In terms of retirees there were three big names that failed to make it to the end of the opening leg, namely Mikko Hirvonen, Nicolas Bernardi and Stobart
Ford 'fourth' driver, Alessandro Bettega.
Mikko was the first to go out when he went off the road in SS3 due to an over-optimistic pace note. Bernardi then retired the new Suzuki SX4 WRC car post-SS4, when the car lost power, while Bettega crashed out in SS5. The 2006 FSTi winner had been going well up to that point and was running in the top ten.
The action now resumes on Saturday at 08.58 hours local time, when SS7, the 21.88 kilometre-run through Carbuccia-Scalella, kicks off the second leg. Six tests will be run on day 2, totally around 120 competitive kilometres.