Rivals falter as Bugalski sits tight

With only the St Wendel superspecial still to run to complete Leg 2 of the Rallye Deutschland, Citroen asphalt ace Philippe Bugalski found his lead growing ever more comfortable thanks to misfortunes for his closest rivals

Rivals falter as Bugalski sits tight

With 11 stages completed and just the quick blast around St Wendel before Sunday's six remaining stages, the Frenchman led reigning world champ Marcus Gronholm by three and a quarter minutes after the Finn punctured on SS11, along with a charging Francois Delecour.

Both men lost around two minutes stopping and changing the offending wheels, but whereas Gronholm held station, Delecour's Ford dropped to fourth overall, behind the carefully-driven Focus of Raimund Baumschlager.

The rally is a dress rehearsal for almost certain inclusion in the 2002 WRC, but for now it must stick to European Championship rules, meaning no mousse inserts in tyres. Delecour believes that the WRC regulars are suffering bouts of 'brainfade' and taking the sort of risks they would with the safety net of mousse - with some predictable results.

"We're trying hard to avoid punctures," he shrugged, "but I suppose you get into a certain frame of mind on the world championship and coming here you make the odd mistake you'd normally get away with."

Neil Wearden also suffered on SS11, losing a wheel on his Grifone Peugeot after a malfunctioning intercom caused him to miss one of co-driver Trevor Agnew's notes. The Englishman limped to service and lives to fight another day.




Philippe Bugalski, Citroen, 2h31m19.2s
Marcus Gronholm, Peugeot, 2h34m34.5s
Raimund Baumschlager, Ford, 2h36m03.5s
Matthias Kahle, SEAT, 2h36m40.3s
Francois Delecour, Ford, 2h37m02.7s
Armin Kremer, Toyota, 2h37m37.1s
Neil Wearden, Peugeot, 2h38m53.3s
Achim Mortl, Subaru, 2h38m57.8s

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