28 February 2003
Rovanpera no Turkey on leg one.
Burns added: ''I'm happy enough with the way things have gone. Okay we had the punctures this morning, but they didn't really cost us much time. The car was jumping out of third gear on the last stage, but the gearbox will be changed tonight.''
Gronholm continued: ''I'm not really very interested in this rally now. The problem came the first time about five kilometres from the end of SS3. Then doing the long stage without power steering was really hard work, my arms are a little tired now.''
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb retired from the event after running out of fuel on the first loop of stages this morning. The other two Xsara WRCs ran without any problems.
Sainz ended leg one in second place after a trouble-free day in his Xsara WRC. The Spaniard reported that he was happy with the way his car was running and added that he wouldn't be making any changes to the car's set-up. Sainz did go off the road on the first loop of stages this morning, inflicting some minor panel damage to his Xsara, but he didn't lose any time.
Once Loeb had retired, Colin McRae was faced with the task of running first on the road. The Scot said he was cleaning the stages for the cars behind him, but he was more dismayed at his time through the final stage of the day - which was 28 seconds slower than Sainz. McRae intended to make minor adjustments to his car overnight.
Sainz said: ''I'm still not 100 percent confident in the car, but it is getting better with every kilometre. Tomorrow is the longest day of the rally, so we will see where we are then. There's not a lot more for me to say, except that I'm happy now.''
McRae added: ''The day has been okay, but that last stage wasn't very good for us. I don't know what it was, if you look at Carlos's time it was good, but it just didn't work for us. The stage was a bit dirty on top, but that shouldn't have cost us that much time.''
A team spokesperson, commenting on Loeb's retirement, said: ''The crew took the wrong way leading to the refuelling point after SS3. Realising their mistake they turned around and went back. Unfortunately they didn't have enough fuel to cover the extra kilometres they had driven.''
At Ford Markko Martin's Ford Focus RS WRC suffered a broken gearbox on the second stage this morning and Mikko Hirvonen retired with damaged suspension on SS4. Francois Duval's example ran without any problems.
Young Belgian driver Duval is the leading Ford on the event, holding third after leg one. Duval posted two third fastest stage times and enjoyed a trouble-free day. Running further down the order helped him through the morning, but on the day's only repeated stage he still managed to set a highly competitive time.
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