Rallying: McRae has title in his sights

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The Independent Online

Colin McRae is on course to become Britain's first world rally champion after climbing to second place on the second day of the Catalonia Rally.

The Scot's main rival for the title, Juha Kankkunen, held a convincing lead in the race - having won eight of the first 15 stages - until he crashed on the 16th special stage, and McRae can now pip him for the ultimate prize at the RAC Rally, the final race of the series, next month.

In recent years, McRae and his co-driver, Derek Ringer, have made the RAC Rally their own.

"It's a superb opportunity for me," said McRae, who is eight seconds behind the race leader, Carlos Sainz.

If the positions remain unchanged today, McRae and his Subaru team-mate Sainz will lead the World Championship on 70 points.

Kankkunen, who had extended his lead in the rally to almost a minute before crashing, has 62. The reigning champion, Didier Auriol, is now in third place, 44 seconds behind McRae.