SS18: Burns on a charge, Gronholm out

Richard Burns is back on the pace after taking his first stage win on the last day of Rally Argentina, six seconds clear of Colin McRae in third place, but the Subaru star still lies 25 seconds adrift of the Scot's overall lead. Meanwhile the luckless Marcus Gronholm is forced to retire after spinning off the road and burning out his clutch

SS18: Burns on a charge, Gronholm out

Gronholm had been running a distant sixth overall, almost four minutes behind the leaders after power steering problems on Saturday. The Finn was on a charge this morning however, and won SS17, but left the road on the first corner of SS18 Chamico and burnt his clutch out while trying to get out of the undergrowth.

The retirement marks yet another no points finish for the defending champion who has amassed only four points in the first five events of this year.

A charging Tommi Makinen set the second fastest time on the 24.60km stage, three seconds behind Burns and the Finn moves up, as expected, past Petter Solberg to take fourth place overall.

Solberg admitted at the service before the stage that he planned to maintain a steady pace and expected the Mitsubishi ace to overtake. In the event the Norwegian was forced to slow anyway with power steering problems on his Impreza WRC and finished eighth.

McRae continued to relax his pace somewhat, safe in the knowledge that he has an almost half a minute lead to nurse him through the final three stages of the event.

Carlos Sainz continued his solid drive with another fourth fastest time and the Spaniard remains a comfortable third behind the charging Brits at the front. Didier Auriol finished fifth in his Peugeot ahead of Freddy Loix in the second Mitsubishi in sixth.

Francois Delecour, who lies seventh overall, lost over half a minute with fly-by-wire throttle problems. The Frenchman was forced to hit the reset button on his Ford Focus, which temporarily solved the glitch, but it returned on the road section and a cable had to be fitted as a replacement.

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