Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier
has had to retire from day one of the Acropolis Rally of Greece stopping in the very first stage.
The Frenchman, who had been one of the favourites for the victory, was quickest in qualifying this morning. However it all went wrong in SS1 - the 47.70 kilometre, Kineta-Pissia test. Although early reports are sketchy, it seems he lost about 2 minutes in the third split, and while he could continue after changing a tyre, he was eventually forced to stop for good. VW later said a 'technical problem' was to blame - no further details have been released, although it has been confirmed he will re-start on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mikko Hirvonen
and Mads Ostberg
also had bad starts, the former losing almost 6 minutes with a steering problem, while the latter had a wheel fall off and finished the test more than 3 minutes down.
More to follow as we get it...