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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
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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