Sect. 12, Orien: Delecour pushing hard

Francois Delecour seems to have overcome the prop shaft problem that was affecting his Ford Focus on the first section of the day. Following the delayed Section 10, officials cancelled Section 11 to get the rally back on schedule, and on Section 12, the 112.52km Orien test, Delecour came out tops, beating rally leader Tommi Makinen's time by just under 1m30s

Sect. 12, Orien: Delecour pushing hard

The Frenchman had damaged his car on Section 10 and incurred a time penalty when his Ford crew replaced the prop shaft and gear box and welded the transmission tunnel.

But he responded well by setting the fastest time on Section 12 as he aims on getting his Focus onto the third spot on the podium. However it may prove difficult with just one section, the 71.83km Maili Tisa test, remaining.

Behind him, Makinen continues to edge closer to a Safari win. The Finn, who won here in 1996, has an eight-minute cushion over compatriot Harri Rovanpera, who was fourth fastest on the test, just behind the Skoda of Armin Schwarz.

Schwarz, in third overall, is gunning for Skoda's highest ever WRC finish and will be keeping an eye on Delecour's times just in case the Ford driver gets too close. The German is currently just under three minutes in front of Delecour.

Freddy Loix bounced back after his earlier setback when the turbo boost on his Mitsubishi failed. The Belgian was fifth on Orien, just ahead of compatriot Bruno Thiry in the second Skoda.

For Sect. 12, Orien results click here.

For full live timings table click here.

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