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1997 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 14
1997 NETWORK Q RAC RALLY

Tuesday, November 25, 1997
Leg 3 - 576.97 km - 8 Special Stages - 171.37 km


MITSUBISHI DRIVER MAKINEN TAKES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

ON RAC RALLY

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart driver Tommi Makinen clinched the World Rally Championship for the second year running with a gritty drive to sixth place in his Lancer Evolution on the 14th and final round, Britain's RAC Rally. The Finn is Mitsubishi's second double World Champion of 1997, as Uruguay's Gustavo Trelles and Argentine Jorge del Buono with a Mitsubishi Lancer and a Carisma GT had already made sure of the Group N production car world title for the second successive year. Makinen's team-mate Richard Burns played a starring role and was unlucky not to improve on fourth place in his Carisma GT.

Cold winds and squalls of rain greeted competitors in the mountainous forests of south Wales, which wind their way between densely populated towns perched on steep hillsides. There was dense fog as well at first, which lingered on the tops of the hills for most of the day and while the rain made the stages horribly muddy, it did nothing to deter the vast crowds. Bad weather is part of the RAC's traditional challenge and British spectators are well used to taking umbrellas as well as thick coats and woolly hats. They will often walk for several kilometres to find a good vantage point.


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FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

1.C.MCRAE/N.GRIST GB/GB SUBARU IMPREZA 3.54.31 Gr-A
2.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 3.57.18 Gr-A
3.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E FORD ESCORT 3.58.24 Gr-A
4.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 3.59.30 Gr-A
5.M.GRONHOLM/T.RAUTIAINEN FIN/FIN TOYOTA COROLLA 4.00.43 Gr-A
6.T.MAKINEN/S.HARJANNE FIN/FIN MITSUBISHI LANCER 4.01.31 Gr-A
7.P.LIATTI/F.PONS I/I SUBARU IMPREZA 4.03.11 Gr-A
8.A.VATANEN/R.FREEMAN FIN/GB FORD ESCORT 4.11.59 Gr-A
9.H.ROVANPERA/V.SILANDER FIN/FIN SEAT IBIZA 4.14.34 Gr-A
---------------- ------ ------- ------- -----
12.L.CLIMENT/A.ROMANI E/E MITSUBISHI LANCER 4.22.12 Gr-N(1ST)
13.J.EASSON/A.COOK GB/GB MITSUBISHI LANCER 4.23.27 Gr-N(2ND)
15.R.JONES/E.EVANS NZ/GB MITSUBISHI LANCER 4.26.22 Gr-N(3RD)




Copyright 1997 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.