McRae: Title pressure is gone

Colin McRae has conceded that his chances of winning this year's World Rally Championship have all but gone after the Ford driver failed to score drivers' points in last weekend's Sanremo Rally

McRae: Title pressure is gone

After suffering a puncture and spinning on the first day of the tarmac event, McRae never fully recovered and finished the rally in eighth place, more than four and a half minutes down on rally winner Gilles Panizzi.

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm was runner-up in Italy and now looks all but certain to claim a second title to go with his 2000 championship success. He needs just eight points from the final three rallies to take the crown.

"It's been a difficult rally for me," said McRae. "I've not been on the pace all rally. I had a few problems on the first day and I made some mistakes and we lost too much time. It's been hard to close the gap although at least we scored points for the team.

"My championship chances aren't looking so good now. We go to New Zealand next and I like the roads there," he continued. "A win would be nice. Realistically, there's no real pressure in championship terms so our aim is to win the last three rallies and I think that's possible."

Gronholm is also looking forward to the New Zealand Rally which starts on October 3. "You can never tell what will happen, but if we drive normally, make no mistakes and the car stays reliable, it should be OK," said the Finn.

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