SS8, Helena South II: Tie at the top

Carlos Sainz fought back from his suspension disaster on SS6 to front the running on the eighth stage of Rally Australia - but the Ford ace had to share the honours with championship hopeful Richard Burns, who set exactly the same time as the Spaniard

SS8, Helena South II: Tie at the top

Marcus Gronholm and Peugeot team mate Harri Rovanpera set equal fastest times on Friday's first run through the Helena South stage, and so the feat was repeated when the drivers completed the 18.43km test for the second time.

Sainz suffered a broken rear drive shaft and suspension on SS6 and incurred a time penalty after leaving service late. As a result, he was clearly charging on SS8 to make up for lost time and crossed the finish line in 9m34.2s, only to have his time equalled by Burns. While Sainz made up two places from 14th to 11th, Burns stayed put in second place, albeit 1.7s closer to Gronholm's overall lead.

Gronholm finished fifth fastest in his Peugeot 206 WRC and held onto the overall top spot, but it was team mate Didier Auriol who set the fastest time on the stage for the French marque in third, leaving him in fourth overall.

Joint championship leader Colin McRae, who took the lead on SS6, stayed in third overall after finishing fourth fastest. Harri Rovanpera was sixth, with Francois Delecour seventh and Tommi Makinen, who shares the championship lead with McRae, in eighth.

For full times from SS8, click here.

For full rally live timings, click here.

For rally itinerary, click here.

For full entry list, click here.

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SS7, Helena North II: Nip and tuck

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