Rallying: Makinen seeking repeat

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The Independent Online
Tommi Makinen, whose Argentina rally victory proved the turning point of last season and set him on course for the world title, has his sights on a repeat triumph.

"After last year's result, I am looking forward to the event very much. I think it will be very good for our car," he said ahead of today's start of the seventh round of the championship.

It marks the half-way stage of the season, with a course through the high-altitude mountain regions of the Andes.

Makinen, who was forced to withdraw from the previous round in Corsica after a bizarre accident when he hit a cow, leads the standings by two points from Britain's Colin McRae. Carlos Sainz of Spain is joint third with the part-time Italian driver Piero Liatti.

For McRae, the Argentina event is a return to the scene of his most disappointing outing last season. He was fined after colliding with spectators in a service area. But after a stirring victory in Corsica two weeks ago, the Subaru driver is eager for the victory that would give him the world championship lead.