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  Home > Rallies > Australia > Rally Australia 1998
Tommi moves ahead
As championship arrived at Australia, race for the title was getting tighter. Makinen had won past two events and was snapping at Sainz's heels. Running first, Sainz was suffering from sweeping the roads until Tommi hit a rock. In space of two stages, Tommi had dropped from second to eight and Sainz improved from seventh to third.

At the end of second day, Langley Park Super Special was run for a third time. In those days, the official starting system was clocks but organisers had installed starting lights similar to those currently in use. Tommi started when clock touched zero even though lights were still red and stewards initially penalized Makinen for jumping start. Later they overturned the decision after appeal from Mitsubishi and with his win, Tommi moved ahead of Carlos in the championship.

This was a whiff of scandals waiting for Tommi in coming years. In 2000, Makinen won the event after furious last leg showdown against Gronholm (Peugeot) and Burns (Subaru), only to be excluded following morning due to turbocharger infringement by Mitsubishi. And in 2002 he was again excluded after his Subaru was found to be underweight despite widespread belief that measurement procedure was to blame.

Championship status
Rally Australia 1998 counts for:

1998 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers/Co-drivers
1998 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
1998 FIA 2-Litre World Rally Cup for Manufacturers
1998 FIA Cup for Drivers of Production Cars
1998 FIA Teams' Cup

 304th WRC rally 
 Round of season: 13 of 14 
 Official name: API Rally Australia 
 Edition: 11th 
 Date: from Thursday 5-Nov-1998 to Sunday 8-Nov-1998 
 Rally HQ: Perth, Western Australia; Australia 
 Surface: Gravel 
 Entries: 94  
 Starters: 94  
 Finishers: 58 (61.7% of starters) 
 Stages: 24 
 Shortest: 2.20km(SS1 Langley Park 1)
 Longest: 45.38km(SS16 Wellington Dam)
 Slowest: 85.99km/h(SS11 Langley Park 2)
 Fastest: 124.79km/h(SS2 York Railway)
 Planned stage distance: 404.69km(28.7% of total distance)
 Actual stage distance: 404.69km(28.7% of total distance)
 Road section distance: 1,003.53km
 Total distance: 1,408.22km
    Win was 15th win and 24th podium for Tommi Makinen.
 Second place was 58th podium for Carlos Sainz. 
 Third place was 41st podium for Didier Auriol. 
    Win was 25th win and 55th podium for Mitsubishi.
    Second and third places were 127th to 128th podiums for Toyota.
tommi jumping
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
Tommi negotiates a jump during controversial Langey Park SSS Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Related links
Rallye San Remo 1998
Rally GB 1998