Marcus Gronholm had already won the championship but it was intresting to see who could get the runner-up spot in the championship.
Day 1 Edit
Day 1 was all about Gronholm. He led despite a couple of slips and had a 50 second lead. Petter Solberg was second but in a ding-dong battle with Ford youngster Markko Martin. For both brits, Richard Burns and Colin Mcrae, it was a nightmare. Burns was second after ss2 but a power loss dropped him down to 12th. He fought back to 7th, ahead of Mcrae, who also did not have his best day. On the first proper stage, he dropped into a ditch. Carlos Sainz was fourth and was keeping the youngsters in his sights. Harri Rovanpera was fifth ahead of Subaru's Tommi Makinen.
Day 2 Edit
Day 2 started with a 25 mile stage but the Subaru's pace on fast roads let Solberg down again. He dropped from 2 seconds in front to 9 seconds down. Gronholm had not had an accident for 18 months but finally on ss10, he rolled 3 times. A further 2 cars crashed out on the same corner. This promoted Martin to the lead, which he kept until the end of the day. Solberg, though was closing in and was under 2 seconds behind him. Sainz was up to third ahead of a charging Richard Burns. Makinen was 5th place in his Subaru. Colin Mcrae was sixth but a spin on the superspecial gave his place to Citroen's Sebastian Loeb.
Day 3 Edit
Day 3 started with that long fast stage, which made Solberg worried. No fears though and a few risks placed Solberg into the lead by 20 seconds. Burns was also charging and on the next stage, passed Carlos Sainz for third place. It was not to last though as he crashed out on a corner in Margam Park that was to be named after him. This allowed Mark Higgins to take sixth spot. Sainz finshed third ahead of Makinen and Mcrae. All eyes were on Petter Solberg and he crossed the line to take his first World Rally Championship win. Martin finshed a respectable second.
1 Petter Solberg Subaru Impreza
2 Markko Martin Ford Focus
3 Carlos Sainz Ford Focus
4 Tommi Makinen Subaru Impreza
5 Colin Mcrae Ford Focus
6 Mark Higgins Ford Focus