Day 3: Martin claims first career win

Markko Martin kept clear of trouble on the final day of the Acropolis Rally to take his first-ever WRC win by a massive margin of 46s. Although it was Ford's fourth consecutive win on the rough Greek event, it was also the first victory for the new Focus RS WRC03

Day 3: Martin claims first career win

With a massive margin to his rivals, the Estonian and co-driver Mike Park were able to cruise through the day's final three stages on their way to a victory that most reckon is long overdue.

Carlos Sainz claimed second, after resisting late pressure from Petter Solberg. After closing to within 0.9s this morning, the Subaru star passed the Spaniard for second by winning SS20, only to undo all his hard work on the very next stage.

Solberg span twice on the stage, and dropped a decisive 15s to Sainz. Although the Norwegian put on a final charge by winning the event's final stage, it was not enough to move him off the bottom rung of the podium.

Richard Burns came through to take a fortuitous fourth, as both Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen hit trouble ahead of him. The Scot lost power near the end of SS21 with an electrical problem, dropping over two and a half minutes to the leaders. His secure fourth suddenly became a dispiriting eighth.

Makinen then endured a spin in SS21 to allow Burns to close to within 0.1s with just one stage remaining. Sensing the opportunity to increase his championship lead still further, Burns went on a charge, and was 5.8s faster than Makinen through the stage to claim the position.

Harri Rovanpera claimed sixth position, ahead of a strong performance from asphalt ace Gilles Panizzi.

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Day 3 am: Martin in the clear

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