Leg 2 am: Peugeot 1-2-3

The second morning of the Sanremo Rally produced no major surprises as the Peugeot 206s continued to set the pace. Their task was made easier by the retirement of their only real rival, the Citroen of Philippe Bugalski, and the silver cars now hold the first three positions

Leg 2 am: Peugeot 1-2-3

Bugalski's event ended on SS10, the longest stage of the rally. The Frenchman spun his Xsara and the damage it sustained was sufficient to force the car's retirement and dash his hopes of another WRC win.

The incident almost had terrible repercussions for the erstwhile rally leader Gilles Panizzi. The 206 star was running behind his fellow countryman on the road and when he came up to the spot where the Citroen had gone off, he found his way blocked by the French car and a host of spectators who had helped it back on the road.

By the time his path was cleared, the tarmac ace had spent almost five minutes stationary. His stage time dropped his to 15th in the overall classification and out of any chance of the overall win, but Peugeot appealed to the rally organisers for Panizzi to be granted a nominal time, and they agreed, matching the Frenchman's time to that of stage winner Marcus Gronholm.

The championship leader started Day Two in charging fashion, setting the fastest time on the first three stages. However, Panizzi fought back by winning SS12, and his overall lead remains a comfortable 40 seconds.

Richard Burns completes a Peugeot clean sweep of the podium places, but the reigning world champion is embroiled in the best scrap of the rally. Going into SS12, just eight seconds covered third, fourth and fifth.

Markko Martin, who had been fourth, lost out though, and after taking 15 seconds off Burns in the opening three stages undid all his good work to end up almost exactly where he started the day. His loss was Petter Solberg's gain, and the Impreza star, who has been the closest challenger to the 206s throughout Day Two, passed the Estonian for fourth place and is looking good for another top three finish.

The sole Citroen of Jesus Puras holds the final points scoring position, less than 10 seconds behind Martin, so a podium slot may not be beyond the Spaniard, if only he could extract the sort of pace from the Xsara that Bugalski was able to.

Peugeot privateer Cedric Robert is seventh and well placed to score his first WRC point should any of the drivers ahead of him hit trouble.

There's a big gap behind the Frenchman to what is best described as the midfield. Freddy Loix heads the bunch ahead of a below-par Colin McRae, who's struggled for pace from the moment the rally began.

Before the day had even started the field was reduced by one car, with Mitsubishi retiring Alister McRae on medical grounds. Subaru's Achim Mortl was also retired on doctor's advice after the Austrian suffered concussion following a sizeable shunt on SS10. Mortl made it to the end of the stage, but was having trouble with his vision.

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Leg 1: Panizzi and Peugeot in total control
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