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Burns and Subaru retain Championship lead

Richard Burns and the Subaru-Pirelli team continue to lead the
World Rally Championship despite the disappointment of retiring
from the New Zealand Rally yesterday. Such has been the success of
the team on earlier events this season that although mysterious
technical problems sidelined both WRC2000 Imprezas after three
stages their championship lead has been reduced but remains
intact.

Throughout the event the leading Pirelli crews have been able to
enjoy the expected high levels of reliability from the PZero range
of gravel tyres and have used the various compound options in the K
and KM pattern to full effect.

New Zealand driver Possum Bourne (Subaru-Pirelli) scored WRC
points on a break from his domination of the 2000 Australian Rally
Championship while Pirelli’s Group N drivers again crushed all
opposition to claim the top three places in the category.

The World Championship now heads for Finland and Cyprus, two
very different and highly technical events where Pirelli remains
confident that it can maintain its advantage as championship
leader.

NEW ZEALAND RALLY – POSITIONS AFTER SS24

1. Gronholm (Peugeot 206WRC) 3h45m13.4; 2. McRae (Ford Racing Focus
WRC) +14.5s; 3. Sainz (Ford Racing Focus WRC) +1m18.4; 4. Solberg
(Ford Racing Focus WRC) +3m00.7; 5. Eriksson (Hyundai Accent WRC)
+3m12.7; 6. Bourne (Subaru Impreza WRC) +6m54.6; 7. Stohl
(Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6 Gr.N) +11m52.0; 8. Crocker (Subaru Impreza
Gr.N) +12m01.2; 9. Argyle (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) +12m47.4; 10.
Trelles (Mitsubishi Carisma Evo6 Gr.N) +13m38.3

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 8 events)

Drivers:

Burns 38; Gronholm 34; McRae 30; Sainz 27; Makinen 23; Kankkunen
18; Solberg 6; Auriol/Loix/Arai 4; Gardemeister/Radstrom/ Rovanpera
3; Thiry/Delecour/Schwarz 2.

Manufacturers:

Subaru 58; Ford 57; Peugeot 41; Mitsubishi 29; Skoda 8; SEAT 7;
Hyundai 4.

Group N:

Stohl 41; Trelles 32; Pozzo 16; Campos 13; Menzi 12; Paasonen 11;
Sanchez/Nittel 10.

Next World Championship event: Finland (Gravel), 17-20
August

Auckland (New Zealand), July 16, 2000