Ford Rallye Sport has withdrawn Markko Martin and co-driver Michael Park from the Swedish Rally following an accident at this morning's final pre-rally test session. Their Focus RS World Rally Car was too badly damaged to allow repairs to be made in time for this evening's start.

Estonian driver Martin, preparing for only his second rally with the team, was tackling his final run on the snow-covered gravel tracks north of Karlstad when he hit some large stones on the inside of a bend.

The impact damaged the front left of the car and the team were unable to repair it in time to the safety levels required for the rally, leaving team director Malcolm Wilson no choice other than to withdraw the entry. Martin was not hurt in the incident.

"I'm very disappointed both for myself and the team," said 26-year-old Martin. "I have good experience of this rally and I thought that a finish in the points was possible."

-frs-