Loeb Leads At End of Day 1 In Germany

Sebastien Loeb Holds the lead after Day 1 in the vineyards on Rally Germany.

Photo: D.Darrall

For the morning of day 1 in Rally Germany. Sebastien Loeb, as expected, totally dominated the German Vineyards. Fastest on all 3 of the scenic stages that wound up the Mosel valley. The Frenchman opened up a 13.1 second lead after the morning loop. Petter Solberg said after shakedown that he would be “flat out to try an win”. And he wasn’t far off that. 2nd fastest on both SS1 & 2. But on SS3 he only managed 3rd quickest, complaining of some sort of a problem which put him off his rhythm. Went 0.7 slower than his team mate Latvala who is currently in 3rd overall, 18.8 seconds away from the lead.

The drivers to hit problems were Russian driver Evgeny Novikov, going off on stage one and ripped his rear wheel off his Fiesta RS. And SS3 had to be stopped momentarily, so as to send in emergency crews to put out Martin Prokops Car which caught fire in the stage, both Novikov and Prokop & co were ok.

After Service it was back out and a repeat of the morning stages. For the first time so far this rally, Loeb wasn’t the fastest man. It was Fords Jari Matti Latvala that was quickest by 1.8 seconds. Showing that he can still impress on the black stuff when everything works well. On the final 2 stages it was Loeb as usual. Fastest again on both, and ended day 1 with a lead of 20.4 seconds over Petter Solberg.“For sure I am happy,” said French legend Loeb. “We are leading, that’s really
good and we started to increase a little bit our lead. I am pushing hard because
I am feeling comfortable in the car and I am able to make some differences so
that’s good.”

Photo:D.Darrall

Jari Matti Latvala hold 3rd place 29.4 seconds from the lead. Despite  gearshift problems that plagued him in the morning, Thierry Neuville completed day 1 in an impressive 4th overall for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team, 5.1s behind Latvala.

 

After Day 1 Loeb leads PSolberg+20.4 JML+29.4 Neuville+34.5 Sordo+46.7 Hirvo+48.9 Tanak+1.17.9 Ostberg+1.28.7 Atko+2.34.8 Ogier+3.43.3 VanMerkst+4.18.1

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