Faultless Sainz secures sparkling win

From Ben Mulkern [ 02/03/2003 ].
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Carlos Sainz proved himself to be the master of the unfamiliar as he secured victory on the Rally of Turkey - it's also been a test of patience and technical skill, and the Spaniard once again has confirmed his dominance when it becomes more than just a battle of speed. The Madrid man's last event win was Argentina in 2002, however prior to that his last win was in Cyprus in 2000 when that event was introduced to the championship - bring on more new events must be Carlos's call. Peugeot's Richard Burns secured second place, and with great stealth he has moved into the championship lead, just ahead of Colin McRae who finished the event in fourth; the British duo were split by Ford's young marvel Francois Duval.

The next event is New Zealand, and Burns must have thought twice about gaining second place as he will road sweep for a day on that event - it won't be much better for McRae of course. Once again it was a lacklustre event for Burns, however he picked his way safely through the 18 stages without a hitch to notch his best result of 2003.

Francois Duval's new partnership with Stephane Prevot flourished on this event, and the Belgian proved that his 2002 talent was not overstated, as he reminded everyone that he is future world champion material.

As for Sainz, he moves to 25 WRC wins and will rejoice at his first alongside Marc Marti, who has proved to be a superb replacement for Luis Moya. The Citroen team will also marvel at this win, as it proves that the Xsara WRC has the better of the 206WRC on rough events, which looks promising with Cyprus and Acropolis to come.