From Adrian Kirk-Burnnand [ 23/10/2001 ].
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The Subaru World Rally Team have exceed the expectations of most people who follow the World Rally Scene and even themselves with an impressive final result of three cars comfortably in the top 6. Importantly for Richard Burns he ended as the top placed Subaru driver in 4th. This was the result of tactics employed by the team which say Petter take a safe 2 minute penalty. Burns went at full speed through the last stage and incredibly ended up less than a second infront of his team-mate!
David Lapworth: “Our realistic objective before the event was for Richard to score three points more than Tommi or Colin – to achieve 4th, 5th and 6th place here is the best possible result. The team is delighted and we have exceeded our expectations. All the drivers have done a great job, they’ve performed perfectly and with a very professional attitude. There’s a whole team of people behind the drivers and we’ve seen a fantastic team effort.”
Petter Solberg: “I have to say I’m very very happy, it’s been an unbelievable rally and the result is fantastic - I really can’t complain. It’s my first time finishing this event, and I’m really looking forward to the future. It didn’t matter about where I finished, it’s not my time yet to prove anything, my time will come. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ll go back to Norway with a big smile on my face!”
Markko Martin: “I’m really pleased to get to the finish, that as what I was concentrating on. I brought the car back with no scratches on, which was important after Sanremo and good for my confidence. Michael and I are obviously delighted to finish in the top six – it’s been a excellent weekend.”
Richard Burns: “The result and these points are a lot better than I expected. I made a mistake on the first day and when I hit that bank I didn’t think I’d be carrying on. Petter and Phil have been thoroughly professional and I really appreciate what they’ve done for Robert and myself - reducing my points deficit helps my title aspirations. The last two rallies of the year will be incredibly exciting and I’m glad that I can fight until the end.”
The final unofficial results read as follows:
2. G.PANIZZI +17.5
3. D.AURIOL +1:11.9
4. R.BURNS +4:53.1
5. P.SOLBERG +4:53.9
6. M.MARTIN +5:21.6
7. H.ROVANPERA +7:26.9
8. P.LIATTI +8:09.2
9. A.McRAE +8:52.7
10. F.DELECOUR +9:56.1
Stay tuned for photos, championship points and many more updates.
The next event is Rally Australia in only two weeks time and I'll be covering it for you from the front-line (It's my home event).
The battle for the drivers championship will be awesome!