9 February 2007
Gronholm ends day one in Sweden on top.
Latvala, who is under instructions to get to the finish after failing to do so on the Rallye Monte Carlo, was running in the points for most of the day, until a slow time in SS7 dropped him to tenth. He goes into the overnight halt 30 seconds or so behind Atkinson.
As for the other works drivers', none have retired, Matthew Wilson is 16th, in the 'third' Stobart entry, while Munchi's Ford driver, Luis Perez Companc is one spot lower, in 17th and Dani Sordo is 22nd in the second works Citroen C4. Companc's team-mate, Juan Pablo Raises is 40th overall, having picked up a 4 minute penalty last night.
Gigi Galli shone early on, and deserves a mention. The Italian was running second overall after winning SS3 in his Aimont Racing-run Citroen Xsara. Things went wrong for him though in SS5, when he went off the road and lost around 4 minutes. Consequently he dropped down the order and is now in 24th position.
In the Production Car WRC category, Kristian Sohlberg has lead pretty much from the off in his Group N Impreza - excluding the super special. He finished the day 5.7 seconds up on the Mitsubishi of Juho Hanninen, while Anton Alen completes the provisional PWRC podium, 10 seconds or so up on Oscar Svedlund. Toshi Arai is fifth, while reigning Production champion, Nasser Al-Attiyah ended the day in eighth, 10 seconds up on three-time British champ, Mark Higgins.
The action now resumes on Saturday - leg two comprises seven timed stages, and ends with a repeat pass through the shortest test of the rally, the 1.87km Hagfors Sprint. The total competitive distance is 141.96 kilometre and the action begins at 0803hrs with the 10 kilometre Lesjofors stage.
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