Peugeot confirms Martin

Markko Martin's switch from Ford to Peugeot was made official on Wednesday morning - ending weeks of speculation that the French car manufacturer's withdrawal from rallying at the end of 2005 could scupper the deal

Peugeot confirms Martin

Martin had been linked with the move to Peugeot for several months but in the wake of decision by Peugeot's parent company to pull it and Citroen out of the sport next year, there had been the possibility that the deal could have collapsed.

Speaking after the announcement that he would switch teams for one season, Martin said: "Despite this agreement being limited to just one year, I'm very happy to be joining Peugeot Sport and I'm looking forward to having Marcus [Gronholm] as a team-mate.

"We get on well together and I have a great deal of respect for him. I believe he is still the fastest driver in the championship. My main objective will be to work closely with Marcus and the team to enhance the competitiveness of the Peugeot 307 and to play my part in securing the manufacturers' and drivers' titles."

Although the withdrawal at the end of 2005 means there will be a cloud hanging over the Peugeot team next year, former world champion Gronholm is optimistic that the arrival of Martin will help drive forward development enough so the company can leave the sport on a high.

"Markko is a first-class recruit," said Gronholm. "He's shown that he's very strong on all types of surface and that he's very important for Peugeot's bid to secure the manufacturers' championship in 2005. I'm certain his arrival in the team will ensure a serene, cordial atmosphere."

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