Latvala leads the field
After Day One of Jordan Rally
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver Jari-Matti Latvala has set the early pace on Jordan Rally and the Finn leads the field by 30.2 seconds after the opening seven stages.
Behind him, tactical manoeuvres in the final stage have left Sébastien Ogier (Citroën Junior Team) in second and reigning World Champion Sébastien Loeb (Citroën Total World Rally Team) third.
Jordan Rally started this morning from the Roman city of Jerash and, in a format permitted by new regulations this year, led the crews straight into the first full day of action.
Today took in seven stages and 95.70 competitive kilometres to the west of the capital city of Amman before returning to the Dead Sea for the overnight halt this evening.
Latvala claimed the advantage from the outset, winning the first two stages to pull out a slim 4.3 second lead. He was overhauled by Dani Sordo in the following stage but resumed his position at the head of the leaderboard the following stage and for the rest of the day.
While the Finn was running third on the road and benefitting from slightly cleaner stages, he has nevertheless outpaced his rivals and goes into Friday with a 30.2 second lead. Ogier was placed fourth throughout the day, but tactics around him on the final stage elevated him to second after a trouble-free day.
Loeb has struggled running first on the road and sweeping away the loose gravel for those behind. While third, he is 31.8 seconds behind Latvala.
Behind the top three, Petter Solberg holds fourth. The Norwegian has won two stages and tactically dropped from second to fourth to benefit from a better road position tomorrow. He was unhappy with the balance of the car this morning, but changes during the mid-day service aided his challenge.
Mikko Hirvonen’s bid to repeat his 2008 victory started badly when he spun in the first stage and stalled twice. He lays fifth, just ahead of sixth-placed Sordo.
|01||Jari-Matti LATVALA||Ford Focus WRC||1h11m31.5s|
|02||Sébastien OGIER||Citroën C4 WRC||+30.2s|
|03||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën C4 WRC||+31.8s|
|04||Petter SOLBERG||Citroën C4 WRC||+32.5s|
|05||Mikko HIRVONEN||Ford Focus WRC||+42.2s|
|06||Dani SORDO||Citroën C4 WRC||+45.4s|
|07||Henning SOLBERG||Ford Focus WRC||+1m20.9s|
|08||Matthew WILSON||Ford Focus WRC||+2m01.1s|
|09||Federico VILLAGRA||Ford Focus WRC||+2m48.2s|
|10||Kimi RAIKKÖNEN||Citroën C4 WRC||+3m50.5s|
|11||Bernardo SOUSA||Ford Fiesta S2000||+4m22.7s|
|12||Patrik FLODIN||Subaru Impreza Gr N||+4m33.2s|
|13||Xavier PONS||Ford Fiesta S2000||+4m34.8s|
|14||Martin SEMERAD||Mitsubishi Lancer Gr N||+4m42.6s|
|15||Armindo ARAÚJO||Mitsubishi Lancer Gr N||+4m45.5s|
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