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Cyprus Rally 2001
Round 6 of the 2001 FIA World Rally Championship
1-3 June 2001

Official FIA Press Release

McRae wins!
Sunday, 03 June 2001
Ford driver Colin McRae has scored his second consecutive victory in this year's FIA World Rally Championship by winning the sixth round, the Cyprus Rally, which finished in Limassol this evening. The Scot, navigated by Nicky Grist, moved ahead of British rival Richard Burns during this morning's first loop of four stages and he eventually finished nearly 20 seconds clear of the Subaru driver. Spain's Carlos Sainz finished third, closing the gap between him and current World Championship leader Tommi Mäkinen to just a single point. McRae's victory places him third in the series, seven points behind Mäkinen, and moves Ford to the top of the World Championship for Manufacturers. Intense heat and the notoriously dusty tracks again put cars and drivers through a stern test today, and the stages claimed two more works drivers. Reigning FIA World Champion Marcus Grönholm was forced out with a fuel feed problem, while suspension damage accounted for Mitsubishi driver Katsuhiko Taguchi late this afternoon.

Technical: The two remaining Focus RS WRC01s of Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz have been reliable today. Sainz's only problems were two punctures on the penultimate stage, since the Spaniard then had to complete the last test with them as well.
Sporting: Colin McRae scored his second victory in succession to boost his world championship chances. He moved clear of Richard Burns by setting fastest times on two of this morning's four stages, and even though the roads had cleaned for everyone by the time crews revisited them this afternoon McRae made sure of his success by posting further scratch times in SS19 and SS21. Carlos Sainz closed in on Marcus Grönholm this morning prior to the Finn's retirement, and then targeted Richard Burns during this afternoon's stages. But he was forced to complete the final stage with two punctures and had to settle for third.
Quotes: Colin McRae said: ăIt's a fantastic result that puts us right back into the championship. If we can get another good result now in Greece later this month then we'll be right up there. It's another British one-two as well - maybe the days of the Finns are finally over! It was actually easier than I thought it would be today - it's still close, of course, but I really expected it to be decided by just a couple of seconds and we won by nearly 20. We've shown before that when the car's reliable we can win almost anywhere and this proves it again. I'd like more of the same on the Acropolis.
Carlos Sainz said: ăIt's a good result for us in the drivers' championship and a great one for Ford in the manufacturers' series. I would have liked to have finished higher, of course, but it was a hard rally. I wasn't able to do much sport between Argentina and here because of my sore leg, so I'm quite tired.
Ford World Rally boss Malcolm Wilson said: ăYou can't take anything away from the way Colin's driven but there was a psychological battle last night over who would run first on the road today and we won it. He and Carlos have both driven superbly and it's great that this result moves them both into the thick of the championship fight. These types of events really seem to suit our car, because it's strong and the suspension is good. I'm delighted.

Technical: Richard Burns's Subaru was generally reliable during today's final leg, although the Englishman had to cope with two punctures on the fifth stage of the day. Team-mate Toshihiro Arai, meanwhile, continued to suffer from overheating on his Impreza, but the Japanese driver saw no repetition of the 'safe mapping mode' problem which cost him time over the opening couple of days.
Sporting: Try as he might, Richard Burns was unable to fight off the challenge of Colin McRae during today's opening four stages, when the Subaru driver had the slight disadvantage of running first on the road. Despite his perceived problem, Burns was still surprised at the pace of his Scottish rival and by the afternoon loop of stages, his target had switched from fighting for the win to hanging on to his second place. He achieved the latter by setting fastest time on the day's last stage. Toshihiro Arai moved into fourth when Marcus Grönholm retired but came under slight pressure from Freddy Loix this afternoon. However, the Japanese driver fought back to hold onto that placing and equal his best ever finish on a World Championship event (he finished fourth on the Acropolis Rally last year).
Quotes: Richard Burns said: ăI knew it would be hard to keep Colin behind this morning and I tried everything, but even then he took some big chunks of time. I think the second and third stages today cleaned more than the others, because he really took a lot of time out of me there. Of course, he was also driving pretty hard as well. Once I held Carlos off on the penultimate stage I was more comfortable going into the last, although it was close. We really wanted to be winning these events, not finishing second, but at least we can say we are finishing second and not retiring. Acropolis and the Safari will be crucial if we're to play a greater part in the championship fight.
Toshihiro Arai said: ăI'm really pleased with this result. I was determined not to make mistakes, drive my way around the worst rocks and get to the finish and we've done that. To equal my best ever finish is great, and we've set some good times as well.

Technical: Freddy Loix's Lancer Evolution was reliable today, but team-mate Katsuhiko Taguchi was forced to retire in SS20 when he damaged his car's suspension.
Sporting: Freddy Loix spun on the first stage this morning and stalled the engine, costing the Belgian crucial seconds as he tried to close the gap to Toshihiro Arai. He eventually had to settle for fifth, although that result gained Mitsubishi three points in the World Championship for Manufacturers. Katsuhiko Taguchi started the day just outside the top ten and with Marcus Grönholm's retirement, the Japanese driver looked set to score a top ten finish before broken suspension forced him to retire in SS20.
Quotes: Freddy Loix said: ăI'm quite happy to score some more points, but this has been a really tough rally. I must say that I prefer the cleaner and faster roads instead of the dusty, twisty tracks we've used here. You have to stay in the ruts when possible but sometimes if you get a wheel outside of them you can find loads of loose gravel and the car will snap sideways. It's a shame that I lost time yesterday because I felt quite comfortable with the car during most of this rally and perhaps I could have pushed for a few more points, but at least we have finished.

Technical: Alister McRae's Accent has enjoyed a troublefree final day.
Sporting: Alister McRae started today in ninth but the Scot quickly moved past Bruno Thiry's Skoda into eighth to claim a manufacturers' point for Hyundai. His haul was doubled when Marcus Grönholm retired, promoting McRae to seventh overall and fifth manufacturer-nominated entry by the finish.
Quotes: Alister McRae said: ăIt's really just been a case of keeping the car in decent condition and getting to the finish today. Our tyre wear has been more on a par with everyone else's today, which might just be the characteristics of the roads. But if you'd told me on day one that I'd come out of this rally with a couple of manufacturers' points, I'd have laughed. We're clearly making progress in a number of key areas - the performances over the last few rallies have shown that. All we need to do now is get a clean run and string them all together.

Technical: Neither Armin Schwarz or Bruno Thiry reported any significant problems with their Octavia WRCs today. Thiry experimented further with his car's spring settings in an attempt to gain more traction while retaining enough suspension travel for the worst bumps. Skoda was the sole manufacturer to get all of its cars to the finish.
Sporting: Bruno Thiry admitted that he'd been too conservative in today's first stage, and his caution allowed Alister McRae to sneak past and bag the final manufacturers' point. But Thiry was handed back that point when Marcus Grönholm retired before lunch. Armin Schwarz, meanwhile, was unable to make any impression on the cars in front from his overnight 10th place, although Grönholm's retirement moved him up to ninth.
Quotes: Armin Schwarz said: ăIt's been a hard event but when I've had a clean run, I've really enjoyed it. These sorts of stages should suit the car and me. I'm glad that Skoda has got both of its Octavias to the finish, because it shows the strength of the car and we've got two more rough rallies ahead in Greece and Kenya.
Bruno Thiry said: ăI was too worried about the tyres on this morning's first stage and I gave away a lot of time to Alister. But this is the sort of rally where you can't really attack back, so I had to maintain my pace. We've proven that the Octavia is a strong car and this will help us in Greece later this month too.

Technical: Marcus Grönholm was forced to retire from the event after this morning's fourth stage, when his 206 WRC suddenly lost fuel pressure on a road section. Peugeot engineers suspect the problem could be related to a pipe in the fuel tank itself, since a similar glitch occurred on a pre-event test. Cyprus was the third event this season where Peugeot has failed to get any of its works cars to the finish.
Sporting: Marcus Grönholm started today's final eight stages running third on the road and signalled his intentions by setting fastest time on the opening test. He ceded seconds to Carlos Sainz thereafter, though, as Grönholm paced himself carefully to keep his tyres in a relatively useable condition. He still held third overall after the fourth stage of the day but on the way back to service, his 206 WRC's engine cut out and refused to restart. The Finn was eventually forced to retire with low fuel pressure.
Quotes: Marcus Grönholm said: ăWe were on the road section, only about a kilometre and a half after the stage and I was cruising along, doing maybe 70kph, when suddenly the engine stopped. We talked to the team on the radio and tried everything to get going again but it wasn't possible. I'm really disappointed.
Peugeot Sport Team Director Corrado Provera said: ăThe problems that stopped Marcus and Didier (Auriol) here are details linked to the 2001 evolution of the 206 WRC, not fundamental problems. We have learnt a great deal here that will be useful in the rough events to come - the Acropolis and the Safari. It seems Ford has a very strong option on the manufacturers' title.

Other teams
Pasi Hagstrom bagged maximum points in the FIA Teams Cup for Privateers and finished sixth overall in the process, while his nearest rival in the category, Abdullah Bakhashab, gained a top ten finish thanks to the retirement of Marcus Grönholm. Third place in the class was claimed by British woman Natalie Barratt. In the Group N category for more standard cars, Gustavo Trelles closed the gap on Group N World Championship leader Gabriel Pozzo by winning the class. Pozzo finished third, behind reigning category champion Manfred Stohl.

1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 5:07:32,7
2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 5:07:49,1
3 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 5:07:59,2
4 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 5:13:11,0
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 5:13:42,9
6 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 5:17:05,2
7 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 5:18:08,3
8 Thiry Skoda Octavia WRC 5:19:10,7
9 Schwarz Skoda Octavia WRC 5:20:20,8
10 Bakhashab Toyota Corolla WRC 5:29:44,8

1 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5:34:44,0
2 Stohl Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5:38:38,7
3 Pozzo Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5:43:31,7

1 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 5:17:05,2
2 Bakhashab Toyota Corolla WRC 5:29:44,8
3 Barratt Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6:09:57,3

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (provisional standing after 6 of 14 rounds):
Mäkinen (FIN) 27
Sainz (E) 26
C. McRae (GB) 20
Burns (GB) 15
Rovanperä (FIN) 10
Auriol (F) 10
Delecour (F) 9
Loix (B) 7
Rådström (S) 6
Panizzi (F) 6
Gardemeister (FIN) 5
Grönholm 4
Schwarz (D) 3
Solberg (N) 3
Arai (J) 3
A. McRae (GB) 1
Hagstrom (FIN) 1

FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers:
Ford 50
Mitsubishi 47
Subaru 22
Peugeot 20
Hyundai 10
Skoda 7
Citroen 0

FIA World Cup for Drivers of Production Cars:
Pozzo (RA) 27
Trelles (ROU) 20
Stohl (A) 12
Gillet (CH) 10
Walfridsson (S) 10
Da Silva & Trelles (ROU) 10
Blomqvist (S) 8

FIA Teams Cup:
Hagstrom (FIN) 20
Lundgaard (DK) 10
Bakhashab (SA) 9
Blomqvist (S) 6
Al Wahaibi (OM) 6
Papadimitriou (GR) 4
Heat (GB) 4
Natalie Barratt (GB) 4
Frederic Dor (F) 2

FIA Super 1600 Championship for Drivers:
Loeb (F) 10
Basso (I) 6
Fontana (I) 4
Stenshorne (N) 3
Dallavilla (I) 2
Chemin (I) 1

SS15 - Gronholm, SS16 - McRae, SS17 - McRae, SS18 - Burns, SS19 - McRae, SS20 - Sainz, SS21 - McRae, SS22 - Burns

SS20 Taguchi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Suspension Failure
SS18 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC Fuel Pressure
SS11 Delecour Ford Focus WRC Engine
SS10 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC Engine
SS9 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC Alternator Failure
SS6 Liatti Hyundai Accent WRC Oil Pressure
SS4 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Accident
SS3 Blomqvist Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Mechanical
SS2 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC Suspension
SS1 Al-Wahaibi Subaru Impreza WRC Engine Fire

SS 15, Vavatsinia - Mandra Kambiou 1 19.02km
1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 17:17,0
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 17:18,1
3 McRae Ford Focus WRC 17:20,1
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 17:21,1
5 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 17:25,9

SS 16, Macheras - Ag. Vavatsinias 1 13.11km
1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 11:41,2
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 11:45,2
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 11:45,3
4 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 11:47,1
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 11:49,0

SS 17, Lageia - Kalavasos 1 9.53km
1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 8:37,3
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 8:37,5
3 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 8:43,1
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 8:43,5
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 8:46,4

SS 18, Mari - Monagrouli 1 7.07km
1 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 4:36,1
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 4:38,2
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 4:38,7
4 McRae Ford Focus WRC 4:40,4
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 4:43,6

SS 19, Vavatsinia - Mandra Kambiou 2 19.02km
1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 16:59,8
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 17:05,7
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 17:07,2
4 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 17:15,3
5 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 17:16,8

SS 20, Macheras - Ag. Vavatsinias 2 13.11km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 11:36,0
2 McRae Ford Focus WRC 11:36,8
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 11:37,6
4 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 11:46,9
5 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 12:01,4

SS 21, Lageia - Kalavasos 2 9.53km
1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 8:37,5
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 8:37,7
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 8:38,9
4 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 8:41,4
5 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 8:48,1

SS 22, Mari - Monagrouli 2 7.07km
1 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 4:35,5
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 4:38,9
3 McRae Ford Focus WRC 4:39,3
4 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 4:45,6
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 4:46,0

End of Leg 2 Saturday, 02 June 2001
Four of rallying's top stars are fighting for victory on the sixth round of this year's World Rally Championship, the Cyprus Rally, which continued today. Richard Burns, Colin McRae, Marcus Grönholm and Carlos Sainz remain in contention on the Mediterranean island event after today's eight stages (a loop of four repeated). The latter driver has set several fastest times to recover after he struggled with his high road position yesterday, and the Spaniard still has an outside shot of victory. Less than half a minute separates the top crews and with McRae and Burns virtually tied at the head of the field, Ford used team personnel in today's final stage to keep its driver informed. As a result, he'll start tomorrow's final leg just three seconds behind Burns, but guaranteed a slightly cleaner run.
The intense heat and rocky tracks have again placed reliability at a premium, and several of the top crews have hit problems. Retirements included Kenneth Eriksson's Hyundai, the Peugeot of Didier Auriol and Ford's François Delecour.

Technical: Richard Burns's Subaru Impreza has been basically reliable today. Its ride height has been raised, so the Englishman has suffered fewer instances of the dust entering the cockpit that hampered his progress yesterday. He did suffer from a front damper problem in the day's last stage, however. Team-mate Toshihiro Arai's car continues to overheat occasionally - on this morning's second stage, it lapsed back into 'safe mapping mode' when the computer decided the temperature was simply too high.
Sporting: Richard Burns needed just one stage this morning to move clear of Marcus Grönholm and grab the lead of the rally, and the Briton resisted intense pressure from the pursuing Colin McRae to maintain his advantage until the early afternoon. Team tactics from Ford meant that McRae judged his pace in the last stage, so even though Burns lost time with a front damper problem, he still ended the day in the lead. Toshihiro Arai, meanwhile, benefited from the problems that hit Freddy Loix, Kenneth Eriksson, Didier Auriol to move into the top six. He eased into fifth when François Delecour retired
Quotes: Richard Burns said: ăThis evening's result was basically engineered by Ford, so it wasn't really a clean fight. We know that the first car on the road has less grip than the others because of the loose gravel, so I'm aware tomorrow's going to be a hard fight. Any one of the top four could probably still win here - I think Carlos could still be a big threat.
Toshihiro Arai said: ăIt's very difficult and worrying when the engine overheats. When the safety mode cuts in the car slows down to walking speed, which is very frustrating. But my aim here is to finish because I think that could get me a point now. I'll be concentrating on not making a mistake now.

Technical: The Focus WRC01s of Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz have suffered no major mechanical problems today. McRae felt the suspension on his example was slightly too soft for this morning's stages, but he stiffened the springs at lunchtime service to prevent it from grounding out on the rough roads. François Delecour enjoyed a largely troublefree run until the day's fifth stage, when his engine lost power and stopped completely close to the finish. The Frenchman was forced to retire as a result.
Sporting: Colin McRae believed that his overnight fourth place was a perfect point from which to start a charge, and he duly eased clear of both François Delecour and Marcus Grönholm during this morning's loop of four stages to occupy second overall. Delecour wasn't exactly slow, however - the Frenchman moved ahead of Grönholm and posted several top three times as he continued to hold his podium placing. An engine problem forced him to retire late this afternoon, though. Carlos Sainz, meanwhile, recovered strongly as he made full use of his relatively low road position and the improved grip that went with it. The Spaniard set six fastest times today to move ahead of Freddy Loix and once Delecour retired, he was promoted to fourth. He ended the day less than half a minute off the lead.
Quotes: Colin McRae said: ăI'm not sure my position here is perfect, because although I'll have a small advantage over Richard I think Carlos will be the big threat tomorrow. He can certainly still win this rally. I just waited for the radio call in the last stage because with the gaps so small, it was worthwhile to be one position behind Richard on the road. It's going to be a good fight, that's for sure.
Carlos Sainz said: ăWe have to do something about this situation, something to make sure that the first few cars don't have such a big disadvantage. I don't know how we'd do it - maybe run some cars through first or something. As far as this rally goes, I still think it's quite open but it'll be difficult for me.
François Delecour said: ăIt's disappointing because perhaps I wouldn't have been thinking of a victory, but we were certainly able to score some good points in the championship here. I thought the engine lost power because of a fuel problem but then I saw smoke and that was it.

Technical: Marcus Grönholm knocked his 206 WRC's left-rear wheel out of line on today's second stage and although the Finn tried to fix the problem, it soon worsened and cost him further time before service. Didier Auriol, meanwhile, was forced to retire after today's fourth stage when his 206's water temperature rocketed.
Sporting: Marcus Grönholm had expected to lose time this morning, because his overnight lead meant he'd have to sweep the roads clear for the following crews. He lost the lead as a result and then dropped to fourth as François Delecour and Colin McRae both charged. But when the tests were repeated this afternoon, the Finn was at less of a disadvantage and he kept his time loss to a minimum. Team-mate Didier Auriol benefited from his lowly starting position and the cleaner roads to set a fastest time this morning, but on the fourth stage his 206's engine started to overheat and he retired at the finish.
Quotes: Marcus Grönholm said: ăI did everything I could to keep the time loss to a minimum but this afternoon we had quite bad tyre wear. We'll find out tomorrow if I've done enough - of course we'll have a slightly cleaner road than today but I'm nearly 20 seconds off the lead now.
Didier Auriol said: ăThere was no real warning of our problem. We saw some water leaking and then the temperature just went up very quickly. I'm disappointed, because we were setting some good times and there was a chance to fight for points.

Technical: Freddy Loix's Lancer Evolution broke a left-front driveshaft on today's opening stage, and the Belgian had to fight with three-wheel drive through the next three stages before lunchtime service in Limassol.
Sporting: Freddy Loix had expected today's stages to favour his Lancer more than the twistier roads he faced yesterday, but his hopes of inching further into the points were hit on the first stage when he broke a driveshaft. François Delecour's retirement promoted him back into the top six, however. Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi continues to gain experience of the Lancer, although his steady pace means he has yet to challenge any of the remaining manufacturer entries. He held 11th as the crews returned to Limassol this evening.
Quotes: Freddy Loix said: ăIt was very frustrating this morning, because I felt I could have a good set-up on the car and I thought the roads would be better for us. But seven kilometres into the stage, I felt he front driveshaft break and then I had three-wheel drive. You've no idea how hard it is to drive the car with that problem - you have to think twice every time you go for the throttle, because it just snaps sideways.

Technical: Kenneth Eriksson's hopes of recovering from his first-day problems ended this morning. The Swede lost turbo boost when a pipe broke in the first stage, then had to tackle the second without power steering. Before the third stage, his alternator failed and the battery failed seven kilometres into the test. Alister McRae, meanwhile, has enjoyed decent reliability but his Accent has been wearing its tyres more than most of the remaining Michelin runners. His main mechanical problem was a broken fan, which raised his car's engine temperature to worrying levels.
Sporting: Kenneth Eriksson was forced to retire with mechanical problems this morning, but Alister McRae continues to inch higher up the order. The Scot's is still concerned about excessive tyre wear but he ended the day in ninth.
Quotes: Alister McRae said: ăWe need to work out why the tyres are taking so much of a hammering. The wear we're having is worse than almost everyone else, and it's making life very difficult towards the end
Kenneth Eriksson said: ăI'm disappointed but also encouraged. We've shown on the last few rallies that the car has potential and that we can do the times. All we need is to get all of the elements together and it'll work.

Technical: Armin Schwarz encountered a host of problems this morning. The German had to complete the opening four stages with no differential pressure, and he also hit clutch and brake problems in the same group of tests. The former European champion picked up 50 seconds of road penalties as he tried to correct the brake problems. He encountered further brake glitches during today's last two stages. Bruno Thiry, meanwhile, has continued to fine-tune his Octavia's suspension in an attempt to make it more predictable over the bumps. Despite its problems, Skoda is now the only manufacturer to have all of its works cars still running.
Sporting: Armin Schwarz's technical problems this morning kept the German outside of the top ten, but subsequent retirements from Didier Auriol, Kenneth Eriksson and François Delecour moved him into 10th place overnight. Bruno Thiry has enjoyed a steadier run, and the Belgian ended the day in eighth overall and the final manufacturers' points placing.
Quotes: Armin Schwarz said: ăThis is the kind of rally where you just try to have fewer problems than everyone else and we're having a lot. We're still going, though, and with the battle at the front I can see more retirements coming tomorrow. I quite like the stages because although they're slow, they're technical and you can attack.
Bruno Thiry said: ăI'm really trying to hold off Alister McRae now and get the final manufacturers' point for Skoda, but I know I have to keep this pace and see what happens. Reliability will be very important tomorrow.

Other teams
Pasi Hagstrom continues to lead the FIA Teams Cup for Privateers, and the Finn now holds a respectable seventh overall as well. In the Group N category for more standard cars, Gustavo Trelles holds the class lead in his Mitsubishi Lancer.

1 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 3:43:17,3
2 McRae Ford Focus WRC 3:43:20,3
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 3:43:35,9
4 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 3:43:41,9
5 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 3:47:03,8
6 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 3:48:07,1
7 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 3:49:49,4
8 Thiry Skoda Octavia WRC 3:51:20,4
9 A.McRae Hyundai Accent WRC 3:51:23,3
10 Schwarz Skoda Octavia WRC 3:52:10,7

1 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2:09:42,4
2 Theophanides Subaru Impreza WRC 2:13:33,2
3 Shohatovich Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2:13:57,1

1 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 2:04:49,8
2 Dor Subaru Impreza WRC 2:07:39,0
3 Bakhashab Toyota Corolla WRC 2:13:35,3

SS7 - Sainz, SS8 - Sainz, SS9 - Auriol, SS10 - Sainz, SS11 - Sainz, SS12 - McRae, SS13 - Sainz, SS14 - Sainz

SS11 Delecour Ford Focus WRC Engine
SS10 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC Engine
SS9 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC Alternator Failure
SS6 Liatti Hyundai Accent WRC Oil Pressure
SS4 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Accident
SS3 Blomqvist Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Mechanical
SS2 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC Suspension
SS1 Al-Wahaibi Subaru Impreza WRC Engine Fire

SS 7, Platres - Kamiantos 1 11.99km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 9:45,0
2 McRae Ford Focus WRC 9:51,6
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 9:52,3
4 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 9:53,6
5 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 9:53,8

SS 8, Stavroulia - Orkontas 1 15.73km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 16:53,3
2 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 16:56,0
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 16:59,8
4 McRae Ford Focus WRC 16:59,9
5 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 17:01,8

SS 9, Agios Theodoros - Assinou 1 9.61km
1 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 9:29,8
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 9:30,4
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 9:34,0
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 9:35,2
5 McRae Ford Focus WRC 9:36,0

SS 10, Assinou - Spilia 1 15.65km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 14:51,8
2 McRae Ford Focus WRC 14:58,5
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 15:04,0
4 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 15:05,1
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 15:05,6

SS 11, Platres - Kamiantos 2 11.99km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 9:47,6
2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 9:52,7
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 9:53,4
3 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 9:53,4
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 9:53,9

SS 12, Stavroulia - Orkontas 2 15.73km
1 McRae Ford Focus WRC 16:44,3
2 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 16:46,0
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 16:51,8
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 16:52,3
5 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 16:58,5

SS 13, Agios Theodoros - Assinou 2 9.61km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 9:30,7
2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 9:32,5
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 9:34,4
4 McRae Ford Focus WRC 9:35,1
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 9:40,7

SS 14, Assinou - Spilia 2 15.65km
1 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 14:48,2
2 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 14:52,5
3 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 14:52,6
4 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 14:57,3
5 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 14:58,5

End of Leg 1
Gronholm pushed hard with any chance at this years championship at stake and holds a five second lead over Richard Burns. Burns and McRae also with championship intentions must do well and only 15 seconds seperates the top 4 cars. Tommi Makinen has already ended his rally in a ditch so there is an opportunity to catch up on some championship points.
A punishing day for competitors with very high temperatures (~35-40 C) and rocky roads causing a large number of punctures. 23 cars out of the 76 that started retired today including Gilles Panizzi who finished SS4 with all 4 tyres punctured! Today was also a challenging day for event organisers and fire crews as no less than 3 cars catch on fire, one of which caused a major bush fire.

Championship leader Tommi Makinen crashed out of the Cyprus Rally almost before it began, ending his rally in a ditch on SS4. This left Freddy Loix as the lead Mitsubishi in 5th followed by Katsuhiko Taguchi in a comfortable 13th. Both cars has no major problems.
Makinen: "It was about one kilometre into stage four and we slid wide on a 90-right third-gear corner", commented Tommi. "We spun and then the car just dropped about 10 metres down a bank. There was no chance to get back on the road, even though the car was very driveable; itâs just stuck."
Loix: "We didnât really push too hard during the day and I think that strategy has paid off. We have a good position for the road tomorrow."

All three Fords are in the top six making it an excellent day for Ford although not without its problems. Delecour lost 15 seconds and a broken gear lever went he detoured into a field. McRae had the engine management computer replaced and Sainz crushed an oil cooling pipe when a rock got caught in the suspension.
Delecour: "Weâll attack hard tomorrow because with the top four drivers covered by less than 15 seconds thereâs much to fight for. But itâs too early to think about winning or podium positions because thereâs such a long way to go and this rally is so tough"
McRae: "If you strayed off the ideal driving line then you were simply handing seconds to your rivals but staying on the right line, which was starting to become cleaner by the time we came through, paid off."
Sainz: "We couldnât have driven any harder but conditions were against us so sixth place is good in the circumstances"

Gronholm is pushing hard and is in lead once again. His only problem today was a minor issue with the clutch. Auriol also had no major problems.
Rovanpera in a third Peugeot retired with suspenion failure Gronholm: "Today has been a good day. We need a win, of course, so we've got no choice but to push. This rally is all about pacing yourself and choosing your lines around the corners very carefully and I've been trying to do that."
Auriol: "I've no doubt that the big difference has been position on the road - we're running third and I can already see cleaner lines appearing in the gravel where Tommi (Mäkinen) and Carlos (Sainz) have gone through. Hopefully tomorrow the advantage will be back with us."

A trouble free day for Burns who is in 2nd, but mixed fortunes for Petter Solberg. Solberg collected 2 fastest stage times but lost a minute on SS2 after the power steering failed, had a faulty window fill the car with dust and on SS6 his car caught on fire after an accident, completely destroying it.
Arai had delays on SS2 after hitting a bank and damaging the radiator and also on SS4 where he spun.
Burns: "Iâm happy to be in the position Iâm in. Itâs bound to be close fight between Marcus, Francois, Colin and myself but after the way things have gone today Iâm looking forward to it."
Arai: "Itâs been extremely hot out there, but weâve had some good stages and Iâm happy to be in the top 10."

An excellent day for Hyundai with Kenneth Eriksson attaining 3 top 3 stage times. Only a disappointing turbo problem on the final stage dropped him down the leader board. Eriksson also had a major off road excursion after braking too late for a corner and going down a steep bank - but was lucky enough to have have sufficient speed to get back up the other side of the bank and rejoin the road.
Alister McRae had a number of punctures, including one that he had to change in the stage losing several minutes and this dropped him to 15th overall. Piero Liatti retired after the engine lost oil pressure.
Eriksson: "Overall, I am very pleased with our performance. I have been pushing hard all day and even went off the road at one point, but I am confident we can set good times again tomorrow."

Schwarz in 10th and Thiry, who struggled to find a good setup, is in 12th. No major problems though for Skoda other than the usual heat and punctures.
Schwarz: "It's a better strategy not to attack to much and opt for a cautious approach. Although speeds are reltatively slow, you need maximum concentration on these twisty tracks and with so little air coming into the car, the huge heat just saps your energy.

1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 2:00:23,2 2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 2:00:28,9
3 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 2:00:34,6
4 McRae Ford Focus WRC 2:00:37,9
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 2:01:35,3
6 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 2:01:48,9
7 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 2:02:15,2
8 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 2:03:00,0
9 Arai Subaru Impreza WRC 2:03:22,6
10 Schwarz Skoda Octavia WRC 2:04:23,8

1 Trelles Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2:09:42,4
2 Theophanides Subaru Impreza WRC 2:13:33,2
3 Shohatovich Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2:13:57,1

1 Hagstrom Toyota Corolla WRC 2:04:49,8
2 Dor Subaru Impreza WRC 2:07:39,0
3 Bakhashab Toyota Corolla WRC 2:12:25,3

SS1 - Solberg, SS2 - Gronholm, SS3 - Gronholm, SS4 - Solberg, SS5 - Delecour, SS6 - Delcour

SS6 Liatti Hyundai Accent WRC Oil Pressure
SS4 Makinen Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Accident
SS3 Blomqvist Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Mechanical
SS2 Rovanpera Peugeot 206 WRC Suspension
SS1 Al-Wahaibi Subaru Impreza WRC Engine Fire

SS 1, Platres - Saittas 11.48km
1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 9:31,4
2 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 9:36,7
3 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 9:37,1
4 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 9:39,0
4 Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC 9:39,0

SS 2, Foini - Koilinia 1 30.29km
1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 27:51,0
2 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 28:02,0
3 McRae Ford Focus WRC 28:06,2
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 28:08,5
5 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 28:11,0

SS 3, Simou - Stavros 35.57km
1 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 31:13,0
2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 31:15,1
3 Eriksson Hyundai Accent WRC 31:19,0
4 McRae Ford Focus WRC 31:19,5
5 Jean-Joseph Peugeot 206 WRC 31:21,4

SS 4, Selladi Staktou - Panagia 19.29km
1 Solberg Subaru Impreza WRC 16:37,6
2 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 16:58,6
3 Sainz Ford Focus RS WRC 16:59,8
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 17:00,0
5 McRae Ford Focus WRC 17:00,8

SS 5, Prastio - Pachna 11.06km
1 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 6:40,2
2 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 6:41,8
3 McRae Ford Focus WRC 6:44,8
4 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 6:46,8
5 Auriol Peugeot 206 WRC 6:48,2

SS 6, Foini - Koilinia 2 30.29km
1 Delecour Ford Focus RS WRC 27:36,8
2 Gronholm Peugeot 206 WRC 27:41,1
3 McRae Ford Focus WRC 27:44,4
4 Burns Subaru Impreza WRC 27:46,4
5 Loix Mitsubishi Carisma GT 28:00,2

[WRC] Cyprus Rally: Welcome
Thursday, 31 May 2001
The FIA World Rally Championship switches to some of its most testing conditions for its sixth round, the Cyprus Rally, which starts from the coastal resort of Limassol tomorrow morning. The sport's top stars will have to cope with searing heat, dust and twisty, rocky tracks on the island event, which makes its second appearance in the WRC calendar after a successful introduction last season.
Mitsubishi's four-times world champion Tommi Mäkinen starts the event with a five-point lead over Ford driver Carlos Sainz in the drivers' championship standings but the Spaniard dominated in Cyprus last year and he'll be aiming to reduce the deficit. Both will need to keep a close eye, too, on both Colin McRae and Richard Burns, who scored a comfortable one-two on the last round in Argentina. Reigning FIA World Champion Marcus Grönholm has yet to rack up a serious points score in this year's series, but the Finn's hopes in Cyprus could be boosted by the introduction of a heavily-revised Peugeot 206 WRC.
After the super-fast gravel tests in Argentina earlier this month, the tests in Cyprus will seem painfully slow to the drivers. Although the roads selected this year are expected to be marginally faster than those used in 2000, the average speed isn't expected to rise much above 70kph.

MITSUBISHI (1st - 44 points)
Technical: Mitsubishi has high hopes that the heavily-revised rear suspension that was introduced on the Lancer Evolution at the start of this season will improve performance on the three rough events in the calendar - Cyprus, the Acropolis and the Safari. The team worked hard a recent test to ensure there will be no repeat of the transmission problems that blighted its efforts in Cyprus last year. Mitsubishi tested in Cyprus itself, but the benefits were reduced slightly by unusually cool conditions.
Sporting: Four-time world champion and current series leader Tommi Mäkinen will be supported by Belgian Freddy Loix in the second Lancer as usual. But Mitsubishi is also entering a third Lancer for Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi. It will be the first time that the reigning Asia-Pacific Champion will have had a full 'works' car at his disposal.
Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen said: ăThe test certainly felt very good. I think the car has made a big step forward since last year. But on a rally like this, it's very difficult to say how good we'll be until we see how the opposition has improved as well. But the season's gone well so far, and I'm optimistic.
Freddy Loix said: ăI've got a really good feeling about this event. I was able to set some fastest times here last year, and with my performances in the last few rallies I think I'm really getting some confidence. I didn't do so much testing for this one, but Tommi did a lot of good work and he's a pretty reasonable test driver! When I got in the car it instantly felt like a good set-up, so I'm not too worried about that.
Katsuhiko Taguchi said: ăI'm here to learn, not to get involved in a fight with the other Japanese driver (Subaru's Toshihiro Arai). He's got a lot more experience than me. But hopefully it won't take me too long to catch him up!

FORD (2nd - 36 points)
Technical: Ford has made no substantial changes to the Focus RS WRC01 for this event, although the cars will be fitted with small fans in the cabins to keep the crews cool. Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz will each have a brand new car at their disposal.
Sporting: Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae are nominated for manufacturers' points, with Francois Delecour aiming for drivers' points only. Sainz rates himself at 90-95 percent fit after his back problems on the last round in Argentina.
Quotes: Colin McRae said: ăThis rally and the Acropolis are very important to me. People keep asking me after Argentina if the championship's possible but to be honest, I want to see what happens here and in Greece and then look at the situation. I think the stages this year are a little rougher than last, so tyre wear is probably going to be a problem. If you look at the results here and in Greece last year then wins should be possible, of course, but I don't think the rest have been sleeping.
Francois Delecour said: ăFord's got the podium line-up this year, because Carlos and Colin scored a one-two in 2000 and I was third. A win for the team is certainly possible but as for myself, I want more experience and then we'll see where we are.

PEUGEOT (3rd - 20 points)
Technical: Peugeot introduces the first major evolution of the 206 WRC in Cyprus this weekend. Three brand new cars will be run for Marcus Grönholm, Didier Auriol and Harri Rovanperä. The main changes concern the engine: revised intercooler and turbo positions have resulted in improvements in torque, while engineers have also changed the bonnet layout in an attempt to cool the engine and the crew more efficiently. Other changes include revisions to the weight distribution. Grönholm and Rovanperä are expected to use five-speed gearboxes in their 206s this weekend, with Auriol sticking to the original six-speed unit.
Sporting: Reigning FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm and 1994 title-holder Didier Auriol are joined by Harri Rovanperä on this event. The Finn, who won the Swedish Rally in February, is now tackling all of this year's gravel rallies for the team. Peugeot's asphalt specialist Gilles Panizzi will also contest Cyprus, albeit at the wheel of a 206 run by privateer team Grifone.
Quotes: Marcus Grönholm said: ăThe car certainly feels better, but we have to remember it's a small difference. The torque is a little stronger, but in terms of handling there's not a massive difference. I don't know how it'll work here - we'll have to see how the others go. I really need a win out of the next three rallies to get my season going. I hope my luck changes now.

SUBARU (4th - 16 points)
Technical: Subaru's main revision is external - the team has lightened the colour of the roof of its Impreza, in at attempt to more effectively reflect the burning heat in Cyprus.
Sporting: Richard Burns and Petter Solberg are nominated to score manufacturers' points for Subaru in Argentina, with Japanese driver Toshihiro Arai nominated for drivers' points only.
: Richard Burns said: ăI feel quite confident for this one. I did a day's testing in Spain and a day here as well and we've found no major problems. Last year Carlos sort of romped away with things, but we made a few mistakes and had a few problems too. If you took those out of the equation then we were able to match his pace, so we just have to make sure we don't' get anything wrong this time. A lot will depend on tyre choice.
Team Director David Lapworth said: ăThe biggest challenge here is the combination of low speeds, high temperatures and rough roads. Last year tyre wear wasn't quite the problem we thought it could be, but the stages this time are a little bit rougher so I think it'll be fairly severe. Drivers will have to think of their tyres, that's for sure.

HYUNDAI (5th - 8 points)
Technical: Hyundai sends three Accent WRC2s to Cyprus, with Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson being joined by Piero Liatti. The cars have been revised slightly to cope with the hot weather - larger fans have been fitted in the engine bay, and the Accents' exhausts carry extra cladding as the team aims to reduce the amount of heat entering the cabin. The exhausts have also been strengthened to prevent a repeat of the fires that cost both McRae and Eriksson so much time in Argentina.
Sporting: Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson have been joined by the team's asphalt specialist Piero Liatti on this event, as the Italian enjoys a rare outing on gravel.
Quotes: Alister McRae said: ăThe car feels fine but I expect the event to be tough. I think we're better prepared for rough conditions than we were on rallies like the Acropolis last year but a lot can still happen once the rally starts. The stages are incredibly twisty and in the heat it'll be hard work - even the recconnaissance was one of the hardest we've done.

SKODA (6th - 6 points)
Technical: The Skoda Octavia WRCs of Armin Schwarz and Bruno Thiry feature no major revisions in Cyprus. Skoda has decided to re-evaluate future engine and homologation revisions. The team was able to find a pleasing suspension set-up during nine days of testing in Greece earlier this month, however.
Sporting: Armin Schwarz (who won Cyprus on his way to the European Championship title in 1996) and Bruno Thiry will drive the team's two Octavia WRCs as usual. Although this year marks Thiry's first attempt at the event, his navigator Stephane Prevot won the rally in 1999 alongside Jean-Pierre Richelmi. Schwarz has been confirmed as an entry on the forthcoming Rally Deutschland.
Quotes: Armin Schwarz said: ăThe stages here are faster in places than last year but some of them are rougher. We've had a fair amount of bad luck recently and I really just want to get to the finish here. I think achieving that will give us a good chance of some points because I expect many of the cars to hit trouble.
Bruno Thiry said: ăI think I'm probably going to find this rally a bit slow but at least it's different. It's also going to be very tough mechanically, which should suit us. Tyre wear could be another concern, because it's going to be really hot and the roads are quite abrasive.

CITROEN (0 points)
Citroen's Xsara WRC is not present in Cyprus, as the French team continues to prepare for the car's second World Championship outing on the Acropolis Rally in June.

The Cyprus Rally is the third round of this year's FIA Teams Cup for Privateers. Accordingly, all of the leading contenders including Toyota Castrol Team Denmark (Henrik Lundgaard) and Toyota Castrol Team Finland (Pasi Hagstrom) will be present. Janusz Kulig will not, however - the Polish driver has elected to withdraw from the Teams Cup and concentrate on his domestic campaign. The Teams Cup World Rally Car crews will face stiff opposition from a strong private entry - there will be no fewer than five non-works Peugeot 206 WRCs, driven by Gilles Panizzi, Simon Jean-Joseph, Ioannis Papadimitriou, Kris Princen and Neil Wearden.

The hot conditions and abrasive roads make Cyprus a difficult challenge for the World Championship's two tyre manufacturers, Michelin and Pirelli. Michelin is offering its clients the ZB tyre for rocky stages, the Z for hard ground and the ZA in case conditions turn damp or the road surfaces are soft or loose. Pirelli's teams will have the option of either the K (smooth conditions) or the XR, which will be used on rocky roads or loose gravel. Both manufacturers have fitted their tyres with their respective anti-deflation mousse systems to minimise the risk of punctures.

All times are GMT +3
Leg 1, Friday 1st June, (520.68 km)
SS1 08:48 Platres - Saittas 11.48km
SS2 09:23 Foini - Koilinia 1 30.29km
SS3 11:31 Simou - Stavros 35.57km
SS4 12:39 Selladi Staktou - Panagia 19.29km
SS5 15:32 Prastio - Pachna 11.06km
SS6 16:15 Foini - Koilinia 2 30.29km

Leg 2, Saturday 2nd June, (375.72 km)
SS7 09:18 Platres - Kamiantos 1 11.99km
SS8 09:56 Stavroulia - Orkontas 1 15.73km
SS9 10:39 Agios Theodoros - Assinou 1 9.61km
SS10 11:07 Assinou - Spilia 1 15.65km
SS11 14:22 Platres - Kamiantos 2 11.99km
SS12 15:00 Stavroulia - Orkontas 2 15.73km
SS13 15:43 Agios Theodoros - Assinou 2 9.61km
SS14 16:11 Assinou - Spilia 2 15.65km

Leg 3, Sunday 3rd June, (356.13 km)
SS15 09:38 Vavatsinia - Mandra Kambiou 1 19.02km
SS16 10:26 Macheras - Ag. Vavatsinias 1 13.11km
SS17 11:09 Lageia - Kalavasos 1 9.53km
SS18 11:36 Mari - Monagrouli 1 7.07km
SS19 14:16 Vavatsinia - Mandra Kambiou 2 19.02km
SS20 15:04 Macheras - Ag. Vavatsinias 2 13.11km
SS21 15:47 Lageia - Kalavasos 2 9.53km
SS22 16:14 Mari - Monagrouli 2 7.07km

1 Makinen Tommi/Mannisenmaki Risto (FIN/FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (A8)
2 Sainz Carlos/Moya Luis (E/E) Ford Focus RS WRC (A8)
3 Auriol Didier/Giraudet Denis (F/F) Peugeot 206 WRC (A8)
4 McRae Colin/Grist Nicky (GB/GB) Ford Focus RS WRC (A8)
5 Rovanpera Harri/Pietilainen Risto (FIN/FIN) Peugeot 206 WRC (A8)
6 Burns Richard/Reid Robert (GB/GB) Subaru Impreza WRC (A8)
7 Delecour Francois/Grataloup Daniel (F/F) Ford Focus RS WRC (A8)
8 Loix Freddy/Smeets Sven (B/B) Mitsubishi Carisma GT (A8)
9 Gronholm Marcus/Rautiainen Timo (FIN/FIN) Peugeot 206 WRC (A8)
10 Schwarz Armin/Hiemer Manfred (D/D) Skoda Octavia WRC (A8)
11 Solberg Petter/Mills Philip (N/GB) Subaru Impreza WRC (A8)
12 McRae Alister/Senior David (GB/GB) Hyundai Accent WRC (A8)
13 Thiry Bruno/Prevot Stephan (B/B) Skoda Octavia WRC (A8)
14 Eriksson Kenneth/Parmander Staffan (S/S) Hyundai Accent WRC (A8)
15 Arai Toshihiro/MacNeall Glenn (J/AUS) Subaru Impreza WRC (A8)
16 Liatti Piero/Cassina Carlo (I/I) Hyundai Accent WRC (A8)
17 Taguchi Katsuhiko/Ringer Derek (J/GB) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (A8)
18 Panizzi Gilles/Panizzi Herve (F/F) Peugeot 206 WRC (A8)
19 Dor Frederic/Breton Didier (F/F) Subaru Impreza WRC (A8)
20 Blazquez Roua M./Mercader Farrero J. (E/E) Seat Cordoba WRC Evo3 (A8)
21 Jean Joseph Simon/Boyere Jack (F/F) Peugeot 206 WRC A8)
22 Lundgaard Henrik/Anker Jens (DK/DK) Toyota Corolla WRC (A8)
23 Hagstrom Pasi/Gartmeister Tero (FIN/FIN) Toyota Corolla WRC (A8)
24 Al-Wahaibi Hamed/Sircombe Tony (OM/NZ) Subaru Impreza WRC (A8)
25 Bakhashab Abdullah/Willis Bobby (SA/GB) Toyota Corolla WRC (A8)
26 Trelles Gustavo/Del Buono Jorge (ROU/RA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (N4)
27 Stohl Manfred/Muller Peter (A/A) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (N4)
28 Blomquist Stig/Goni Ana (S/YV) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (N4)
29 Papadimitriou Ioannis/Patterson C. (GR/GB) Peugeot 206 WRC (A8)
30 Pozzo Gabriel/Stillo Lois Daniel (RA/RA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (N4)

Run on gravel roads which are traditionally more twisty and slower than others in the series. For the purposes of the Group N Cup rules, which require participation in a rally outside Europe, this event is considered as 'Outside Europe'. With 341.40km of high speed sections, this rally is the shortest in terms of special stage distance. Last year's event was won at 64.11kph, the slowest winning speed of any World Rally Championship event.

Held this time in early summer rather than at its traditional early autumn date, to move the fixture close to the Acropolis Rally two weeks later. All the stages used on the Saturday and Sunday will be run twice, to encourage spectators to stay in one location all day.

Tommi Makinen still leads the FIA World Drivers' series, now five points in front of Carlos Sainz. Mitsubishi retain the Manufacturers' lead eight points in front of Ford. Gabriel Pozzo is well ahead in the FIA Production Cup (Group N) while equal leaders in the Teams' Cup are Toyota Castrol Team Denmark (Henrik Lundgaard) and Team Toyota Castrol Team (Pasi Hagstrom).
In the Teams' Cup the number of contenders is now down to nine out of the 11 who originally started the season. The latest withdrawal is by the Polish driver Janusz Kulig. FIA rules say that competitors must take part in all rounds of the series. Kulig has withdrawn in order to concentrate on his national Championship series, in which he is currently lying second.

Tommi Makinen, Car7, Freddy Loix Car 8, Katsuhiko Taguchi Car 19
This is Ralliart's second three-car appearance this year. Team engineer Bernard Lindauer: "Once again we have been unlucky with our testing conditions. We are having to rely on our experiences from last year's event without hot weather checking this year". First works drive for Taguchi.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY Ltd (2nd - 36 points)
Carlos Sainz, Car 3, Colin McRae, Car 4, François Delecour, Car 17
After his trapped nerve problem in Argentina, Carlos expects to be fit for Cyprus, though he cut short a test session on rough roads in Chateau Lastours last week. The session was mostly for Safari durability: Delecour said "I have been coming to Chateau Lastours for 15 years and I have never done so many kilometres without a car breaking down before. The Focus is incredibly strong!" New cars for Sainz and McRae.

TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL (3rd - 20 points)
Marcus Gronholm, Car 1, Didier Auriol, Car 2, Harri Rovanpera, Car 16
Debut appearance of the newly homologated third version of the 206 World Rally Car, featuring improved weight balance and principally a new turbo. This changes the torque characteristic and enables the use of a five speed gearbox which has been tested on early events by Rovanpera. The team hopes to forget their miseries in Argentina. Team manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas: "Everything went wrong, starting from the fog on the first day. So many things happened to us that had never happened before". HF Grifone are running a car for sometime works driver Gilles Panizzi.

SUBARU WORLD RALLY TEAM (4th - 16 points)
Richard Burns, Car 5, Petter Solberg, Car 6, Toshihiro Arai, Car 18
In anticipation of high ambient temperatures on the event, Prodrive's Human Resources personnel will attend to the crews in the days before the rally. They will ask them to replicate the strenuous activities expected on the rally. The team will also introduce a new range of clothing supplied by motorsport specialists. New cars for Burns and Solberg.

Kenneth Eriksson, Car 9, Alister McRae, Car 10, Piero Liatti, Car 20
First time a fully works three car entry from Hyundai. Chief engineer Nick Clipson: "The third car means we will need to take another six technicians and another engineer. The logistics stage level will be unaltered. Cyprus was well placed in the season to enter another car. It is not the most expensive event in the calendar, and for us the event offers the advantage of not placing a premium of maximum performance".

SKODA MOTORSPORT (6th - 6 points)
Armin Schwarz, Car 11, Bruno Thiry, Car 12
Team Director Pavel Janeba: "We are eagerly awaiting the next three events, each of them are rallies which place more emphasis on stamina than speed". This will be Bruno Thiry's first time on this event, but codriver Stephane Prevot won as Richelmi's co-driver in 1999. "Perhaps this time we should swop seats...", suggested Thiry!

AUTOMOBILES CITROEN (not competing here - 0 points)
Thomas Radstrom finished second in a recent test rally in Portugal, beaten by local driver Rui Madeira in an ex-works Focus. The Xsara WRCar was prepared in Acropolis-style heavyweight specification and Radstrom found he was unable to match Madeira's pace. "When (team director) Guy Frequelin told me this was the car I was to drive on the Acropolis, I decided not to take any risks". Regarding the Saxo: no decision is expected to be taken about possible changes to technical specification on Super 1600 cars before the Acropolis Rally, second round of the Championship.

The organisers have a fully subscribed entry of 80 crews, including 28 local entries. Last year there were 52 starters, with many fewer local drivers. Clerk of the Course Takis Kyriakides: "Last year a lot of our top drivers wanted to go out and watch the professional drivers - this year they all want to drive themselves!"

Skoda Auto report that Dr Jens Pohlmann, the company's development chief injured in the regrouping control crash in Argentina, is now out of intensive care and was expected to be taken to his home country Germany this week.
Two unusual entries have come from Britain. Firstly Neil Wearden drives a Peugeot 206 WRC under a new promotional sponsorship scheme set up to encourage younger drivers. Secondly Mark Higgins, the Ford works driver whose planned British rally programme this year has not yet begun because of foot-and-mouth disease, drives a Group N Mitsubishi. They were third and second respectively in the 2000 British series.
There are no fewer than eight Peugeot 206 WRCs on the entry list!
Five of the six works teams have entered three rather than two cars teams, never so many before under the present regulations.
Who is Katsuhiko Taguchi? Just as we have become accustomed to frequent entries from Toshihiro Arai comes another works Japanese driver. 29 year old Katsuhiko Taguchi was the 1999 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally champion but has not previously been seen outside that region in rallying before. He has been rallying left-hand drive cars for nearly two seasons, ready for this opportunity! His first-ever rally was in New Zealand: until last week he had never rallied in Japan at all. This is the only planned works team drive for him at this time.
Both Arai and Taguchi are travelling to Cyprus after contesting the Alpine Rally in Japan. This event was the first time foreign owned cars or any World Rally Car had been permitted to rally in that country. The event was won by Arai in a works Subaru, Taguchi slid off the road in the rain.