Day 2, am: Martin holds on

Estonian Markko Martin held his lead in the Acropolis Rally this morning. He didn't go on unchallenged, however, with the dark cloud of Carlos Sainz moving in on him in second. The Spaniard and co-driver, Marc Marti, set a couple of fastest times and cut Martin's lead to just 31s

Day 2, am: Martin holds on

"So far OK - no big problems," said Sainz. "There's still a long way to go for us and the others. It's going to be very hard, very hot."

After yesterday's bonnet scare, Martin seems to be living a charmed existence at the head of the leaderboard: "Bit better luck than the others there, for a change," he said. "It was a difficult morning and on the second stage we had to stop almost, twice (in Rovanpera's dust).

"This morning I was a bit tired, I was a bit weak, but now it's getting better. We still have the longest stage of the rally to come again. We'll have to make sure we keep the bonnet shut this time."

It wasn't purely by dint of his speed that Sainz moved up into second place, though. Harri Rovanpera - who had been second overnight - stopped on a hairpin in SS11 and struggled on with gearbox problems, while Petter Solberg, who set the fastest time on the first stage of the day, suffered similar transmission woes. The pair dropped back to ninth and fifth.

This helped a charging Colin McRae to come through into third place. The Scot is determined to make up for the penalty he incurred yesterday anyway (see separate story - link below), but the problems ahead of him seem to have got him even more fired up - one to watch this afternoon.

The experienced Tommi Makinen is doing a great job in fourth place, while Richard Burns continued to chip away behind Solberg, in sixth. The Englishman's Peugeot has recovered from yesterday's gearbox problems and he was third quickest through the last stage before service. This puts him ahead of Gilles Panizzi and Didier Auriol.

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Day 1: Rough justice for rally stars

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Day 2: Sainz moves up as Martin leads

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