Stage nine: Auriol fastest

Richard Burns continues to lead the Safari Rally, but SEAT's Didier Auriol was fastest on the Orien stage by a minute

Stage nine: Auriol fastest

The Frenchman was able to consolidate his third position as a result, helped by the fact that nearest challenger Carlos Sainz had to struggle through the 112km stage without any power steering, losing ten minutes and dropping behind Ford junior driver Petter Solberg to fifth place.

Auriol was lucky to finish the stage intact however.

'We had problems with dust hanging in the air from Kankkunen's car,' he explained. 'We came over a crest and suddenly there was dist and we hit a rock in fifth gear and were bounced off the road, narrowly missing some trees. It was very hairy.'

Burns' lead now stands at nearly six minutes with three stages remaining.

Overall standings after Stage nine, Orien:





















































1


Richard Burns


Subaru Impreza


6h34m17.0s


2


Juha Kankkunen


Subaru Impreza


6h39m55.0s


3


Didier Auriol


SEAT Cordoba


6h48m52.0s


4


Petter Solberg


Ford Focus


7h02m02.0s


5


Carlos Sainz


Ford Focus


7h06m01.0s


6


Toshihiro Arai


Subaru Impreza


7h13m31.0s


7


Armin Schwarz


Skoda Octavia


7h21m31.0s


8


Luis Climent


Skoda Octavia


7h42m43.0s


9


Claudio Menzi


Mitusbishi Lancer


8h07m37.0s


10


Roberto Sanchez


Subaru Impreza


8h18m49.0s



Stage times:

D Auriol 47m54.0s


R Burns 48m54.0s


J Kankkunen 49m37.0s


P Solberg 51m04.0s


T Arai 52m05.0s


A Schwarz 53m53.0s

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Safari Rally: End of day two

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