McRae penalised

Colin McRae has a lot to do today after picking up a 50s penalty on the opening morning of the Acropolis Rally. The Citroen driver had an electrical problem before Special Stage 2 (SS2) and couldn't fire up the engine on his Citroen Xsara. He eventually got going, but arrived at the start of the stage five minutes late and landed the penalty.

McRae penalised

Nonetheless the Scot was running eighth overall, after five stages. "The times are good, we're right up there, so it is a shame to lose 50 seconds," he said. "It's a lot to make up. It's a tough rally and if you push you could end up breaking the car. You have got to find a balance."

McRae's younger team-mate, Sebastien Loeb, didn't find 'the balance' in time to save his Greek campaign - losing his engine and retiring on the very first run. Veteran team-mate Carlos Sainz had a more successful morning, 35s off the lead and in fourth overall after SS5. The Spaniard will be hoping to extend his winning form from the last rally in Argentina.

Meanwhile series leader Richard Burns was to be found down in 11th place. The Englishman has been saddled with 'road sweeping' duties, as the first man out on each stage. He has also had to drive without third gear for much of the morning.

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