Makinen's Lancer has run perfectly throughout the 10 stages of the second leg, despite facing 196 kilometres of sandy, rocky special stages and road sections at high average speeds that give no margin for error: "Nothing has been any problem at all. Apart from one spin, everything else has been very enjoyable. We are taking no risks," said the relaxed Finn.
Makinen relied on Michelin's well-proven Z90 tyres. He got a puncture t's new recruit, Richard Burns. Despite suffering from a high temperature that prevents him performing to his full potential, British driver Burns improved throughout the day to climb to 4th place on his first attempt at the rally. He found that a small change to the Ohlins shock absorbers gave him more confidence in the car under braking : "It's going according to plan. It's been a good day. We've had a bi has been in complete control of the situation. He's relaxed and laughing about it," said Team Manager, Phil Short. "I would like Richard to carry on at the same pace. He's driven an excellent rally so far."
Germany's Uwe Nittel has taken control of the Group N production car category in Ralliart Germany's Lancer Evolution III : "Today has been perfect. The car is very good and I have started to understand the stages here. Conditions vary so much. It is as hard as the Acropolis," he said.
Despite cool, dry conditions, competitors have had to cope with soft stages that have developed deep ruts, dust was a major hazard early in the morning. 44 crews began the second of the 1,311-kilometre rally's three legs. They face similar weather conditions an d another five stages, totalling 130 kilometres, before the finish in Cordoba's football stadium on Saturday afternoon.
|FIN/FIN||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||4.26.01|
|2.K. Eriksson/S. Parmander||S/S||SUBARU IMPREZA 555||+ 0.56|
|3.C. Sainz/L. Moya||E/E||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 1.37|
|GB/GB||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||+ 6.09|
|5.B.Thiry/S.Prevot||B/B||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 7.23|
|6.G.Pianezzola/L.Roggia||I/I||TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR||+ 10.56|
|7.R.Madeira/N.Da Silva||P/P||TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR||+ 12.21|
|8.P.Liatti/F.Ponz||I/I||SUBARU IMPREZA 555||+ 14.01|
|9.P.Bernardini/C.Francois||F/F||FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH||+ 15.05|
|10.U.Nittel/T.Thorner||D/S||MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION III||+ 18.38(1st Group N)|