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Spain - leg 1: Loeb looking unstoppable.

Subaru's Petter Solberg completes the top six and despite no real problems was unable to match the Citroen C4s - or for that matter the BP Ford Focus'. His best effort was a fourth quickest time in the final test of the day and his sights are now firmly set on trying to overhaul Duval and grab fifth. Currently he is 9.6 seconds adrift of the Belgian.

Stobart Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala and Subaru's Chris Atkinson rounded out the provisional points scorers', the former surviving quite a big scare in the last test of the day.

Further down the pack, Xavier Pons ended up ninth in the third SWRT entry, while Henning Solberg completes the top ten, followed by Britain's Matthew Wilson and Thomas Schie.

In the Junior World Rally Championship category, Urmo Aava ended the day with a 10 second lead, having set the pace in the class in all but one of the tests. The Estonian took over P1 in the JRC in SS3 and then pulled gradually away from his Suzuki Swift team-mate and chief rival for the Junior title, Per-Gunnar Andersson.

Martin Prokop is third in the JRC in his Citroen C2 Super 1600, albeit over a minute off the battling Suzukis.

Renault Clio runners, Kalle Pinomaki and Jozef Beres are fourth and fifth respectively, while Conrad Rautenbach completes the top six.

In terms of retirees there were three big casualties on day 1, namely Munchi's team leader, Luis Perez Companc, OMV Kronos Citroen's Manfred Stohl and Skoda privateer, Jan Kopecky.

Companc was the first to go out, when he went off the road in SS2. Stohl and Kopecky followed in SS3, the former damaging his Xsara quite badly and as such the Austrian will not be able to rejoin the fold on Saturday under the SupeRally. It is not yet known if Companc or Kopecky will be able to re-start on day 2.

The action now resumes on Saturday at 08.43 hours local time, with SS7, the 13.29 kilomete-run through Vilaplana 1. Leg 2 includes eight stages in total - comprising around 120 competitive kilometres.

Stay tuned for all the latest...


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, Spain. 5-7th Oct 2007.
Daniel Sordo (ESP) / Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC. Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, Spain. 5-7th Oct 2007.
Marcus Gronholm (FIN) / Timo Rautiainen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06. Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, Spain. 5-7th Oct 2007.
Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Emile Axelsson (SWE), Ford Fiesta R5
Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Emile Axelsson (SWE), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
StephaneLefebvre (FRA) Thomas Dubois (FRA), Citroen DS3 R3, WRC3 winners
StephaneLefebvre (FRA) Thomas Dubois (FRA), Citroen DS3 R3, WRC3 winners
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorian Pulpea (ROM), Citroen Ds3 R3
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)

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