End of Leg Two - Burns keeps his side of bargain

Richard Burns has done everything he needed to do to win the World Rally Championship but, as Rally GB heads into its final day, will it be enough?

End of Leg Two - Burns keeps his side of bargain

Before he could even think about becoming this year's champion, Burns had to win the event for the third year in succession. Yesterday morning even that looked to be a lost cause. A brush with a log pile twisted the Subaru's rear wheel way out of line and forced Burns to limp through three stages before it could be fixed.

From 21st overall he mounted a furious attack to lie fifth overnight before today's long stages saw him climb to third.

He received a major boost when rally leader Colin McRae crashed his Ford out of the event on SS12, leaving Burns just 3 seconds adrift of Gronholm. The deficit turned quickly to Burns' advantage as he shot into the rally lead on Margam with just the Cardiff superspecial to do.

There is little doubt that Burns can hold off the challengers to win the event tomorrow, but unless Gronholm makes a rare error or suffers mechanical failure and drops to sixth, it will still not be enough to stop the Finn adding the drivers' title to the makes' crown already won by Peugeot.

Victory for Burns would, however, win him a place among the greats. Only Erik Carlsson and Timo Makinen have ever won three RAC rallies (as they were known then) in succession and that's pretty exalted company for the Cotswold driver. It's something good for the CV, but it's not as good as 'World Champion' and Burns knows it...

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