Henri Toivonen of Finland grabbed the overall lead of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) rally from Anders Kullang of Sweden on Tuesday (18 November).
GV PAN Car No.25 Guy Colsoul passing along road near Twiglees.
SV PAN Car No.1 Hannu Mikkola slithers at speed round bend.
SV PAN Car No.17 Anders Kullang following.
LV PAN Car No.3 Bjorn Waldegard following.
LV PAN Car No.10 Guy Frequelin passes.
SV PAN Car No.13 Russell Brookes follows.
SV PAN Car No.11 Per Eklund along circuit.
SV PAN Car No.19 Timo Makinen along circuit.
LV PAN Car No.16 Henri Toivonen follows.
GV PAN Car No.54 Rafael Cid passes officials taking times in car.(3 SHOTS)
SV Car passes roadside spectators.
LV PAN Car No.7 Anders Kullang passes through Greystoke Forest.
SV & GV Anders Kulland into car.7 and car away at start point, Windermere.
GV Car No.16 Toivonen away.
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Henri Toivonen of Finland grabbed the overall lead of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) rally from Anders Kullang of Sweden on Tuesday (18 November). The third day of the rally was a catalogue of irritations for Kullang who had led the premier rally since Sunday.
SYNOPSIS: The six mile (10 kilometre) Twiglees forest stage in southern Scotland on Monday (17 November) continued the progress of inexorable elimination as driver after driver slowly dropped from contention.
One of the survivors was the privately entered Ford Escort of Finland's Hannu Mikkola who began on Sunday as a pre-rally favourite. But he's now running second behind Toivonen, fellow countryman but a relative outsider. Sweden's Bjorn Waldegard was to take the lead briefly on Tuesday, before retiring his Sa?? with oil filter troubles.
Guy Frequelin, from France, was enjoying a fortunate run by the end of day three, pushing his Sunbeam Lotus from sixth to fourth place overall.
Frequelin is less than two minutes behind another Sunbeam Lotus piloted by England's Russell Brookes who was runner-up to 1979 winner, Hannu Mikkola. Monday was a disappointing day for Sweden's Per Eklund who fell back from fifth place with a damaged oil line in his Triumph TR7. Timo Makinen's Escort was handily placed in fifth spot by Tuesday night but the day went to Toivonen.
The forest stages have taken their expected toll on the 141 original starters. By Tuesday night, only 68 cars remained in the rally. Twisting roads, little more than tracks, were quickly transformed to muddy skidpans as the field sped through heavy showers, rain and occasional hailstorms. Drivers describe conditions as some of the most challenging they have encountered in the long history of the 18-hundred mile (2,850 kilometre) RAC event. It may stop the cars, but not the spectators.
Hardest hit was Kullang with his Opel Ascona, when in one 22-mile (35 Kilometre) stage of Tuesday, he collected three punctures. The delays cost Kullang seventeen minutes, relegating him from first to sixth place. The man in the lead is Toivonen, 15-and-a-half minutes ahead of Kullang, and with one stage to go, looking like yet another "Flying Finn" of motor rallying.