Rally shock: Peugeot sacks Delecour

The Peugeot World Rally team sacked mercurial driver Francois Delecour during a furious row between the Frenchman and team director Corrado Provera after the finish of Rally Great Britain in Cardiff

Rally shock: Peugeot sacks Delecour

Provera clashed with the volatile driver while the French marque celebrated taking both the constructors' and drivers' championships in this weekend's event, on which Delecour finished fifth. The disagreement between the pair has led to the team's 2001 line-up being announced early.

Peugeot's plans for next year were not expected to be announced for at least another week, but it seems that Provera finally lost his patience with Delecour, most likely over the number of events he would be tackling next season.

Delecour's temper led to conflict earlier in the year at Rally San Remo, when the Frenchman accused team mate Gilles Panizzi of recceing stages before the event. In full view of TV cameras, a raging Delecour had to held back by Peugeot team members when he attempted to confront Panizzi, and team management, during a service halt.

Next season, Peugeot will enter three cars on every round of the World Rally Championship. New world champion Marcus Gronholm will be partnered on all 14 events by Didier Auriol, who moves to the French team from SEAT which has withdrawn from the World Rally stage.

Asphalt expert Panizzi will continue with the team, competing on four events next year and, in a surprise move, Harri Rovanpera gets a car for the seven gravel events. Panizzi will also enter Portugal, Cyprus, Acropolis, Finland and Rally GB in a Grifone-run 206WRC.

Delecour's future in the World Championship must now be in doubt, with only the developing Hyundai squad yet to confirm its line-up for 2001.

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