Rally – Hirvonen Leads After Day 1

The WRC and Rally Sweden are now officially go and the first day has ended with the factory Ford of Mikko Hirvonen in the lead.

The day started with Sordo and Ogier in the first and second position, but that was short lived as the rally ventured out into the proper stages. The Citroen duo attacked early and were able to claim the lead with Sebastian Loeb. Dani Sordo and Mikko Hirvonen were engaged in a battle for most of the morning, with the Finn putting his Focus in second position with an SS4 stage win. Sordo was third at the break with Jari-Matti Latvala in the fourth overall position. Sebastian Ogier rounded out the top 5 and double world champion Marcus Gronholm was back in sixth.

After the service break however, all hell broke loose and the top 10 would be shaken up. SS5 would be the stage that would cause a majority of the problems. The stage was torn up from the morning session. It was during this session that Mikko took the lead from Loeb. It was also this stage that seen trouble between Petter Solberg and Matthew Wilson. The incident began when Wilson went off stage and pulled back on right behind Petter. The two were pretty much nose to tell until Petter went off. Wilson then assumed the lead position and then Wilson stalled. Petter then drove right in the back of the Stobart Ford, causing massive damage to both cars. Petter excepted responsibility for the incident and it was then over with.

Marcus Gronholm and Kimi Raikkonen would also run into trouble during the events first day. Marcus would suffer electrical problems that would have him sidelined for thirteen minutes. Raikkonen would hit a snow bank and lose 26 minutes before finishing the stage. Ladies and Gentleman, it is official. Kimi Raikkonen is now the captain of crash.

Both Patrik Floddin and P-G Anderson would lead the lower tiers. Anderson drove like a man possesed in the SWRC. However, Flodin is under increasing pressure from Norweigan Anders Grondal.

Day two promises to be exciting and high paced as the top two factory efforts Hirvonen and Loeb fight it out for the opening round.

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