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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Martin seals second win
Markko Martin gets airborne in Finland
Martin gets airborne on Sunday

Markko Martin claimed his second victory of the season by winning the Rally of Finland on Sunday.

The Estonian, driving a Ford Focus, never looked under threat on the final day, leaving Richard Burns and Petter Solberg to scrap it out for second.

Subaru's Solberg eventually won that battle, edging out the British driver's Peugeot on the final stage to grab the runner-up spot.

But Burns had the consolation of extending his overall lead in the drivers' championship - he now has 49 points, five clear of Carlos Sainz and 11 more than team-mate Marcus Gronholm.

Martin, who won the Acropolis Rally in June, held a commanding overnight lead of one minute and 13 seconds over Burns.

This is a dream come true for me - Finland is the home of rallying and it is every driver's greatest wish to be successful here
Markko Martin

He then won Sunday's first stage before Burns reeled off the next three. But Solberg took the final two runs to seal second place.

The Norwegian finished 58.9 seconds behind Martin and edged Burns by 1.2 seconds.

Citroen's Sainz claimed fourth place but the Spaniard was hampered after his suspension took a knock during the 19th stage.

He was followed home by team-mate Sebastien Loeb, which meant it was the first time in the event's history that a Finn has not finished in the top five.

After winning Sunday's opening run, Martin settled for third in each of the remaining stages as his rivals battled it out.

Home favourite and reigning world champion Gronholm saw his challenge for a fourth successive in Finland ended on Saturday by a broken suspension arm.

Also on Saturday, Colin McRae crashed out when he rolled his Citroen Xsara while pushing hard to make up a 60-second time penalty.

In total, 34 drivers retired from the event, which is the World Rally Championship's fastest.


Rally of Finland final positions:

1. Markko Martin (Est) Ford 3hrs 21 mins 51.7secs
2. Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 58.9 behind
3. Richard Burns (GB) Peugeot 1:00.1
4. Carlos Sainz (Spa) Citroen 1:59.0
5. Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen 2:48.7
6. Tommi Makinen (Fin) Subaru 3.25.2
7. Janne Tuohino (Fin) Ford 4:22.9
8. Sebastian Lindholm (Fin) Peugeot 4:39.5
9. Juuso Pykalisto (Fin) Peugeot 6:23.4
10. Freddy Loix (Bel) Hyundai 8:19.9




WORLD RALLY 2003

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TEAMS & DRIVERS PROFILED
 


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