WRC »

Loeb on top in Australia after day one.

Rovanpera's rally didn't start well with the brake problems which dropped him to tenth place after the day's opener. He climbed back up the leaderboard after a clean run through the afternoon to finish eighth overall.

"This morning was quite difficult," commented Burns, "We were on some new roads and I wasn't fully confident to commit to the notes, the afternoon – although it was dry – the conditions were much more consistent. The consistency was better for us, it meant I could see where I was going to get grip to slow the car down. I'm reasonably happy, the two drivers ahead of me are drivers who desperately want to win the rally and close the gap on my championship lead."

Rovanpera added: "I'm not sure what the brake problem was, but the pedal was going soft after just a few kilometres of the first stages this morning. Then we had a really bad tyre choice in the last two stages, not a great day."

At Ford all three Focus RS WRCs have run without mechanical problems through leg one.

Markko Martin's fortunes were mixed today though: the Estonian set a fastest time, but then also suffered some time-consuming spins and overshoots. He was also concerned that his pace notes weren't quite right in some of the stages, he'd made them too slow for the pace he was driving at. As a result he finished up fifth.

Francois Duval is just outside the top ten, gaining more experience of the roads. The suspension and tyres on his Focus were too hard for the second loop of stages, but that aside he hadn't suffered any problems. It was the same story for Mikko Hirvonen, who is driving these roads for the first time in his 2002 Focus.

Martin said: "I made more mistakes today than I have made for the rest of the year combined. I also made my first bad tyre choice, so it hasn't been a great day. I don't know how much time we've lost in total, but it must be quite a bit – we dropped 25 seconds trying to get out of a picnic area this morning."

Duval continued: "It has been very slippery in places today, very difficult conditions. The notes weren't perfect in stage six. Our recce car broke down in there and we had to use a right-hand-drive road car, which wasn't perfect – but I'm not saying this as an excuse."

Hirvonen commented: "It was quite tricky this morning for the first two stages, but then on the third I went flat out and got a good time, I was really happy with that."

At Skoda Didier Auriol and Toni Gardemeister were happy with the way their Fabia WRCs ran through leg one.

Auriol was the leading Skoda driver throughout today, happy to report that he wasn't feeling any pain from his shoulder. The Frenchman admitted he had found the conditions quite difficult in places through the opening leg, however he still managed to end it in tenth place.

His team-mate Gardemeister – who is driving with a broken bone in his right wrist – also reported slippery roads, but the Finn was taking no chances and made a cautious start to the event. He speeded up through the second loop, but felt the car was nervous on the high-speed sections of the stages.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena - Citroen Xsara WRC
Petter Solberg / Phil Mills - Subaru Impreza WRC
Marcus Gronholm / Timo Rautiainen - Peugeot 206 WRC
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.