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Germany - day 1: Loeb builds solid lead.

Citroen semi-privateer Urmo Aava and Suzuki's Toni Gardemeister complete the top ten, followed by Per-Gunnar Andersson in the other SX4 WRC car, and then Ford men Andreas Mikkelsen and Matthew Wilson. Conrad Rautenbach and Peter van Merksteijn are 14th and 15th, the latter getting his first taste of a 2007 spec Ford Focus this weekend.

In the Junior World Rally Championship category, Martin Prokop took the lead in SS2 and following the four tests the J-WRC runners drove competitively, he is 7.6 seconds up on fellow Citroen C2 S1600 runner Sebastien Ogier.

"We had some grip problems with the tyres since the first stage this morning, but afterwards everything went well,” stated the Czech driver. “We were able to find a good rhythm on roads that we already know quite well, thanks to our victory here last year. Now we plan to maintain the same pace over the next two days of the event, in order to score the points that we need to improve our championship position."

Aaron Burkart completes the J-WRC top three, 37 seconds further back, with Renault's Gilles Schammel fourth and Florian Niegel fifth. Alessandro Bettega, Kevin Abbring and Andrea Cortinovis come in sixth, seventh and eighth.

As for retirees, Gigi Galli was the only major runner to hit problems, when he crashed out 11.3 kilometres into SS5. The Italian's Stobart Ford Focus went off at high-speed and ended up on its roof after going into some trees.

Gigi was airlifted to hospital with a fractured left femur and is due to have an operation tonight.

His co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini was also taken to hospital. He was given the all-clear this afternoon and discharged with just cuts and bruises.

The action now continues on Saturday and the second leg comprises a mix of countryside tests in Saarland and fearsome roads in the Baumholder military training area.

After leaving Trier at 06.15 hours, drivers face two loops of four speed tests covering 159.76km before returning to the city at 19.58 hours [all times local]. The most challenging section will be two passes through the 30.38km Panzerplatte stage in Baumholder, the longest of the rally.


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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