Peugeot number one driver, Marcus Gronholm secured his first victory of the season Sunday in his native Finland. Gronholm won 11 of the events 21 stages and eventually triumphed by over 1 minute.

Although his margin over Sebastien Loeb at the finish, suggested it was a dominant victory it was by no means easy, and the two were split by only 5 seconds following leg 1 on Friday.

During the second leg though, Marcus put in a charge and by the end of SS16, had built a 30-odd second cushion, only to have that doubled in the final test on Saturday, when Loeb suffered a puncture.

The final day was all about survival and Gronholm did what was necessary to get it to the finish and take his fifth victory on home soil in six years.

Gronholm's biggest scare came after a heavy landing in SS5 on Friday, which left his co-driver, Timo Rautiainen, quite badly injured. That even put a question mark over whether or not they could continue. Thankfully though, Rautiainen was fixed up in service and although Marcus admitted to having to take it easy over the subsequent jumps on the remainder of the event, it didn't stop him taking the win.

Loeb meanwhile took the runners-up spot and while he admitted he was disappointed to see his run of wins, which began back in New Zealand in April, come to an end he nevertheless scored another eight points. He now leads the title race by 28 points, with Gronholm in second, having moved up following his win.

Markko Martin took the final spot on the podium after a promising event. The Estonian seemingly, having finally got to grips with the 307. His third place and Gronholm's first, was enough to put Peugeot back in the lead in the Constructors' championship, albeit though only one point ahead of Citroen.

Furtherdown the leaderboard, Petter Solberg had a trouble-free final leg, after his issues on Friday and Saturday, the Norwegian holding off Mikko Hirvonen to take fourth. Hirvonen finished up just 5.6 seconds behind after a good showing and the Finn was pleased with his performance after being nominated by Ford to drive their second works car.

Toni Gardemeister was sixth in the sister works Focus, the Finn getting the better of Mitsubishi ace, Harri Rovanpera on the first test Sunday. However Gardemeister's puncture on Saturday proved decisive and ultimately cost him fourth.

The final points scoring position went to Francois Duval, who was glad to get to the finish and achieve his objective - namely to score points for Citroen. The Belgian was under a fair amount of pressure following his return to the team, but he will need to do better from now on if Citroen are to take the Manufacturers' crown.

Henning Solberg took the 'privateer win' in ninth place, while Skoda's Janne Tuohino and Armin Schwarz had to make do with tenth and eleventh. Tuohino and Schwarz both enjoyed good reliability, but the pace of the Fabia was still somewhat lacking.

Of the rest of the 'works' drivers, Roman Kresta came home 23rd, while Jani Paasonen, Sebastian Lindholm, Gigi Galli and Chris Atkinson all retired. Paasonen went out on day one, after landing heavily following a jump, while Lindholm was forced to withdraw after his co-driver injured his back following a heavy landing in SS5.

Galli and Atkinson both went off the road in leg 1, and although they re-started Saturday, Galli went off again in the second leg - this time for good - and Atkinson was also forced onto the sidelines. The Aussie again re-started on Sunday, but he again went out after SS19, after damaging his engine in his off on Saturday.

In the Junior WRC, Daniel Sordo took the class victory on his debut in Finland. The Spaniard taking the lead on SS11, after his Citroen C2 team-mate, Kris Meeke crashed out. Sordo eventually triumphed by over a minute, with Urmo Aava second and Guy Wilks third in the new Suzuki Swift. Wilks' third place finish puts him into the lead in the race for the Junior title, however Sordo and Meeke both have an event in hand.

The WRC now heads to Germany in three weeks time, for the first all-asphalt rally of the season. The Rallye Deutschland includes a complex variety of conditions including narrow, twisty vineyard roads in the Mosel Valley, rough, bumpy tarmac roads in the Baumholder military training area and smooth, fast stages in the Saarland region. The rally starts from the town of Trier on Friday August 26.

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