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Loeb heads WRC pack in Turkey.

"It was a day which started off badly but got better," said Harri. "I thought my luck had gone when I had the problem with the differential at the very start of the rally, but in the afternoon I had no problems at all and I was able to set some quick times. Now I'm hoping for a trouble-free day tomorrow which will give us the chance to make up more places."

Janne Tuohino is eighth, and currently the lead 'privateer', with Henning Solberg and Serkan Yazici completing the top ten.

Markko Martin endured a miserable day; the Estonian was also on the wrong tyres early this morning, he too suffered in the water crossing when the force of hitting it dislodged the bonnet and blocked the intercooler, and then two crank shaft sensors failed later this afternoon, possibly a legacy of earlier problems. As a consequence, the Estonian has dropped way down the leaderboard.

"It's remarkable because in the history of the Focus we have never had a crankshaft sensor fail and here we have two," noted Ford team boss, Malcolm Wilson. "The positioning of the sensors means it is hard for them to be damaged and my feeling is that it might be a legacy of Markko's problems in the watersplash earlier today."

Mitsubishi have also had a tough day, Gilles Panizzi retired with electrical problems in stage four and team-mate Gigi Galli was another victim of the watersplash. He dropped more than 10 minutes after damaging the radiator fan and stopping to make repairs.

In the Junior WRC, Mirco Baldacci leads a Suzuki one-two, with Kosti Katajamaki only 18.4 seconds behind. Alessandro Broccoli is third for Fiat, while Urmo Aava and Guerlain Chicherit complete the class top five.

In total only 41 of the original 65 starters returned to Kemer, following the opening leg's 501 km.

The second leg tomorrow [Saturday] promises to be just as gruelling. Competitors leave Kemer at 07.30 and tackle six more stages covering 153.60km, making it the longest day of the rally. The route covers similar territory to today with two loops of two tests before two more stages closer to Kemer complete the action. Drivers face two passes through the 36.10km Kumluca test, the longest of the rally. They return to Kemer for the final overnight halt at 19.57.



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