that could have gone wrong this morning did, he said. I had to change a tyre before the stage after I found a nail in it. Then the electrical problem occurred and it would take anything up to five seconds between me pressing the throttle and anything happening. My 'cool suit' also failed and so I'm quite looking forward to reaching the pool this afternoon! The propshaft failure on yesterday's final stage was attributed to a rock becoming jammed in the transmission tunnel and eventually grinding away the shaft until it broke. Team mate Juha Kankkunen said of the first WRC Cyprus Rally, The concept of the event fits in with what people need from such a rally - constant variety. This rally has heat and twisty stages that can't be found anywhere else.
Team boss Andrew Cowan reflected on the improved form for the Ralliart team, saying, We've done nothing special except prepare hard for this event and had the good fortune to break everything in testing rather than on the rally itself! It's been a long time since I've seen Tommi enjoying himself so much in a rally car. Cyprus also marked Freddy Loix's best performance since he joined the team at the start of last season. He has struggled to find form in the past but has finally shown the kind of speed that everyone knew him to be capable of. Makinen had a gearbox mounting problem after SS19 that forced him to be cautious when changing gear while Loix was concerned that there were some rogues bits of metal in his transmission.
Other teams
Markko Martin had to give best to Tommi Makinen in the race for fifth place today, but the young Estonian was not too despondent. It's nice to finish sixth here, he said. The stages are very different to anywhere else in the championship. Gustavo Trelles' Group N win has opened up the production car category of the FIA World Rally Championship. Fourth place keeps Manfred Stohl at the head of the pack but reigning four-time champion Trelles is now snapping at his heels. Gabriel Pozzo rolled this morning but was able to continue without losing second place behind Trelles. Toshihiro Arai's FIA Teams Cup success means that Spike Subaru now takes over the series lead from Toyota Team Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Bakhashab.
Information from

Special stages maps in rally official page