SS16: Makinen grabs third from Sainz

Tommi Makinen set a blistering pace through the 16.3-mile Trawscoed stage to snatch third place from Ford's Carlos Sainz. But with just one stage of the rally remaining, Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm seems certain to take the world title with Richard Burns admitting defeat at this morning's service halt at Pembrey. "There's nothing more I can do," he said

SS16: Makinen grabs third from Sainz

Makinen's Mitsubishi was 8.2s faster than the Subaru of Burns, and 16.3s quicker than Sainz to give him a 1.2s advantage over the Spaniard before the final stage, the 17.5-mile Margam 2 test. Makinen opted to use narrow tyres on his Lancer and, although he lost time on the day's opening stage, the muddier conditions at Trawscoed played into his hands.

To see the very latest standings, click here.

Gronholm was 14.4s off Makinen's pace, but only a last-gasp disaster can take the title away from the Finn now. Ironically, the final stage of the rally, Margam, is where Carlos Sainz lost a seemingly certain title in 1998 when his Toyota's engine blew just 200 yards from the finish line.

"I'm not world champion yet," said the Finn at this morning's service halt at the Pembrey race track. "And I won't be unless I cross that finish line in Cardiff this afternoon."

His Peugeot team-mate Francois Delecour was flying again, and overtook Subaru's Juha Kannkunen for fifth in the standings at Trawscoed. The Frenchman, who gambled on using wider tyres than his opposition this morning, holds a 2.4s lead going into Margam.

Although Gronholm has encountered no problems, two retirements were posted on Trascoed by quick Finns. Tapio Laukkanen has crashed his Ford Focus and is out. So too is is Subaru's Petter Solberg, who after setting third fastest time in Brechfa, ground to a halt just 300 meters from the finish of SS16 with a flat battery.

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

To see current championship standings click here.

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SS15: Burns run close by Delecour
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SS17: Makinen flies through Margam

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