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Martin strikes back, Ford dominant.


Ford team leader Markko Martin struck back today [Saturday] on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse, winning the opening stage to re-take the lead of the event, and demote team-mate, Francois Duval to second.

Martin held onto that lead through the remaining three tests, and although Duval was quickest in SS7, to reduce the Estonian's lead, Martin was having none of it, and went fastest again in the final test of the day, to increase his lead again. He ends the second leg with a 20.8 second advantage.

"It's been a difficult, but good, day," said Martin. "We've had every type of weather you can imagine in the mountains. One moment it's nice and the next it's raining. It changed all the time and it worried me all day.

"I have a good set-up on my car. It's not perfect, it never is in Corsica, but it's worked superbly for me. If we don't make any big mistakes with our tyre selection, then I don't think the other teams can catch us."

Overall Ford dominated, as they did yesterday, one-two in all the stages, bar the final one, where Sebastien Loeb split the two Ford Focus'.

Their form will have pleased team boss, Malcolm Wilson, especially as the future of the outfit in the WRC has still to be confirmed.

It wasn't all plain sailing though for the M-Sport ran squad, Martin's car caught fire after completing the final stage, and the Estonian was forced to stop to extinguish the flames before proceeding to final service!

"To see flames coming out from under the bonnet was not a nice feeling," added Martin. "We put the fire out at the finish, but we were lucky that we were able to drive straight to service because the power steering stopped working on the liaison section."

Sebastien Loeb remains third in his Citroen Xsara WRC, and still on course for the title, the Frenchman had an uneventful day, and although quick, could do nothing to stop the Ford's. It appears he has now settled for third, and the final spot on the podium, as he is 40 seconds behind Duval in second, and a minute ahead of Carlos Sainz in fourth.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Markko Martin / Michael Park - Ford Focus RS WRC04
Markko Martin / Michael Park - Ford Focus RS WRC04
Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena - Citroen Xsara WRC
Podio, Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport), winners, 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II), 3th place Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Podio, Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team, 3th place
Lorenzo Bertelli,  Lorenzo Granai  (Ford Fiesta WRC, #37)
Lorenzo Bertelli,  Lorenzo Granai  (Ford Fiesta WRC, #37)
Karl Kruuda (EST) Martin Jarveoja (EST), Citroen Ds3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) Martin Jarveoja (EST), Citroen Ds3 R5
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej Szczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Elfyn Evans, Daniel Barrit (Ford Fiesta WRC, #6 M-Sport World Rally Team)

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