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Fans' Security Prompts Canceling of Stage 7 at German Rally - 2002-08-24

Organizers of the German Rally canceled the seventh stage of the competition Friday after drivers complained that fans were dangerously close to the course.

The first ever World Rally Championship event in Germany is expected to draw crowds of nearly 200,000 fans for the four days. However, organizers refused to run the seventh stage because fans were too close the roads.

Ford driver Colin McRae of Britain said the problem is getting worse and a spectator could get killed if there is an accident. Richard Burns of the Peugeot team said fans are not being asked to stand in the right places.

French driver Sebastien Loeb of Citroen has the overall lead 27 seconds ahead of Richard Burns in a Peugeot after Friday's first leg. Another Frenchman, Philippe Bugalski in a Citroen is in third place overall, 49 seconds behind Loeb.