McRae slides to success

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The Independent Online

Britain's world champion, Colin McRae, made full use of his skill and survival instincts after a treacherous opening day of the Indonesia Rally, Asia's first round of the World Championship.

McRae drove cautiously on roads often made slippery by heavy rain to take the lead in his Subaru Impreza, though he finished just five seconds ahead of his Finnish title rival, Tommi Makinen, in a Mitsubishi.

McRae, the winner of this event last year when it was not part of the World Championship, summed up the day: "The conditions on the stages are comparable to trying to stand on a wet and slippery bar of soap. You've got to go flat out on the good bits, but when it's wet, you've got to slow right down."

Makinen had been living dangerously, spinning twice and putting a dent in one side of the car when he hit a bridge. Makinen has won the first two rounds of the Championship.