SS24, Fyfe 2: Burns wins

Richard Burns kept his nose clean on the final stage of the Rally New Zealand to cruise to his first win of the year. His Scottish rival Colin McRae put a spin on the previous stage behind him to make sure of second place and a joint lead in the world championship

SS24, Fyfe 2: Burns wins

McRae's mistake had given his Ford team mate Carlos Sainz a sniff of second place, with the pair only separated by 2.8 seconds going into the final stage. But the Spaniard pushed too hard in his efforts to steal second place and spun too.

The error cost Sainz dearly - although he was handed something of a reprieve in a final twist to a lively end to the event. Peugeot drivers Marcus Gronholm and Harri Rovanpera were already breathing down Sainz's neck before the start of the final stage, and the spin allowed them to jump up to third and fourth. In just over 10km, Carlos had lost two positions.

But then Gronholm was handed a 10-second penalty for jumping the start on the final stage, and suddenly it was the world champion who had lost two places. Rovanpera benefitted the most to rise to third, with Sainz fourth and Gronholm fifth. Quite a finish.

Burns' Subaru team mate Petter Solberg took his fourth stage win of the day and was classified seventh overall, pushing erstwhile world championship leader Tommi Makinen down to eighth. That means he and McRae are neck-and-neck for the title with four rallies remaining. Burns has jumped up to third, just nine points behind the two leaders.

For SS24, Fyfe 2 results, click here.

For full live timings table click here.

For full entry list click here.

For the itinerary click here.

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