Sainz's slip gives Burns his chance

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Frenchman Gilles Panizzi grabbed victory on the final stage of the Catalunya Rally to snatch the event win but there was some consolation for second-placed Sebastien Loeb.

Peugeot's Panizzi won the final stage of the day to edge out Citroen's Loeb but second place was enough to put Loeb joint top of the championship standings with Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Citroen).

Norway's Petter Solberg (Subaru) lies third in the standings on 62 points, just one point behind the joint leaders going intothe final event of the series in Wales next month.

Solberg finished the Catalunya event fifth and Sainz was seventh to leave the championship up for grabs.

Sainz's late slip from fourth to seventh on the final stage has also opened the door for Briton Richard Burns to grab a dramatic title win in Wales.

Burns crashed out of the rally yesterday when he damaged his Peugeot's steering and suspension. But with just five points separating him and the joint leaders, a victory in Wales, with his three title rivals finishing no higher than fifth, would see the Englishman take the crown for a second time.