Burns loses lead to Sainz

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The Independent Online

England's Richard Burns was knocked off the top of the World Championship standings by Spaniard Carlos Sainz as Petter Solberg, of Norway, won against all odds at the Rallye de France.

Burns collected one point after finishing eighth and lost his long-time lead in the standings. It was a remarkable win for Solberg, who was almost ruled out of the rally after a crash on Thursday, as the Pirelli tyres on his Subaru were not thought to be the best suited to the dry asphalt roads of Corsica.

When his repaired car made it to the start-line on Friday, few rated its chances, yet Solberg drove brilliantly for three days. He finished 36.6 seconds clear of Sainz, and now shares second place in the standings with Burns, three points off the lead.

Burns must now hope for for a good result in Spain next week before the season-ending Rally of Great Britain from 6-9 November.