New Focus makes waves Down Under

Markko Martin was the pacesetter during Thursday morning's shakedown for Rally New Zealand and the Ford driver simply can't wait for the fourth round of the World Rally Championship to start on Friday

New Focus makes waves Down Under

The Estonian will tackle the event in the all-new 2003-spec Focus and said the initial signs were encouraging.

"The car feels really good," said Martin. "I can't wait for tomorrow. For the time being the car is running really well so I hope that continues."

Team-mate Francois Duval didn't have such an easy time during shakedown after his Focus suffered an electrical problem. However the Belgian reported that he was confident the fault had been resolved and will be OK for Friday's stages.

Over at Skoda, Didier Auriol's shakedown was hampered when his mechanics had to change the gearbox, but the former world champ had other problems on his mind too.

"The problem we've got here," explained the Frenchman, "is we have not tested the car at all, we've just been concentrating on the Fabia."

Sebastien Loeb was the fastest of the Citroen runners on the 12km test stage at Komokoriki, but he said you can't read too much into shakedown times.

"It doesn't mean very much, but it is a nice start," he said.

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