Tough test for McRae and Burns

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The Independent Online

Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen were yesterday making their final preparations for the gruelling Rally Australia, knowing that victory could see either one of them crowned world champion.

Both drivers, who head the championship on 40 points, are aware that success for one with the other failing to pick up any points will result in them landing the title in Perth on Sunday night.

Seeking to prolong their championship challenge into the 14th and final stage in Britain later this month are McRae's Spanish team-mate at Ford, Carlos Sainz, and Englishman Richard Burns, driving a Subaru.

Sainz is in third place in the standings, three points behind McRae and Makinen, while Burns is hoping to improve on his runners-up spot in Australia last year as he goes all out to close the six point gap on the leading pair.