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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Finland Rally: Day two
Markko Martin
Martin's Ford is locked in a tight battle with Gronholm's Peugeot

Estonian Markko Martin and world champion Marcus Gronholm are locked in a fierce battle at the top of the Rally of Finland standings.

Martin, driving a Ford, currently holds the lead after Friday's stages but is only 2.6 seconds ahead of the Peugeot of his Finnish rival.

Richard Burns, who won stage seven, is in third, 24 seconds behind Martin, with Scotland's Colin McRae back in fourth, a further 25 seconds in arrears.

Burns won the short 7.57km Ruuhimaki stage by almost three seconds from Gronholm as the Englishman made the most of the rain.

I expected a tight battle, so I'm not surprised
Marcus Gronholm

But the battle between Martin and Gronholm was the feature of the day, with the Estonian just 0.8secs behind Gronholm after winning stage eight.

Martin reclaimed the lead in the second running of Krunnunpera and then held off Gronholm's challenge on the final stage to stay ahead of the field.

Despite losing the stage, Martin kept a slender advantage in the overall standings.

Harri Rovanpera's hopes were extinguished when his Peugeot hit a rock in the first stage of the day.

Leading positions after special stage 10:

1 Markko Martin (Est) Ford Focus RS WRC 1hr 8mins 16.5secs
2 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Peugeot 206 WRC at 2.6secs
3 Richard Burns (Gbr) Peugeot 206 WRC at 24.2
4 Colin McRae (Gbr) Citroen Xsara at 49.3
5 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru Impreza WRC at 50.2
6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Citroen Xsara at 56.7
7 Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen Xsara at 1:21.9
8 Tommi Makinen (Fin) Subaru Impreza WRC at 1:39.5
9 Janne Tuohino (Fin) Ford Focus at 1:48.7
10 Juuso Pykalisto (Fin) Peugeot 206 at 1:51.3




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