Sebastien Ogier has opened up a comfortable lead on the opening leg of the Rally Sweden, despite suffering damage to his Volkswagen Polo in a water splash.

On an event that has been shortened by eight stages already due to unseasonal warm weather, the Rally Sweden nonetheless got underway with the first run through Torsby, with Ogier immediately setting the benchmark before extending his lead over SS3 and SS4.

Even so, the Frenchman very nearly saw his rally come to a premature end when an awkward water splash run saw his Polo shed a substantial amount on the bodywork on the left-front. Despite also stopping to a fit a replacement steering arm, Ogier escaped unscathed.

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In second place, Andreas Mikkelsen suffered an off at the same point and would drop 17.3secs to his team-mate as a result, though he would retain a slender four second advantage over Kris Meeke, with Dani Sordo and Mads Ostberg rounding out the top five.

Meanwhile, there were problems early on for both Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville, the former dropping more than four minutes as he laboured to end of SS4 with a broken driveshaft, while the former was cost 80secs after transmission problems on his Hyundai i20 WRC

Elsewhere, Ott Tanak rounds out the top six in the DMACK Ford Fiesta, ahead of Hayden Paddon, Henning Solberg and Craig Breen.