25 April 2008
Jordan - day 1: Sordo hangs onto P1... just.
Of the rest Federico Villagra and Khalid Al-Qassimi completed the top ten, with Patrik Sandell eleventh in his Renault Clio S1600. Sandell incidentally heads the JWRC category, 54.8 seconds up on Jaan Molder, who is 'best of the rest' in the Junior class and twelfth overall.
In terms of retirements a number of drivers' had problems today, with Suzuki WRT duo, Per-Gunnar Andersson and Toni Gardemeister early casualties.
P-G went out in SS1, when he went off the road and was unable to rejoin in time, while Gardemeister stopped with engine problems after SS2.
"I am upset for the team because I wanted to get a result for them on this rally," said Toni. "I came here to drive well and to compete with the other cars on even ground. I do believe we could have made a result."
Petter Solberg was the next big scalp, when he hit a rock in SS6 and broke his front suspension, retiring from fifth. Galli also went out in that same test, while in sixth. He slid into a stone bank and damaged the rear differential cooler and exhaust, and the differential seized in the high temperatures. Both will re-start tomorrow under the SupeRally format, as will Andersson.
Conrad Rautenbach also added his name to the retirees list, despite completing all the stages. The Zimbabwean suffered clutch problems after SS8 and was unable to make it back to service. He will re-start on Saturday too.
The action now resumes at 08.00 hours local time, before SS9, the 14.13 kilometre-run through Turkl starts at 08.53. Day two follows a similar format, with drivers again facing two identical loops of four stages, the bulk of which are north-east of the Dead Sea service park and close to the capital city of Amman. In total just under 110 competitive kilometres are on the bill.
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