McRae says Burns is 'fighting a losing battle'

Colin McRae believes Richard Burns is 'fighting a losing battle' in his quest for the world title after his Subaru failed to beat the time set by the Scot's Ford on Rally GB's longest stage

McRae says Burns is 'fighting a losing battle'

Rally leader McRae scorched around SS11, the 28.8-mile Resolfen test, in 25m15.7s, with Burns just 1.2s slower.

Both drivers had targetted this stage as the one where the event would be won or lost. With so little to choose between them, it's still not certain if this will ultimately be the case, but it is clear that Burns has lost his last obvious opportunity to reel in the Ford.

The Englishman, who lies third overall, was 11.5s faster than title-favourite Marcus Gronholm's Peugeot, closing to within 11s of the Finn. But with the Subaru star needing to win the rally and Gronholm only needing a point to be certain of the crown, McRae believes Resolfen was make-or-break time for Burns' fading title chances.

"Richard doesn't seem able to go any quicker than he is doing," said McRae. "I think that he's fighting a losing battle now."

After extending his lead over Gronholm, McRae said he believed that the only thing that could stop him taking a fourth win on his home event was a self-induced mistake.

"Speed is not the problem," he said. "I'm just concentrating now on making sure I don't make any mistakes. I'm not under any pressure - in fact I'm very relaxed and just enjoying the rally."

Gronholm, meanwhile, is not worried about the fact that Burns is now snapping at his heels.

"If Richard passes me then I'l let him go," he said. "He's still got to catch Colin, but I don't need to fight with either of them."

Crews now return to the Rheola stage (where Burns was fastest this morning) and the Margam test, the scene of Carlos Sainz's dramatic exit from the 1998 event.

The memory of that famous incident serves to underline that anything can happen on this rally and Burns will surely now be relying on a repeat if he is to have any chance of wrecking the flying Finn's championship dream.

Don't miss a moment of the battle for the World Rally Championship LIVE here on autosport.com.

To see the very latest standings, click HERE.

You can follow the battle between Marcus Gronholm and Richard Burns for the World Rally Championship live here on autosport.com. with times coming in from each stage as the cars cross the line, which automatically update the leaderboard.

To see the stage schedule click here. (NOTE: All times are in GMT)

To see current championship standings click here.

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SS11: McRae extends lead on longest stage
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