Fords Jari Matti Latvala leads the Monte Carlo rally after the first mornings loop of stages, by 30.5 seconds to Sebastien Loeb.
Stage 1, Le Moulinon – Antraigues kicked off the rally this morning. Although there were clear skies, the roads were icy. Loeb led the way and the rally after taking the first stage by 1 seconds to Mini’s Dani Sordo. Talking at stage end the 8 times champion said, “It was OK – both humid and dry, there was a bit of frost before the Col de Fayolle, the rest in good condition, next one very complicated, we’ll see what we can do. It will be complicated!” Loebs Team mate, Mikko Hirvonen completed his first stage in his Citroen DS3 3rd fastest, with Ford driver Jari Matti Latvala 4th and new team mate Petter Solberg 5th.
On the 2nd and final stage of the morning, burzet – st Martial, Jari Matti Latvala set blistering pace added to that a good tyre choice for the difficult conditions and took 50 seconds and the lead from Sebastien Loeb. “It was a good stage, the tyre choice was perfect on this stage. We cross over on tyre, one stud on the front and one on the rear.” The icy conditions cause some trouble for a few though. First was Mini driver Dani Sordo, who after braking late on a snowy patch, slid and hit the front and rear of the car, with some suspension damage but confident of getting the car back to service. novikov also had an off just 3km from the end damaging the rear left wheel, but still setting 4th quickest time.
Times overall: Latvala leads Loeb +30.5 Petter +40.8 Sordo +44.1 Hirvonen +1:04 Novikov +1:17.1 Tänak +2:53.8 Wilson +2:57.0 Henning +7:40.0