Two disqualifications give Sainz rally win

 

Ford's Carlos Sainz became the third "winner" of Rally Argentina late last night.

Peugeot were robbed of the victory twice, as first Marcus Gronholm and then world champion Richard Burns were disqualified.

Finn Gronholm, the championship leader, was stripped of the title and the points at a meeting of FIA stewards as punishment for an infringement of servicing rules. His car refused to start yesterday morning and, having pushed the 206 out of the overnight parking lot, mechanics offered illegal assistance on the road section.

Englishman Burns was then the winner for a few hours, until his Peugeot failed a weight test. Burns had been celebrating his first win for Peugeot when his car was found to be underweight at the final check-in.

It meant Spaniard Sainz was promoted to first place, with Subaru's Petter Solberg second, and Scotsman Colin McRae third in his Focus.

"It's been an amazing day," said Sainz (40). "When I woke up, victory was the last thing on my mind, but rallying is a strange sport sometimes".

PA