Burns wants clean fight for title

Title contenders Richard Burns and Marcus Gronholm shook hands at the pre-event Press Conference before going into battle on tonight's opening stage of the Network Q Rally GB

Burns wants clean fight for title

Richard Burns said he wanted to go head to head with Marcus Gronholm in a straight fight for this year's World Rally Championship without British rally fans doing anything stupid to try and stop the flying Finn. "I'm not expecting people to try and influence the result," he said. "I won't be happy winning the title if Marcus has problems outside his control. I hope people remember that I've got to go to Finland next year!"

Burns added: "It's been a great fight all year and I want it to be fair all the way to the end." Peugeot competition boss Corrado Provera joked, "Marcus will be going too fast for anyone to throw anything in front of him anyway!"

Co-driver Robert Reid believes that the pressure is off Burns and on Gronholm. "Marcus can only lose the championship but our job is quite simple. The home support is a major boost to us and I've got the best seat in the house!"

Subaru team boss David Lapworth says he believes Subaru has got its recipe right for the event but admits that his biggest fear is not Gronholm. "All the top drivers are a risk to Richard winning the event but you have to look to Colin (McRae) as the biggest."

Gronholm says he's not trying to think about the title and has been so busy testing in the past week that he's been able to avoid the pressure. "I'm quite relaxed and I haven't even decided the tactics for this rally. Tonight I think we need a boat for the superspecial because the recce showed it's quite bad. There will be no big attack - I'll leave that to Richard - but after that we'll see how the event starts."

The Finn admitted that he's glad to have the nine point cushion over Burns. "I'm glad it's not just one point because then it would be very difficult to win because Richard is certainly the fastest driver here."

Co-driver Timo Rautiainen says that tactics will not be anything special on this rally. "If we try to drive for fifth place then we won't succeed. We have to treat this event like all the ones before and be relaxed about it."

Don't forget you can watch the Rally GB battle unfold here on autosport.com, with our live timing starting from SS1, Cardiff 1, at 1858 GMT.

To see the schedule click here.

To see current championship standings click here.


shares
comments
Alister McRae Q&A
Previous article

Alister McRae Q&A

Next article

SS1: Burns and Gronholm tie, Kankkunen first

SS1: Burns and Gronholm tie, Kankkunen first
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022