TRIER (Germany): Richard Burns, still smarting from having to retire his Peugeot from last month's rally in Cyprus, is hopeful of getting the wheels back on his championship bid in Germany this weekend.
The Briton, world champion in 2001, heads this year's standings by one point from Citroen's Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard who benefited most from his Mediterranean misfortune, at this halfway point in the season.
Finland's defending champion Marcus Gronholm sits third, six points further adrift, in his Peugeot.
The intense Burns, regarded as the thinking man's driver, said: “It really hurt to retire last time out as I had a great opportunity to extend my lead in the driver standings.
“Things are plenty close enough for my liking,” added the 32-year-old.
Since Cyprus, Burns has been busy testing ahead of this eighth-leg of the 14-race season which was in danger of being cancelled earlier in the year after failing a safety inspection.
“I think itll be an open event,” predicted Burns. “Its an interesting rally from a set-up point of view. Even if the cars arent 100 percent on the normal roads, if theyre set-up well for the rough military area they stand a good chance of pulling out time, you effectively need gravel suspension but on a tarmac rally.
“Its a challenge.” – AFP