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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 August, 2003, 22:51 GMT 23:51 UK
Martin maintains momentum
Markko Martin
Martin overcame an electrical glitch

Markko Martin finished in front again after an incident-packed day in the Rally of Finland.

The Estonian had lost the lead to home favourite Marcus Gronholm during Saturday's early stages.

But when the Finn's rally was ended by a broken suspension arm on his Peugeot, Ford driver Martin regained first place.

He also overcame an electrical problem to hold off the challenge of Britain's Richard Burns.

Colin McRae crashed out trying to claw back lost time after suffering a time penalty on stage 15.

The Scot, driving a Citroen Xsara, failed to negotiate a left-hand bend during the next run.

He was fifth at the time, having picked up a 60-second penalty for beginning the previous stage too soon.

Colin McRae
McRae was left playing catch-up
Gronholm retired after limping to the end of stage 14, his hopes of a fourth successive win in his home rally dashed.

That left the way clear for Martin, who had been tussling with Gronholm all the way, to take control.

But he lost time because of an electrical glitch, allowing world championship leader Burns to close the gap to 13.1 seconds.

However, Martin bounced back to stretch his advantage over the championship leader to a minute and 13 seconds after stage 17.

He was helped when Burns' car developed a wheel bearings problem on the final stage, leaving him to struggle home 12th fastest.

Spain's Carlos Sainz, driving a Citroen, is third, with Subaru driver Petter Solberg in fourth place.

Rally of Finland standings after 17 stages:

1 Markko Martin (Est) Ford Focus 2hrs 30mins 59.0secs
2 Richard Burns (Gbr) Peugeot 206 at 1min 13.0secs
3 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Citroen Xsara at 1:13.3
4 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru Impreza at 1:13.5
5 Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen Xsara at 2:02.6
6 Tommi Makinen (Fin) Subaru Impreza at 2:37.4
7 Janne Tuohino (Fin) Ford Focus at 3:25.0
8 Sebastian Lindholm (Fin) Peugeot 206 at 3:35.6
9 Juuso Pykalisto (Fin) Peugeot 206 at 5:12.6
10 Freddy Loix (Bel) Hyundai Accent at 5:54.6




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