SS20, Macheras 2: Sainz takes his turn

Carlos Sainz took his first stage win of the day on the second run through the 13.11km Macheras (SS20) stage as his Ford team mate Colin McRae set second fastest time to ease further ahead of Richard Burns overall on the Cyprus Rally

SS20, Macheras 2: Sainz takes his turn

Sainz's stage win edged him closer to Burns and second place, but the Englishman still has a 7.9s advantage with just two stages left to run. McRae is 18.8s ahead and Burns has just 17km of stage mileage in which to overturn the Scot's advantage.

Subaru's Toshi Arai is right on course for matching his best ever World Championship result. The Japanese driver was fourth fastest through the stage and, as challenger Freddy Loix picked up a puncture and dropped almost 20 seconds over the stage, Arai looks odds on for fourth place, his advantage up to 40.6s - a mountain to climb for Mitsubishi's Belgian.

It was a bad stage overall for Mitsubishi as its third car, which Japan's Katsuhiko Taguchi had moved up to 10th place, suffered suspension damage and retired just three kilometres from the end of the stage.

Alister McRae was sixth fastest in the Hyundai, behind rival Pasi Hagstrom's Toyota and is still over a minute behind the Finn in the overall standings. Drivers' championship points look out of reach for McRae, but he is on target to score two manufacturers' points for Hyundai.

Skoda look set to take the final manufacturer point through eighth-placed Bruno Thiry as Arai and Hagstroem are not registered.

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