Germany - day 1: Loeb builds solid lead.

Sordo for his part complained about his tyre choice this morning and in the afternoon - but with two second quickest times, one fourth and two thirds his pace was still very impressive.

"I gradually started to find my marks on asphalt again. I made a few small adjustments to my set-up between stages to try to adapt it as closely as possible to the conditions. It would have been nice to have felt a little more comfortable with the soft compound tyres, but I know where I lost time," added the Spaniard.

Further down the order Francois Duval is fourth on his first outing in the WRC since the Rallye Monte Carlo way back in January. The Belgian was fourth quickest in SS1, seventh in SS2 and third in SS3, his only real complaint on the first loop a slight delay in the electronic gear shift.

He was then second quickest in SS4 and fourth in SS5 and finally ended the day 13.1 seconds off the battle for third and 17 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala in P5.

"I'm still getting used to the car and these new soft Pirellis but we made some changes to the setup of the car for this afternoon's stages and this seemed to work better,” he stated. “Hopefully we can continue this into tomorrow.”

Latvala jumped up from seventh to fifth in SS5, when he was around 10 seconds faster than both the Subaru's of Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg. Jari opted for a cautious start eager to gain experience on asphalt and get good points after his early error in Finland.

"I had a lot more confidence this afternoon with the harder springs. A top five position was my target tonight. I want to maintain that tomorrow because I know it will be difficult to catch the guys ahead,” noted Jari.

Petter is next up, 5.2 seconds further back, and while he was disappointed to see SS6 canned, he agreed it was a sensible decision.

“It's a shame about the final stage, but you have to respect the decision of the organisers and accept that it was the right thing to do. It's too bad for the people who are actually coming to watch the stages, but that's a part of the game,” stated the Norwegian. “It's unbelievable the number of people here, like Finland, and it's great for the sport anyway."

Atkinson was one of only three drivers' to complete SS6 competitively and the Aussie will have wished he would have missed it as an error when he overshot a junction cost him 30 seconds and a place on the leaderboad.

He now lies just 2.2 seconds up on Stobart Ford's Henning Solberg and 33.1 seconds off 'Hollywood'.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebatien Loeb(FRA) Daniel Elena(MC) Citroen C4, Citroen Total WRT
RX: World Rallycross, UK talent competition [Credit: FIA World Rallycross media]
James Grint - Albatec Racing
Robin Larsson will campaign a privately-run Audi in the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship
Rallye International du Valais, European Rally Championship [Credit: European Rally Championship]
Junior ERC: Chris Ingram, Peugeot UK [Credit: Chris Ingram Rally]
Tuthill Porsche, Circuit of Ireland Rally [Credit: Tuthill Porsche Media]
Volkswagen Motorsport, World Rallycross [Credit: FIA World Rallycross]
Jerome Grosset-Janin - Albatec Peugeot
Jerome Grosset-Janin - Albatec Peugeot
Petter Solberg, James May, Top Gear [Credit: FIA World Rallycross]
Ott Tanak at the finish of Rally Mexico, sporting swimming mask and snorkel. 2015. [Pic credit: M-Sport]
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Matteo Charciossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Rally Mexico girls

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