The Briton, one of the most popular navigators in the service park, had been close to a win before, finishing second with Craig Breen in Sweden two years ago.
More recently, he and Elfyn Evans came within an ace of winning in Corsica last year. Leading going into the final stage, a puncture on the pair’s Ford Fiesta relegated them to third. Another one that escaped Martin’s grasp.
Not this time. The Englishman guided the Welshman through the Swedish and Norwegian stages perfectly.
“I’m still coming to terms with this to be honest,” said Martin. “It’s just incredible to have finally done it. It’s taken me a while, but I got there in the end. Having waited this long for the first one, I don’t think the second one’s going to take quite as long!”
He was quick to praise Evans’ speed through the stages but also the work put in by the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
“It’s not easy to start the season with three new crews,” he said. “But the team has put so much work in, we owe a lot to them. Myself and Elfyn have done the same, really working hard through the winter.
“It was good in Monte-Carlo and it’s been the same here – in the top three nearly all the time. I’ve got to be honest and say it’s a little bit of a surprise to get the win in a new car so quickly, but the confidence is there and the atmosphere in the car’s really good.”
Martin’s first win came on his 12th start with Evans. The mainstay of his career has still been with Matthew Wilson and the Stobart M-Sport team – he tackled 58 WRC rounds with his fellow Cumbrian.