Sebastian Loeb has opened Rally Germany with a scorching pace that may see him to yet another victory. The French ace is currently being chased by Citroen #2 Dani Sordo who is 9.5 seconds off the lead. Jari Matti-Latvala leads the Ford effort in third place but is 55 seconds off of Loeb after SS6 Mosseland 2.
The day started with Loeb winning the first three stages. His streak would be stopped by Petter Solberg who had a roller coaster day. Petter would start SS1 and instantly pick up a puncture putting him over 2 mins off the pace. He would impress with quick runs up to his SS4 win but would run into trouble on SS6, losing a further 2 mins after breaking a wheel. Curbs don’t give Petter! Loeb would go on to win SS5 and Dani Sordo would claim SS6 to close out the day.
Stobart Ford had invited Francois Duval to drive one of their machines this weekend due to his level of tarmac success. The Frenchman has not disappointed to this point as he would end the day in P6 behind Ford factory driver Mikko Hirvonen. Transmission trouble on SS3 would drop Duval to eighth overall, but an impressive afternoon run has put him back into six place.
Kimi Raikkonen has not impressed this weekend for the Citroen Junior squad. The 2007 F1 champ could do no better than eighth fastest stage time all day. Disappointing to say the least but a good learning opportunity none the less. Kimi would be setting in eighth at the end of the first day.
American Ken Block who openly admitted he stood a snowball’s chance in hell of finishing well has ended the day in tenth position. A spin and stall early in the day would see him fight to recover the tenth position. Overall a great day for Ken as tarmac miles and good notes are the name of the game this weekend for the man who has competed on two tarmac rallies in his career. Ken stressed the importance of getting good notes and experience as Germany returns next year when he makes his full time WRC campaign push.
Check in tomorrow as the cars hit the Panzerplatte stages. While Loeb may have this one well in hand, a run in with a headstone like tank barrier can see it all go away very quickly.