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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 June, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Martin grabs maiden win in Greece
Markko Martin and British co-driver Michael Park in action in Greece
Martin maintained his momentum to the finish
Markko Martin held off the threat of Carlos Sainz on the final day of the Acropolis Rally to clinch his first championship win.

The 28-year-old Estonian and British co-driver Michael Park finished in four hours, 53 minutes, and 40.5 seconds in their Ford Focus.

"It feels really good to finally win a world championship rally," said Martin.

"It's especially good to do it with the Ford Focus. We always knew we had a car capable of winning and it was just a question of time."

Spain's Sainz, twice a world champion, finished 46 seconds behind Martin in Greece with his Citroen Xsara.

This was an important performance and it was very welcome... we were taking a lot of risks and in the end it worked well
Carlos Sainz

Norway's Petter Solberg, in a Subaru Impreza, won four of Sunday's six stages to finish third, just 6.7 seconds behind Sainz.

Solberg edged out Britain's Richard Burns suffered gear box problems in his Peugeor 126 for several stages.

But the 2001 champion's fourth place was enough to keep him at the top of the overall standings.

Scotland's Colin McRae, a five-time Acropolis champion, failed to boost his position in the rankings, finishing in eighth place.

His Citroen Xsara developed electrical problems, slowing him down in the final stages.

Reigning champion Marcus Gronholm, who came to Greece second behind Burns, retired from the rally on Friday with mechanical failure.

The Acropolis Rally is the sixth out of 14 races that make up the World Rally Championship this year.

Overall result:

1 Markko Martin (Est) Ford 4hr 53min 40.5sec
2 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Citroen 4:54:26.5
3 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 4:54:33.2
4 Richard Burns (GB) Peugeot 4:55:47.1
5 Tommi Makinen (Fin) Subaru 4:55:52.8
6 Harri Rovanpera (Fin) Peugeot 4:57:25.2
7 Gilles Panizzi (Fra) Peugeot 4:57:34.8
8 Colin McRae (GB) Citroen 4:57:45.5
9 Didier Auriol (Fra) Skoda 5:00:07.7
10 Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin) Ford 5:05:13.9

Drivers championship:
1 Burns 37 points
2 Sainz 32
3 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) 30
4 Martin 23
5 Solberg 19
6 C McRae 18
7 Sebastien Loeb (Fin) 17
8 Makinen 15

Manufacturers championship:
1 Peugeot 72 points
2 Citroen 62 points
3 Ford 39 points
4 Subaru 37 points
5 Skoda 20 points
6 Hyundai 3 points




Martin stays in front
07 Jun 03 |  World Rally
Gronholm out in Greece
06 Jun 03 |  World Rally

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