The lead changed dramatically on the second day of Britain's annual Lombard-RAC motor rally on Sunday (23 November).
SV PAN Car 21 (Brookes) along wooded lane
SV PAN Car.3 (Blomqvist) passing camera
SV PAN Car 1 (Makinen) along lane
SV PAN Car 11 (Verini) past camera
SV PAN Car 31 (McCartney) along lane past camera
SV PAN Car 12 (Lampinen) past camera
SV PAN Car 80 (Robertson) along lane
SV PAN Car 121 (Cockerill) through lane
SVs Cars 54 (Zapaldo), 111 (Koujimoto) and 74 (Evans) along course as crowd watches (4 shots)
Initials BB/0245 EW/PN/BB/0315
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The lead changed dramatically on the second day of Britain's annual Lombard-RAC motor rally on Sunday (23 November).
Mechanical troubles put the overnight leader, Sweden's Bjorn Waldegaard--in car number two, a Lancia Stratos--off the leaders' board...and left the way clear for last year's winner, veteran Finnish driver Timo Makinen, to slip into first place.
Makinen--driving car number one, a Ford Escort RSI800--is chasing his third consecutive RAC rally victory...and is tipped to achieve it, barring accidents and motor trouble.
Sunday's long course included a special section through the grounds of Cirencester Park, near Cirencester. In all, there are 72 special sections, many against the clock, in the 2,000 (3200 kilometre) course.
Running second by the end of the day was Swedish ace Stig Blomqvist, only 55 seconds behind Makinen. Blomqvist--one of Europe's top professional rally drivers--is using a team Saab...considered the strongest challenge to the British-made Fords which make up more than one third of the 248 cars taking part.
Just over a minute behind Blomqvist came Britain's Roger Clark--in car six, another Ford Escort. Clark is out to repeat his rally success of 1972...and to collect enough points to beat Irish driver Billy Coleman in the British RAC rally championship.
Drivers from 17 nations--including the son of the Polish Prime Minister, Andrej Jaroszewicz--are taking part in the gruelling four-day event. Monday's course takes the competitors along the rugged overnight section through Wales, before looping back to finish where the rally started on Saturday...in the cathedral city of York.
In all, rally organisers expect more than two million people to turn out to watch the drivers twisting and screeching their way along narrow lanes and special speed stages...making it Britain's biggest spectator sports event.