SS9, Resolfen: Gronholm's good start

The leader of the Network Q Rally of Great Britain kicked off the second day in determined fashion by stretching his advantage with the quickest time on the longest stage of the event

SS9, Resolfen: Gronholm's good start

Peugeot star Marcus Gronholm managed a time six seconds quicker than team-mate Harri Rovanpera on the 46km run. His performance leaves him with a comfortable 57 second gap to Richard Burns in the overall standings.

Rovanpera's impressive charge has pushed the Finn to within two seconds of Burns, who set the fourth quickest time on Resolfen behind Ford star Carlos Sainz. Burns' day had started nervously when his Subaru wouldn't start in parc ferme and he had the change the spark plugs himself to get the car to the stage. But the Englishman appeared to have a clear run once he had got the Impreza going.

But Peugeot's Didier Auriol had a disasterous start to the day. He went off the road and needed help from spectators to get going again. "I missed the braking at a left junction," he said. "I arrived at high speed - about 195kph - and we were in a ditch. It's ok, but the chance of a good result has gone now." The incident lost him over three minutes and Auriol has dropped from fourth in the overall standings to 10th.

That has moved Sainz up to fourth. But the Spaniard is not in a position yet to help team-mate Colin McRae's championship bid. McRae can win the world championship even though he has crashed out of the rally, but is relying on Burns finishing outside the top four. It looks like Burns will be knocked down to third by Rovanpera on the next stage, but even if that happens he won't come under threat from Sainz. Carlos trails by 1m46s at the moment.

Auriol's misfortune has pushed Alister McRae to fifth in his Hyundai, with Skoda's Armin Schwarz climbing into the top six.

For full times from SS9, click here.

For full rally live timings, click here.

For rally itinerary, click here.

For full entry list, click here.

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