Scot Versus Spaniard In Rally Of New Zealand
Wednesday 19 September 2001
Scotsman Colin McRae and Spaniard Carlos Sainz are the favourites at the TAB to take out the Propecia Rally of New Zealand, which squeals into action tomorrow.
McRae and Sainz, who are both driving Fords, are joint $3.75 favourites to win the three-day rally, which is round ten of the 14-round FIA World Rally Championship.
TAB motorsport bookie Helen Quirke said the duo has history on their side.
“McRae has won the race three times while Sainz has taken it out four times, with his most recent victory being in 1998. He will be pushing hard for his first win of the season,” she said.
Sainz has been a consistent finisher in the World Championship this season and is lying third behind flying Finn Tommi Makinen and McRae in the Driver Standings.
Englishman Richard Burns and Makinen, the 1999 New Zealand Rally winner, are both paying $5.
“Burns finished just 25 seconds behind Finn Marcus Gronholm in the Rally of Finland and the gravel roads of New Zealand are expected to suit him,” said Quirke.
Gronholm won last year’s rally of New Zealand but is only 5th favourite this year. “That’s more of a testament to the quality of the field than his ability as a driver,” said Quirke. “He is certainly a chance given the reliable performance his Peugeot turned out last year. His confidence will also be high after the win in his home rally in Finland.”
The TAB will have several books open for the rally, including Make of Winning Car. The McRae-Sainz connection sees Ford the hot favourite to win that at $2.10.