Stage nine: McRae takes charge

Colin McRae extended his lead in the Catalunya Rally by setting fastest time on stage nine

Stage nine: McRae takes charge

The Ford driver's advantage over Richard Burns is now up to 10.8s. Burns had earlier been gaining on the Scot after recovering from gearshift difficulties during the morning.

The other McRae had a less happy time on the Gratallops-Escaladei 2 stage, Hyundai driver Alister retiring from 28th place with engine failure.

Also in trouble, yet again, was Freddy Loix in the second Mitsubishi. The Belgian had to stop on a road section to fix a brake pipe and was late arriving at the stage control, being given a four minute penalty. This will drop him from eighth to 16th.

The Peugeot trio are swapping places between themselves, Gilles Panizzi moving up to fifth after Francois Delecour slowed with a suspected gearbox problem, dropping to seventh behind Marcus Gronholm in the third 206.

Overall positions after stage nine:





















































1


Colin McRae


Ford Focus


2h23m45.6s


2


Richard Burns


Subaru Impreza


2h23m56.4s


3


Carlos Sainz


Ford Focus


2h24m04.5s


4


Tommi Makinen


Mitsubishi Lancer


2h24m10.3s


5


Gilles Panizzi


Peugeot 206


2h24m41.3s


6


Marcus Gronholm


Peugeot 206


2h25m09.0s


7


Francois Delecour


Peugeot 206


2h25m15.1s


8


Didier Auriol


SEAT Cordoba


2h26m54.4s


9


Armin Schwarz


Skoda Octavia


2h26m57.8s


10


Markko Martin


Toyota Corolla


2h27m01.0s

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Brits battle for Catalunya lead

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