Dani Sordo has taken the early lead on Rally Sweden after setting the quickest time on the opening run through the short Karlstad Super Special stage this evening.
Sordo completed the 1.90 kilometre test in 1 minute 34.2 seconds in his 'works-supported privateer' MINI John Cooper Works WRC car, leaving him 0.3 seconds up on Mads Ostberg. Ott Tanak was third.
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and Ford's Petter Solberg meanwhile were joint fourth quickest, ahead of their respective team-mates, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala in sixth and seventh.
“That was such good fun,” said Solberg. “It was a fantastic way to start the rally in front of such a large crowd and I'm really excited about driving the Fiesta in the snow tomorrow.”
“I made a bad start and that was where I lost the time. But this is a warm-up for the real action which begins in the forests tomorrow morning,” Latvala added.
Further back Patrik Sandell was eighth, while Martin Prokop and Richard Goransson round out the top ten followed by Evgeny Novikov, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Henning Solberg, Eyvind Brynildsen and early SWRC leader, P-G Andersson in positions 11 through to 15.
The action now gets underway 'proper' on Friday, with SS2, the 27.07km Mitandersfors test, starting at 08.04 hours local time.
Rally Sweden: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):
1. Dani Sordo
Prodrive MINI John Cooper Works WRC 1mins 34.2secs
2. Mads Ostberg
Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 00.3secs
3. Ott Tanak
Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 00.6secs
4. Sebastien Loeb
Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 01.2secs
= Petter Solberg
Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 01.2secs
6. Mikko Hirvonen
Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 01.5secs
7. Jari-Matti Latvala
Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 02.2secs
8. Patrik Sandell
Prodrive MINI John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 03.0secs
9. Martin Prokop
Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 03.1secs
10. Richard Goransson
MINI John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 03.7secs
11. Evgeny Novikov
M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 03.8secs
12. Nasser Al-Attiyah
Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 04.4secs
13. Henning Solberg
Go Fast Energy WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 04.7secs
14. Eyvind Brynildsen
Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 04.9secs
15. P-G Andersson
Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 +00mins 05.0secs
16. Armindo Araujo
WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +00mins 05.1secs
SWRC standings after Stage 1 – Top 3:
1. P-G Andersson
Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 1mins 39.2secs
2. Hayden Paddon
Skoda Fabia S2000 +00mins 02.1secs
3. Alister McRae
Proton Motorsport Satria Neo S2000 +00mins 02.3secs
all times unofficial